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La Dolce Vita On Rodeo Drive: The Art Of Italian Motoring

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Italian Exotics aren't exactly uncommon in Beverly Hills. But when three blocks of the most famous shopping street on the West Coast are closed to traffic to showcase them, it's an event.

This past Father's Day, the Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance celebrated "The Art of Italian Motoring" by featuring Italian designed cars ranging from pre-war touring cars to modern exotics and just about everything in between.

On the southern end of the street, Fiat was showcasing the new 500, with both the coupe and the cabriolet being shown in all available colors as well as an opportunity to take a short test drive around Beverly Hills' "Golden Triangle." The original Cinquecento was there, along with a gelato and espresso bar and a couple of Fiat 500-shaped planters on Via Rodeo. 

Fiat was also well represented in the two northern blocks, with everything from rare cars such as the 710 Zagato and the best-of-show winning 8V Supersonic to the more plebeian 850 and 124 Spider and X1/9.  Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ferrari were there with spectacular examples; Ferrari displaying the new FF and of course the California at the north end of the show by "Little" Santa Monica Boulevard.

Other exotics were there, including the late designer Bijan Pakzad's personal Bugatti Veyron, parked in front of his eponymous boutique.  There was a rare Cisitalia, Dual-Ghias, two Cadillac Fleetwood Broughams representing the two years (1959 and 1960) where they were produced by Pininfarina in Italy and even a Venetian Gondola, all within arms length of the crowd. 

Vintage bikes, bubble cars and customs rounded out the show, which is held every year on Father's day and has been named by Frommer's as one of the "300 Unmissable Events & Festivals Around the World" and is attended by a crowd estimated at 30,000 over the Sunday.

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