Tag Archives: McLaren

2014 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance – 100 Years of Horse Power

2014 Maserati GranTurismo MC - Centennial Edition Coupe. © 2014 Victor Varela

2014 Maserati GranTurismo MC – Centennial Edition Coupe. © 2014 Victor Varela

“100 Years of Horse Power” – That was the theme for the 21st edition of the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance as Beverly Hills marked several very special occasions this year. The traditional “Father’s Day” event, finds the city celebrating their Centennial in 2014 and the “Honored Marque” – Maserati, celebrates their 100th anniversary as well. This event featured a superb combination of rare automobiles and motorcycles highlighting the past, present and future at the crossroads of fashion, design and entertainment.

1984 Ferrari 288 GTO © 2014 Victor Varela

1984 Ferrari 288 GTO © 2014 Victor Varela

The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance is the largest public event held annually in the city of Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. With it’s unique mix of car collectors, families, local residents and international visitors, it has been named “one of the 300 unmissable events in the world” by Frommer’s Travel Guide.

1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4 © 2014 Victor Varela

1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4 © 2014 Victor Varela

This Concours also paid tribute to the Beverly Hills Speedway, a 1.25-mile track built in 1919 which hosted auto racing until 1924 – attracting such racing legends as Jimmy Murphy, Barney Oldfield and Indianapolis 500 winner Gaston Chevrolet. Up to 70,000 spectators, attended races where world speed records were set and broken during that era. The track was situated on 275 acres of land that includes the site of today’s Beverly Wilshire Hotel just outside what is called, the “Golden Triangle.”

1997 Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance - Andrew & Cat with a Ferrari F1 kid racer. © 1997 Victor Varela

1997 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance – Andrew & Cat with a Ferrari F1 kid racer. © 1997 Victor Varela

I’ve been attending the concours for several years now and remember bringing my daughter, Catherine and nephew, Andrew, for the first time on Father’s Day, June 15, 1997.  A special way to spend this day with my family.

1949 Maserati A6/1500 © 2014 Victor Varela

1949 Maserati A6/1500 © 2014 Victor Varela

As always, the Concours had on display, were vehicles spanning the last century, which included a horse-drawn Wells Fargo wagon. Featured were cars owned by the rich & famous residents as well as film and TV celebrities. Cars owned by famous 90210 residents Fred Astaire, Jean Harlow, Tom Mix, Mel Torme and Howard Hughes were featured as well as vehicles featured in “An American in Paris,” “The Beverly Hillbillies” and HBO’s “Entourage.” Among these cars were; a 1932 Packard 903 Sport Phaeton; 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4; 1937 Jaguar SS100; 1953 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith; 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB; 1930 Hispano Suiza H6C Boattail Speedster; 1952 Siata 208 Prototype; 1929 Bentley 4.5 Liter Tourer by Vanden Plas; 1942 Chrysler Town and Country “Barrelback”; 1949 Maserati A6/1500; 2015 McLaren 650S Coupe; 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom I Town Car by Hooper/Inskip; 1935 Bugatti Type 57SC; 1965 De Tomaso Sport 5000; 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO.

1956 Maserati A6G/2000 by Zagato © 2014 Victor Varela

1956 Maserati A6G/2000 by Zagato © 2014 Victor Varela

In the spirit of Father’s Day, this report and images are dedicated to all our Fathers – an in remembrance of mine, Saul Varela, who passed away last year.

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB © 2014 Victor Varela

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB © 2014 Victor Varela

View the gallery of the images from this event here: Victor Varela Photographer.

A series of my images and a report were published at Sports Car Digest, the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts.  You can view it here: Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance – 2014

Purchase Prints…
If you would like a print for your wall at home, office or race shop, I offer quality prints of the images you see here and others that were captured during this event. You can purchase them here: Photo Store

For more information, check out their website:  Rodeo Drove Concours

[source: The Donahue Group – Rodeo Drive Concours]

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from victorvarela.com:blog without express and written permission from Victor Varela, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to victorvarela.com:blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2014 Rodeo Drive Concours – 100 Years of Horse Power

1924 Bentley 3/8 Litre “Hawkeye Special”, the “3/8” number configuration - 3 litre chassis fitted with an 8 litre engine – 2012 Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance. © 2012 Victor Varela

1924 Bentley 3/8 Litre “Hawkeye Special”, the “3/8” number configuration – 3 litre chassis fitted with an 8 litre engine – 2012 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance. © 2012 Victor Varela

For a few years now, I have attended a wonderful car show which is located in the world famous city of Beverly Hills.   The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance is an exclusive display of luxury automobiles which is set against the backdrop of world class and ultra chic, Rodeo Drive. This unique event, celebrates the unique relationship between the automotive, fashion and the entertainment industries.  The event has been named one of the “300 Unmissable Events & Festivals Around the World” by top travel publisher Frommer’s.  The best part of this spectacular car show is that it’s free and open to the public!

What really makes this event special for me, is that every year, it falls on Father’s Day making this a really neat tradition.  It is a great way to celebrate the day and remember my father, Saul, who passed away last year from pancreatic cancer. This year, I will be covering the event as a contributing writer/photographer for Sports Car Digest and dedicating the article to him.

Along with SCD, I will be posting a brief write up here and several images – the majority being posted at my website, victorvarela.com and available for purchase.

Here’s the press release about the 2014 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.



The 2014 edition of the Rodeo Drive Concours will mark the City of Beverly Hills’ Centennial on Father’s Day, June 15 from 10 am to 4 pm featuring Maserati as the “Honored Marque”. Maserati also celebrates their Centennial in 2014. The Rodeo Drive Committee has selected the theme “100 Years of Horse Power” to honor this milestone with a one day museum quality installation of vehicles illustrating the city’s history. From the horse-drawn Wells Fargo Wagon to the present, this year’s show will feature cars owned by storied celebrity residents and those related to key historical moments and film and TV over the last century.




1. ZERO TO 100: 2014 Honored Marque Maserati joins Beverly Hills in celebrating its’ Centennial in 2014. In celebration of the first 100 years, the revered auto manufacturer introduces its GT MC Centennial Edition Model adding to the heritage of horsepower on display. To commemorate its milestone anniversary, Maserati has created unique designs of its top performance models GranTurismo MC Centennial Edition and GranTurismo Convertible MC Centennial Edition.
2. FORMULA 1-INSPIRED: Auto Gallery and McLaren Beverly Hills are the official licensed dealer for the McLaren MP4-12C in Los Angeles and offer the groundbreaking 12C coupe, the new 12C Spider as well as pre-owned exotic cars from other marques.
3. HELLO NEIGHBOR: Come and meet your newest automotive neighbor – Infiniti of Beverly Hills. Discover the 2014 lineup of award winning high- performance luxury vehicles.


4. CALIFORNIA, HERE I COME: Following a highly successful debut that set a new standard for the market, excitement is mounting for Auctions America’s 2014 California sale August 1 and 2 in Burbank, California. This year’s auction will present 400 collector cars handpicked for Southern California’s unique car culture. See some of the highlights of consignments from this year’s auction.
5. ORIGINAL HORSE POWER: This year’s show opens with an appearance by the famed Wells Fargo Wagon. Before the City was founded in 1914, J. P. Bruso moved to town in 1909 and operated the Wells Fargo express office out of his grocery store and butcher shop continuing to offer customers quick and reliable express shipments of money, goods, and valuables until 1918.
6. PONY RIDE: A rare public appearance of the new 2015 Mustang celebrating the brand’s 50th Anniversary in 2014. Introduced at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the original Mustang helped define automotive youth culture in America and was so eagerly embraced by the buying public that it quickly shattered all sales records.
7. BEVERLY HILLS SPEEDWAY: This year’s Concours pays tribute to the Beverly Hills Speedway, also known as the Los Angeles Speedway, a 1.25-mile track for auto and motor cycle racing that attracted such racing legends as Barney Oldfield and Indianapolis 500 winner Gaston Chevrolet. Up to 70,000 spectators could attend races where world speed records were set and broken at the time. It was built in 1919 and operated until 1924 on 275 acres of land that includes the site of today’s Beverly Wilshire Hotel just outside the “Golden Triangle.” Make sure to see film footage of actual races on the track by noted Beverly Hills historian and author Robert Anderson.
8. PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ: A holdover from the horse and carriage era, the 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Town Car by Hooper was originally owned by Fred Astaire until 1950. Astaire used the car in London, New York and Los Angeles. This ultra-formal vehicle has a sumptuously appointed rear compartment complete with green brocade upholstery, silver plated fittings, his and hers English Silver vanity sets, silver bud vases, and two walking sticks, one fitted with a telescope, the other with opera glasses and a custom Louis Vuitton trunk on the back. Passengers could communicate with the chauffeur through a speaking tube.
9. BLOND BOMBSHELL: American film actress and sex symbol Jean Harlow owned this 1932 Packard 6-45 Dietrich Dual Cowl Phaeton. After being signed by director Howard Hughes, Harlow became a leading lady for MGM, starring in a string of hit films with frequent co-stars Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. She was one of the biggest movie stars in the world by the late 1930s.
10. THE AVIATOR: One of the wealthiest people in the world, Howard Hughes was a maverick film producer, investor, engineer, philanthropist and aviator. Hughes was involved in a near-fatal aircraft accident on July 7, 1946, in Beverly Hills while performing the first flight of the prototype XF-11. Hughes purchased this 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and later, the car was owned by Gloria Swanson. Hughes also purchased this 1955 Packard Caribbean for wife and actress Jean Peters.
11. MUSCLE REVOLUTION: Watch-and-jewelry designer David Yurman has teamed up with muscle-car visionary Carroll Shelby, creator of the legendary Shelby Cobra, to create Yurman’s first limited-edition sports watch, the David Yurman Revolution Shelby 1000. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Shelby American brand, founded by Carroll Shelby, which produced the Cobra and other high-performance sports cars that tore up the worldwide auto racing circuit in the 1960s and early 1970s. See the new Shelby 1000 Mustang in front of David Yurman – the most powerful car to date – then check out the limited edition Revolution Shelby 1000 in store.
12. SIMPLY THE BEST: O’Gara Coach Company is an award-winning new and pre-owned retailer for Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Stop by and see what the top automotive luxury brands have to offer for 2014.
13. NEVER MET A FIREMAN I DIDN’T LIKE: The 1928 Ahrens-Fox Fire Truck served the City of Beverly Hills for several decades and is owned by the Beverly Hills Fire Department. In 1925, actor, author and humorist Will Rogers declined to be nominated as Governor of Oklahoma, instead opting to become the first and only Honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills.


14. BEVERLY HILLS SPIRIT: Assouline Publishing presents their newest book “In the Spirit of Beverly Hills.” Meet the author and have your book signed by former Los Angeles Magazine editor Nancie Clare from 1 pm to 4 pm.
15. THE COLOR OF SUNSHINE: In 1967 Fred Hayman, “the father of Rodeo Drive,” opened Giorgio Beverly Hills, the street’s first high-end boutique with its signature yellow and white stripes. Mr. Hayman delivered purchases to customers via his yellow and black 1953 Silver Wraith Rolls-Royce and told the world that his favorite city was “the color of sunshine.” In 1976, Bijan opened a showroom on Rodeo, which helped to solidify Rodeo Drive’s reputation as a luxury shopping destination. Bijan touted his Rodeo Drive location as “the most expensive in the world” and parked his 2008 Bugatti Veyron “Bijan Edition” in front of the store daily – a tradition that continues to this day and now has its own special parking meter. Both Hayman and Bijan went on to create international best-selling fragrances “bottling Beverly Hills.” No surprise, but bright yellow is their favorite color.
16. SWIMMING POOLS. MOVIE STARS: “They loaded up the truck and moved to Bever-lee. Hills, that is.” See an authentic replica of the jalopy from the hit 60’s TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
17. TV & FILM: The cars from HBO’s “Entourage,” “Gumball Rally” and the 1951 Academy Award Best Picture “An American in Paris” make a rare appearance. Of note, “American in Paris” star Gene Kelly lived on Rodeo Drive for more than 40 years and film composers George and Ira Gershwin lived on Roxbury Drive for many years.
18. TRANSFORM: Los Angeles-based artists Scrap Sculptures present ultimate pieces of art comprised of recycled scrap metal from car and motorcycle parts. Stop by and see their life-size sculptures of Megatron, Optimus Prime and BumbleBee. And, don’t miss the fourth installment of the robo-movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” opening June 27.
19. THE FUTURE: Take a peek into the future with URB-E,the world’s most compact electric personal transportation. Folded, it fits next to you on a train or bus and can reach 15 mph with a 20-mile range on a single charge. It is the winner of the 2014 Consumer Electronic Show’s “Best Personal Vehicle” Award and has been featured on “The Today Show.”
20. PETERSEN MUSEUM: Since its inception in 1994, the Petersen Automotive Museum has been regarded as the focus of automotive enthusiasm on the West Coast. Their current exhibit is “Mustangs Forever: 50 Years of a Legend.”
21. BLACK STALLION: There’s a reason the black stallion serves as the centerpiece to the logo of Ferrari: Horse Power. Ferrari USA and Ferrari Beverly Hills present the newest line-up from their collection that includes the Ferrari FF, California, 458 Italia, 458 Spider, F12, 599 and F430.

For more information, check out their website:  Rodeo Drove Concours

[source: The Donahue Group – Rodeo Drive Concours]

Coronado Speed Festival & Sports Car Digest

Robert Ryan's 1968 McLaren M6B.

Robert Ryan’s 1968 McLaren M6B.  (image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Phew!  It’s been a bit of a struggle to get back into the swing of things, after eight days of fun, family, exploring, eating and a little bit of work on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.  Once home and after updating client’s websites, addressing a mailbox full of e-mails and going through images in Lightroom, I gave myself some time to post something exciting here on my blog, that happened while I was away.  I had my images from the 2013 Coronado Speed Festival published on the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts – Sports Car Digest!


Alex Curtis' 1955 Mercedes 300 SL during Sunday practice.

Alex Curtis’ 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.  (image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Before I left for the weekend in Coronado, I received a phone call from friend and f/8 Motorsports Photography Workshops instructor, Dennis Gray, who asked for some images of the event for the HMSA annual (Historic Motor Sports Association, is the sanctioning organization for the Coronado Speed Festival).  They were requesting an assortment of track and “pit candy’ shots of the weekend to be included with the other HMSA events.  I happily agreed and before we ended the call, he also asked if I could cover the event for him as he had another event to photograph and could not make it to San Diego.   It would be for Sports Car Digest and would consist of about 120 images and a report of the weekend’s activities.  To say that I was excited and honored about covering this event for Dennis, a photographer with his experience, credentials and reputation, is, well… an understatement.  It was such a great moment for me! To have my abilities as a motorsports photographer, validated by Dennis with this request, well I can tell you I had a 48 hour grin on my face.  I greatly appreciate that he had the confidence in my abilities to ask me to cover the event for him.

Thank you, Dennis!

It was a great event and weekend of vintage racing with the various race classes that participated, as well as an open paddock where the cars and drivers prepared for their track time. With all the vendors, food stands, car club corrals and several military vehicles and aircraft on display, fans their families and friends, had a lot to see, eat and experience throughout the warm and sunny Southern California race weekend.

The track was a bit difficult to use as a back drop for all the fantastic cars that participated during the weekend, but I found several good spots around the track to capture them.  The morning light offered some beautiful lighting as is evident in the image above of the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.  The mid-day sun wasn’t too bad for capturing images as seen by the image below of the beautiful, young lady and Fred Lacorte’s 1950 Oldsmobile “88” Convertible.



Fred Lacorte’s 1950 Oldsmobile “88” Convertible is a girl magnet.  (image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Once I returned from San Diego, I was on a tight deadline because of the trip to Oahu at the end of the week.  I post processed, organized, captioned and sent the images and report to Dennis, Jamie Doyle – founder & editor of Sports Car Digest and Bill Wagenblatt at Track Thoughts for the HMSA annual.

I was in contact with Jamie and Dennis during that weekend, about the possibility of having the images published on SCD (although Dennis had asked me to cover the event, it was up to both Dennis and Jamie to approve them for publishing) and when they would be on the site.

On October 2nd, I woke up to another beautiful morning in Oahu and checked the Sports Car Digest website and found the image of Robert Ryan’s 1968 McLaren M6B and the following copy…

Report and photos by Victor Varela The Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, played host once again to the thundering symphony of vintage race cars at the … Read Full Story

Wow!  What a great feeling it was to see one of my images on the front page of Sports Car Digest!

I have to thank Jamie for the opportunity and the prestige of having my images and report on his fantastic website.  Hopefully, I can make future contributions to Sports Car Digest and maybe other online and printed publications in the very near future.

Fell free to click the image or link below to see my image gallery & report.

Read Full Story


SCD Coronado wp



HMSA Le Sommet des Légendes, Mont-Tremblant, Canada 2013

1953 Maserati 250F

When I attended the F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop this past March, the workshop participants were given the opportunity to win hotel accommodations for the Sommet des Légendes event in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, for the weekend of July 11-14, 2013.   I was pleasantly surprised to find out in June, that the images I submitted had won me the Mont-Tremblant accommodations!

Once again, I was given the chance to cover a motorsport event as a credentialed photographer for the Historic Motor Sport Association (HMSA) event that was held at the beautiful, 2.65 mile, Circuit Mont-Tremblant road course.

1967 Lola T70

Le Sommet des Légendes weekend, celebrated the thunderous cars and great drivers from the late 60’s to early 70’s Can-Am Championship. The event also featured a wonderfully group of historic Bugatti automobiles, including several Grand Prix race cars as well as Classic Monoposto, IMSA GT, Trans Am, Sports Prototypes and F1, among others.

Among the eye-catching variety of racing beauties were the ex-John Surtees 1967 Lola T70, owned and driven by Robert Blains (this car won the first Can-Am race here back in 1966 with Surtees at the wheel); a 1956 Maserati 250S; 1978 BMW M1 Procar; 1976 Lotus Type 77; 1925 Bugatti Type 35; 1967 Porsche 910; 1968 McLaren M6B; 2005 Audi R8 LMP1; 2006 Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 and one of my personal favorites of the weekend, Peter Gidding’s 1953 Maserati 250F.

1953 Maserati 250F

I had a great time roaming the North Loop section of the race track, looking for the best angles and lines of sight that I could get during the changing light of the day.  Here again, I used my experience going through the F8 workshop and the last event I attended in June at Laguna Seca, to focus and prepare on where I wanted to capture images on the track and the best time of day to take them from those locations.  I continued to give myself a set of camera parameters to use and stay consistent with the shutter speeds, F/stops and ISO range I wanted to use throughout the day.

1956 Maserati 250S

I was fortunate to run into race car driver and owner, Rick Knoop on several occasion throughout the weekend.  So much so, that I started calling him my shadow!  Rick was a real sport and he readily shared several stories of his father, himself and his passion for racing and race cars.  He brought and drove the light-blue, 1972 McLaren M8F, taking 3rd place over the weekend in his class.  He explained that this particular McLaren had raced in the 1973 Can-Am season by the Commander Motor Homes team and was driven by Danny Hopkins.  It’s history included a best, 5th place finish at Mid-Ohio before the car was wrecked at Edmonton.  His father, Fred Knoop, bought the M8F and raced it in vintage events.  The car has been rebuilt by Rick and his partner and he races it in the same tradition as his father did.

1972 McLaren M8F

I also had the great pleasure and honor to be invited by my friends at F8 (Llew, Dennis & Jeff), to have dinner with them and racing legend, George Follmer.  The 1972 Can-Am series champion was the Grand Marshall of this year’s Le Sommet des Légendes. He regaled us with his great stories and anecdotes throughout the evening, sharing with us his runs at Le Mans, Sebring and the Indy 500, as well as the various race cars he has driven – including the 1974 Shadow DN4 that was present at this weekend’s event..  A truly wonderful highlight to cap a great time in Mont-Temblant!

Overall, a fantastic weekend, although a bit warm and muggy, a stunning race track that is Circuit Mont-Tremblant, awesome race cars and the great new friends I met and enjoyed spending time with.

You can view more of the images I captured during the the HMSA – Le Sommet des Légendes weekend at Mont-Tremblant here: Flickr Gallery.



If you would like information on how to attend one of the motor sport workshops, click the following link: F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop

(images © 2013 Victor Varela)

HMSA Legends of Motorsports – Laguna Seca 2013




As part of the F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop I attended last March, I was given the opportunity to cover the The Legends of Motorsports Powered by Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA), as a credentialed photographer.   The historic car races were held June 15-16, 2013 at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California.

The inaugural 2013 HMSA Legends of Motorsports Laguna Seca, celebrated the 50th anniversary of McLaren and it’s great racing heritage.  Among the beautiful and historic entries that Bruce McLaren put his name on were the 1969 McLaren M10A F5000; 1971 McLaren M8E Can-Am; 1971 McLaren M8E/F Can-Am; 1972 McLaren M8F Can-Am; 1972 McLaren M8FP Can-Am; 1968 McLaren M6B Can-Am; 1965 McLaren M1A and 1966 McLaren M1B.




Also making the field on this beautiful race at Laguna Seca included Nicholas Colyvas’ 1974 Tyrrell 007 F1; Chuck Parson’s 1976 Lola T332C; Jonathan Feiber’s 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage; Al Arciero’s 1958 Lotus Eleven and 1959 Lister Chevrolet Knobbly; Bob Roth’s 1963 Genie Sports; a great selection of Alfa Romeo Coupes and Sedans; Formula 5000 and IMSA GTO machines; among those who attended this event.  Can-Am, Formula Atlantic, Formula 5000 and IMSA GTO race cars had special classes to compete in.


Ford Hart power plant.


I had a wonderful time roaming the entire race track, looking for the best angles and perspectives that I could get during the changing light of the day.  Having the experience of going through the F8 workshop, I was well prepared to use the lessons, techniques and advice that instructors Llew Kinst, Dennis Gray and Jeffrey Dahl provided me with.  I had the focus and preparation to know where I wanted to capture images on the track and the best time of day to take them from those locations.  I gave myself a set of camera parameters from which to shoot at so I could try and stay consistent with the shutter speeds, F/stops and ISO range I wanted to use throughout the day.

Having the credentials and the access to the areas around the track which are normally granted only to the motor sport media, gives you an appreciation of the responsibility one must take when photographing race cars as they speed past you at only a few feet away!  Overall, a fantastic weekend of beautiful weather, an always wonderful race track, awesome race cars and the great new friends I have with Llew, Dennis, Jeff and the photographers who attend the F8 workshops.




You can view the images I captured during the 2013 HMSA Legends of Motorsports weekend at Laguna Seca here:  Flickr Gallery.



If you would like information on how to attend one of the motor sport workshops, click the following link: F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop

(images © 2013 Victor Varela)