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Arizona Concours prized feature cars includes famed coachbuilt street rod

January 26, 2024

Arizona Concours prized feature cars includes famed coachbuilt street rod

The Mulholland Speedster won it all, including America’s Most Beautiful Roadster

Superb vehicles span the automotive timeline for January 21 show at Scottsdale Civic Center

A coachbuilt street rod dubbed the Mulholland Speedster was the undisputed custom-car champion of 2017, when the stunning creation won the top prize at just about every major car-show nationwide, starting off with America’s Most Beautiful Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show in California.

The retractable-roof convertible, built by Troy Ladd of Hollywood Street Rods from a design by Eric Black to emulate the great Packards of the late 1930s, racked up more prestigious prizes throughout that year. Among them: World’s Most Beautiful Custom, the Legend Cup, the Goodguys’ Street Rod d'Elegance, and the Hot August Nights Grand Champion.

On January 21, 2024, the Mulholland Speedster will compete for awards at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, held for the second year at The Scottsdale Civic Center, along with 100 superb automobiles that will be displayed for the public to enjoy.

The Arizona Concours, a signature event during January in Arizona formerly held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, is partnered with Scottsdale Arts to present this exceptional show and competition in the luxury atmosphere of a stylish garden party. The diverse show cars are carefully curated to impress not only car lovers but anyone who appreciates the beauty of expressive design.

The Mulholland Speedster, considered to be a 1936 Packard despite its totally bespoke construction, remains a rockstar among custom cars. Owned by Bruce Wanta of Seattle, who originally commissioned the build, the unique custom is entered in Class 14: Personal Styling/Design Interpretations – Modern Interpretations of Classic Customs.

The Speedster is an impeccable piece of rolling artwork that fits right in with the Arizona Concours theme for 2024: The Art of Automotive Design.

Here are a couple of other magnificent machines that also uphold the Concours design theme, each from opposite ends of the collector car timeline: a 1912 de Dion-Bouton DM Roadster, an elegant car powered by the earliest production V8 engine, and a 1997 McLaren F1, a tour de force of high-performance technology and design.

1912 de Dion-Bouton DM Roadster

The handsome roadster is an early piece of automotive technology that stretches into modern times. That’s because this French automaker introduced the world’s first production V8 engine, which powers this car.

De Dion-Bouton was a pioneering company reaching back to the late 19th Century with development of workable internal-combustion engines and innovative running gear. By 1900, it was the largest automobile company in the world, as well as supplying thousands of its engines to other fledgling producers of cars and motorcycles.

This car with the DM model’s serial No. 1, is one of the company’s first series-production passenger cars powered by a V8 engine. With a displacement of 6.1 liters, the L-head V8 produced 26 horsepower, a heady output in those days.

The V8 engine was a revolutionary development, renowned for its smooth delivery of power and prodigious low-end torque. The DM was akin at the time to today’s Ferrari or Lamborghini supercars. Soon, other automakers in Europe and the US were producing their own V8-powered luxury cars.

1997 McLaren F1 

The British automaker and racing team built the F1 as a world beater, created from exotic materials and innovative design, and able to reach speeds unheard of in a road-going car. More than a quarter century after its introduction, the F1 is still considered among the greatest supercars ever built.

The F1 was the first production car with a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, helping to keep the weight down to just 2,500 pounds while motivated by a 618-horsepower V12 engine from BMW. Other special materials included magnesium, titanium, Kevlar and even gold. Production ran from 1992 through 1998, with just 106 cars manufactured.

The luxury interior features a central driver position with two passenger seats further back and on either side, creating an unprecedented level of racecar-like control. The central driver’s seat was positioned just ahead of both the fuel tank and the V12 engine.

Designer Gordon Murray’s aim with the seating layout was to create the “ultimate” road car, and many reviewers before and since declared that the goal had been achieved.

Tickets for the Arizona Concours d’Elegance are available online at ArizonaConcours.org and ScottsdaleArts.org, and at the box office in the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The main beneficiaries of Arizona Concours are Scottsdale Arts, benefitting local artists and art programs, and Make-A-Wish Arizona, which has a longstanding relationship with the Concours.

General Admission tickets for the Arizona Concours are $100. Concours Plus tickets with additional features are priced at $125 – these allow admission to a lecture series featuring prominent automotive designers and concours judges to be held on Saturday, January 20, and early “Dawn Patrol” admission to the Concours starting at 7 am on Sunday, January 21.

The Arizona Concours is still seeking volunteers, particularly in areas involved with the show cars such as the garage, dawn patrol, traffic coordinators and trailer unloading. A major advantage of volunteering is free admission to the Concours.

If interested, visit this link to view volunteer openings and to sign up for Friday, Saturday or Sunday positions: Volunteer Signup.

For more information about the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, visit ArizonaConcours.org.

To access high-resolution photos, visit our photo archive.

Media contact: Bob Golfen, [email protected].

About the Arizona Concours d’Elegance

A curated and judged exhibition of the world’s finest collector cars, the Arizona Concours d’Elegance is a celebration of automotive design held every January. A point of pride for the region’s car community, the non-profit event supports the arts and local artists, and Make-A-Wish Arizona.

About Scottsdale Arts

Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a nationally recognized, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches —Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning &Innovation — serving more than 600,000 participants annually.


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