Biltmore hosts Arizona Concours d’Elegance

Above: Wright and wife Olgivanna wearing sporty fabric helmets and goggles, in a photo taken in 1948 in Phoenix) Interior Design | 7 Jan, 2015 |

The personal roadster of Frank Lloyd Wright, famous creations celebrating the 100-year history of a famous Italian design house, champion race car drivers, special feature events with racing legends and much more will all be part of an expanded second annual Arizona Concours d”Elegance on January 11, 2015. The historic Arizona Biltmore will again be the host hotel for this premier automotive event.

A highlight of the show at the iconic resort will be an exhibition of The Cars of Frank Lloyd Wright, and among the vehicles will be his 1937 AC 16/80 “Ace” roadster (pictured above). Wright was not only one of America’s most celebrated architects but also a dedicated car enthusiast who is being featured in tribute to his influence on the landmark design of the Arizona Biltmore.

The Cars of Carrozzeria Ghia, honoring the 100th anniversary of the famous Turin design house, will feature the exotic 1954 Fiat 8V, a unique and spectacular example of the coachbuilder’s artistry with an elegant coupé body unlike any other, and two entries by world-famous Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles: a custom-bodied 1953 Cadillac once owned by Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth and the exquisite 1954 Plymouth Explorer dream car.

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.57.10 AMA special entry in the Pierce-Arrow class will be one of the most elegant and evocative automobiles of the 1930s classic era, a rare 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow. Only five were built and this is one of three known survivors. Introduced at the New York Auto show in January 1933, its revolutionary appearance stunned the crowd with what seemed to be an exciting vision of the future.

One of the greatest champions of auto racing, Sir Stirling Moss OBE, will be an honored guest at the second annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance. The British racing legend, who competed in vintage racing events until just a few years ago, is an active octogenarian who travels the world as an acclaimed diplomat for historic motorsports.

Two new featured events this year will be held the day before the Concours, January 10, in the Arizona Biltmore’s beautiful Grand Ballroom:

– The Phoenix Automotive Press Association (PAPA) will present a panel of collector-car experts who will discuss the trends of today’s market and what cars will get the most attention at the 2015 RM Auction at the Arizona Biltmore, which draws thousands of collectors and the most exotic and sought after supercars each year. The Arizona Concours d’Elegance will kick off the famous collector-car auction week in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. The Biltmore marks its 16th consecutive year of auction week involvement in 2015.

– At a special panel discussion entitled Elegance at Speed, three top designers will speak about race car design over the decades, including F1 and Indy Cars designer Nigel Bennett; Peter Brock, best-known for designing the Cobra Daytona Coupe for Carroll Shelby’s team to compete with at Le Mans; and Kip Wasenko, former director of design for GM’s Cadillac Division and designer of Cadillac’s Le Mans Prototype (LMP). The forum will be moderated by former race driver Lyn St. James, the second woman to race the Indianapolis 500 and the first selected rookie of the year in 1992.

Ninety rare and exceptional automobiles are entered in the 2015 Arizona Concours d’ Elegance and will be displayed on the verdant and manicured inner lawns of the legendary Arizona Biltmore. In addition to The Cars of Frank Lloyd Wright, The Cars of Carrozzeria Ghia and Pierce-Arrow, pre-1965 competition Ferraris also will be a specially featured class. Judges will select winners in 17 concours classes as well as a Best of Show. Other special awards will also be presented. Well-known veteran Concours judge John Carlson will again serve as chief judge. Keith Martin, publisher of Sports Car Market and American Car Collector magazines, will return as the event’s host and emcee, joined in 2015 by Donald Osborne, veteran collector-car writer and commentator.

The second annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance again will be a charity event benefitting Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the national organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. www.wishaz.org.

Concours d’Elegance tickets are $75. Tickets may be purchased at the event or in advance at www.ArizonaConcours.com.

For more information and hotel reservations, call the Arizona Biltmore at 800-950-0086 or 602-955-6600, or book online at www.arizonabiltmore.com.

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