The fourth annual Greystone Mansion Concours d'Elegance, was held in early May at the former Doheny Estate in Beverly Hills. Greystone focuses on automobiles prior to 1975 as well as a full field of motorcycles. Classes featured pre-and post-World War II groupings. A special Centennial Class featured 1914 or earlier cars. Several special tributes also took place celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Corvette, the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Porsche 911 RS and the 50th anniversary of the 911.
Not one to miss out on an opportunity to attend a show in my dad's pristine E-Type, we soon realized that many of the cars present rivaled Pebble Beach quality and going home with some hardware would be tougher than we thought. Out of the four or so E-Types present, we had one of the top two, but our entry had to take on more than just E-Types in the British sports car class. Soon the cars began to pull into what would be their resting place for the remainder of the show, and the small landing above the Greystone Mansion was filling with world class automobiles.
Car: 1973 Porsche 911 RS Touring
Owner: Bruce Meyer
Considering one of Greystone's featured cars was the Porsche 911 RS, we had to speak with the owner of one.
Meyer's RS is one of the 'Touring' models and is true Touring RS, and no lightweight parts found their way into/onto the car. According to Meyer, the history of his particular RS isn't all that special, but it's a favorite of his and an incredible car to drive.
Car: 1967 Porsche 911S
Owner: William Kling
A beautiful example of a '67 911S. The owner says the car is kept fairly original while being restored. The exterior is a subtle Sand Beige and the interior features houndstooth upholstery. Even from the show car looks of this 911S, Kling claims his cars are meant to be driven rather than kept hidden away. Just the way we like them.
Car: 1972 Dino Ferrari
Owner: Sarkis Kassardjian
An especially curvy Ferrari took center stage at the show, literally. It was proudly parked in between two rows of other significant Italian sports cars. But this is no ordinary Dino (as if any really are), because this particular car has a very special history. Kassardjian's Dino is one of two European GTS (spider) chairs and flares cars produced to ever make it out of the factory.
Kassardjian explained that this was his dream Ferrari and he considers the Dino to be 'the Ferrari that never grew up to be a real Ferrari.' He also thinks of the Dino to be the bridge between the old and new world Ferraris. As you can see by looking at this gorgeous red Dino, the European lines suit the car so well, including the smaller side marker lights and bumpers, making for better aerodynamics and performance than U.S. versions.
Car: 1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4
Owner: Rick Principe
Stunning in silver, this 275 has had a colorful life. This Ferrari has gone through several paint changes in addition to several owner changes in varying countries. The final product is this brilliant silver with Borrani wire wheels. Considering only 330 of these beauties were ever produced, we felt pretty lucky to see one in this condition.
Car: 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Owner: Mossimo Gianelli
This flawless black on black-on-black 300SL was brought in by an especially well dressed man. We hadn't realized just who he was until we heard whispers of the name 'Mossimo,' an incredibly successful fashion designer.
Looking especially stealthy, this '58 Benz belonged to a friend of Gianelli's and he actually helped restore the car. When his friend moved he wanted to get rid of the car and that's when Gianelli jumped in. This, being his second 300SL, Gianelli considers this to be one of the most beautiful cars ever created. Originally a white SL, he decided to go with the sleek trio of black look. Going by personal preference, Gianelli choose to have his favorite color scheme on his 300SL rather than stick to the previous white. Owning the car for about fifteen years, the process of turning it into its beautiful current state was a several-year job. A big Mercedes enthusiast, Gianelli has a few more in his collection of rolling sculpture.
Car: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Owner: Bill Feldhorn
In an interesting and especially attractive color combination, this green-on-green SL caught our attention. The two-owner car became Feldhorn's only a couple of years ago. But this pristine SL didn't only catch our attention, because it won 'best of class' in the Mercedes group.
Car: 1958 Fiat 1200 TV Spider
Owner: Ralph Moceo
This Fiat stood out from the crowd with its fun color scheme and wonderful design.
In the Italian colors of green, white, and red, this beautiful Fiat was getting some well-deserved attention. As you may be able to recognize from its alluring lines, this car was Pininfarina designed. Something interesting you won't see on many other cars is the swiveling seat (shown above), making for easy access in and out of the car. Purchasing the car on eBay, Moceo restored the 1200 and has had it for about two years. Like most car collectors will tell you, they owned the car at one point, sold it and looked for another ever since. This story rings true to Moceo and that's why this Fiat is in his care.
Car: 1963 Austin-Healey 3000 MKII
Owner: Gary Gordon
Wearing one of the best color combinations on an Austin-Healey, this MKII was a truly exceptional example. The car is almost restored with the exception of some minor aesthetic fixes. This was Gordon's first time at the show, we are sure it won't be his last.
Car: 1950 Jaguar XK120R
Owner: Malcolm Schneer
Across from the E-Type was a beautiful example of an XK120R with the classic leather bonnet strap. Used as a rally car, this XK120R isn't one to sit still for long, but sure looks good doing it.
Schneer owns this curvy XK120R, a very early version. Having the car for about eight years, he was lucky enough to purchase it essentially in the condition it is now. The previous owner loved racing, but never actually took the car to the track. But when he was to retire he wanted to turn the car into a competitive racecar and did so. It wasn't just turned into what he thought a racecar should be, rather he actually was in contact with Jaguar to find the accurate parts (using them to check for complete accuracy). Given it's a racecar, Schneer says it's not the easiest car to drive on the freeway. He has, though, updated the car enough to make it functional by adding disc brakes on the front, Weber carburetors, and a five-speed gear box.
Car: 1959 MGA
Owner: Mark Sutter
We all hear the story of wanting a car since childhood. Sutter had his eye on an MGA since elementary school and finally achieved that dream. Only needing to put a little work into the car, the MGA is now up to his standards and ready to show.
Car: 1937 Jaguar SS100
Owner: Jeff Lotman
We wanted to find a car prior to 1950, and although there were several to choose from this one caught our eye, this flawless black SS100. But this car hasn't just had a life of sitting pretty; this Jag has a racing history as well.
This particular SS100 was raced from 1937-39, making the car even more rare. Proving its authenticity are the photos shown above of the actual car racing. Lotman has been 'paying the car off,' as he says, for over a year and a half, but has really only owned it since the Friday before the show. Future plans for the car include racing it up at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion this summer, continuing its racing heritage in the 21st Century. It turns out that we were not the only ones to think this car was spectacular, because it won 'best of class' in the European Classics category.