Concorso Storms Desert


Flickr slideshow 80+ photos (click photo above)

Palm Desert CA, Mar 30 2014 - The Palm Springs region attracts colorful people from around the world, as residents, tourists and winter homers. The all year round good weather enables a lifestyle that isn’t possible where they came from. This is Hollywood’s playground, and well-to-do follows royalty. It’s a well-heeled place in more ways than one – fine shopping and finer golfing most obvious to start the mental healing.

The night lights bustle with activity, and it seems everyone has a classic car to run the strip. For a quarter century Palm Springs has been a bi-annual stop for thousands of classic cars trading hands at McCormick's Collector Car Auctions. Desert Classic Concours d"Elegance has been a local fixture going on 7 years.

All this makes a perfect place for a big automotive lifestyle event. Desert Concorso was designed to fit this glove. Created by the same dedicated folks that put on the Concorso Italiano at Monterey each year (for decades now), the first annual Desert Concorso is the beginning of another long term destiny event. Concorso Italiano has grown immensely from a small gathering of Maserati long ago. It’s fitting that in Maserati’s 100th birthday, Concorso grows another limb in the desert.

It is noteworthy that one country can provide enough automotive subject matter to capture thousands of people for a day. Italian cars might be that country’s greatest contribution to the world, not to slight a lot of other cultural traits. There are other world class cars at Concorso – the newest McLaren (sold same day), Corvettes, Mercedes, Porsche – but Italiano rules in red, white, black, green, orange, yellow etc.

Cars aside, the hosts of the show know a thing or two about cars and provided commentary on the field. Keith Martin, successful publisher of Sports Car Market and American Car Collector (and TV host) joined local native Donald Osborne - automotive appraiser and television personality, and Michael Lynch – automotive author and historian; all guided the stories of the day.

Bill Krause in a 1957 Maserati 450S Sports Racer


One of the best scenes was legendary race car driver and honorary judge Bill Krause climbing into a 1957 Maserati 450S Sports Racer. Bill did not race in this car – he could tell the steering was different, but this car (the last one of ten) has known history and matching numbers engine. A rather nice Concorso model shone clothing by SheShe (Palm Desert); reflected on other exotics like Perana Z-One, Pagani Huayra, McLaren 650S and the Petersen’s Plymouth Explorer Ghia.

Palm Desert welcomed the inaugural Concorso with huge morning winds uplifting a massive dust storm. That well may have been from the flock of Italian cars creating a disturbance in the lower atmosphere. Car protectors cautiously feathered away the magnetic layer of sandy particles by afternoon, but kept a nervous but cheery Italian disposition. The great winds were surely a sign that something big and awesome just blew into town. Desert Concorso will return in a year – likely without the grit but with the same determination.

by Randy Berg (click any photo for a Flickr slideshow of Desert Concorso 2014)

1967 Maserati Mistral Spyder

1964 Triumph Spitfire

1960 Fiat 1100

1949 Freccia d'Oro: Entered by Symbolic Motors

1972 De Tomaso Pantera

1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider

by Randy Berg

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