LA QUINTA, CA, November 15, 2010 – Hailed by by Der Spiegel magazine as one of the “Top Ten Classic Car Shows in the World,” theDesert Classic Concours dElegance returns in 2011 with the theme “100 Years of Indy Cars,” marking the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. The 4th Annual Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance, presented by La Quinta Resort & Club, will be held Sunday, February 27 in La Quinta, California. More than 200 rarely seen classic cars from museums and private collections will be exhibited for thousands of spectators.
Cadillac: The first Cadillac to bear the Eldorado name was in 1953 – it was considered the ultimate luxury car in America, costing five times as much as a Chevrolet with a price tag exceeding $7,000. The 1959 Cadillac sums up America in the ‘50s. It was more than a car, it was a styling icon built during an era when America was obsessed with rockets and space travel. By the mid ‘60s, finless rear wings appeared on longer and lower Cadillac’s. In 1967 Cadillac broke away from the traditional rear wheel-drive model and launched the front wheel-drive Eldorado Coupé. The Cadillac models built for 30 years after WWII were considered the standard of North American luxury.
Triumph: The Triumph TR2 was a brave attempt at building a sports car specifically for the North American market by a company that was almost unknown in North America, with no proven track record. The TR tale played out like a fairy story with a full range of TR models, from the TR2 up to the TR8. Many consider the TR6 as the last of the man’s man sports cars to come out of the UK. They were reminiscent of the Austin-Healy 3000, a bit of a handful to drive with a magnificent throaty exhaust note from the straight six-cylinder engine. The TR7 & TR8 that followed did not have such a loyal following.
Mercedes-Benz: The unmistakable three-pointed star logo dates back to 1910 when the company was know as Daimler-Benz. The star symbolizes Daimler’s ambition of universal motorization – “On land, on water and in the air”. The 300SL Gullwing is the most sought-after model, with less than 1,400 Coupés and 1,838 roadsters built between 1954 and 1963. The 190 SL was the replacement model sports car – it looked like a smaller version of the 300SL. The most popular models recognized today would be the 230, 250 and 280SL “Pagoda” cars built between 1963 and 1971. They were referred to as the pagoda cars because of the concave shape of their removable hard top roof.
Chevrolet Corvette: Returning GI’s were importing Jaguars, MGs and Alfa Romeos when they returned from WWII. Harley Earl convinced the board at General Motors that it was time to build a two-seat sports car. That sports car was the Corvette; today it is known as America ’s native sports car. The first Corvettes off the production line were all painted white and fitted with a red interior, this was done to keep the cost down to $3,000. The Corvette came alive when a Soviet émigré, Zora Arkus-Duntov, took a 283-cid V-8 engine and a four-speed transmission and dropped it into the Corvette, making it a serious competitor to the Ford Thunderbird.
A Multitude of Hot Rods: The original Hot Rod was an older car, typically a Model T, Model A, and the ultimate flat-head V-8 Model B. These cars were modified to reduce the weight and improve aerodynamics. During the 1950s, the term Hot Rod was sometimes used in a derogatory context, blanketing any car that did not fit into the mainstream. The lure of the Hot Rod began to wane as the major manufacturers offered cars from the muscle car era. The 1973 oil crisis also had an impact on the automobile. The performance car was out, replaced with safety and fuel efficiency. All of a sudden, the Hot Rod was back in vogue .