1915 Detroit Electric, one of many alternative-fuel cars on dislplay
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA (June 5, 2009) – The Rodeo Drive Committee, in conjunction with the City of Beverly Hills, presents the 2009 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, a unique collection of luxury cars. This annual Father’s Day event will be held on Sunday, June 21, 2009 from 10:00AM – 4:00PM. It is free and open to the public and will take place on the 300 and 400 blocks of North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance will feature more than 100 exotic cars on display in Beverly Hills, lining Rodeo Drive north of Wilshire Boulevard. This year, the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance will highlight classic alternative energy vehicles including steam, electric and hybrid models.

“In addition to our traditional and classic collector cars featured at the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, this year we are also proud to showcase a unique selection of alternative energy vehicles, micro and electric cars, solar vehicles, amongst others,” said Bruce Meyer, co-chair of the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance. “From the display of luxurious, cutting-edge automobiles to the world-renowned fashion boutiques, Rodeo Drive offers something for everyone to enjoy on Father’s Day.”

Highlights of the alternative energy vehicles at the 2009 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance include:

1957 BMW ISETTA: The egg-shaped Isetta can be said to be the very best microcar of its time. The Isetta offers seating for two and uses power from a BMW motorcycle that was 298 cc in size, air cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder, and produced a staggering 13 horsepower. This was enough to carry the 59.1 inch wheelbase vehicle to a top speed of 50 mph. Fuel mileage reaches nearly 45 miles per gallon.

1957 FIAT MULTIPLA: The Multipla is the first micro-van to be made by Fiat in Italy. The vehicle has incredible gas mileage and was used as one of the first taxis.

1953 FIAT TOPOLINO SPECIAL BODY TRUCK: The Fiat Topolino was produced from 1937 through 1955 with nearly 520,000 constructed. The name ‘Topolino’ was chosen in honor of Mickey Mouse – the name ‘Topolino’ means ‘little mouse.’ This very rare factory built 1953 500C model wears Mouse Green paint. The 500C is a post-war version and it is believed that only five of these body types were built — this being one of two left in the world.

KING MIDGET: The evolution of King Midget began in 1946 when Claud Dry and Dale Orcutt conceived King Midget as an inexpensive, affordable car that anyone could buy. King Midget featured it’s own uniquely designed automatic transmission when the majority of larger manufacturers began introducing automatic transmissions to the public. It offered incomparable fuel economy and was billed as both “World’s Number One Fun Car” and “World’s Most Exciting Small Car”.

SPARROW: The Sparrow is a single seat, electric full speed freeway capable commuter vehicle secured on three wheels. Its highly efficient design enables it to provide extremely cost effective transportation for as little as a penny per mile. Sparrow bodies consist of a monocoque chassis with a fiberglass top and bottom tub, secured together with industrial adhesive. The Sparrow is fully electric-powered unlike popular hybrids today.

2001 M-PULSE SOLAR-POWERED RACER: Built by engineering students at the University of Michigan, M-Pulse raced to victory in the 2001 American Solar Challenge (ASC), a 2,300-mile race from Chicago to Los Angeles. The ultra-light car made the trip in less than 57 hours at an average speed of 40 miles per hour. It used only the sun’s energy for power, which was generated by hundreds of wafer-like photovoltaic cells that cover the upward facing surfaces of the fiberglass body. This unique vehicle is part of the Petersen Automotive Museum.

1915 DETROIT ELECTRIC – BROUGHAM MODEL 61: Manufactured by the Anderson Electric Car Company, Detroit Electrics were purchased primarily by wealthy women who preferred a simple, but elegant car for short local trips. Of the two hand levers that control the car, the long lever was used to steer while the short lever regulated speed. Both could be folded out of the way when the car was not being driven to make entrances and exits easier. Without a conventional internal combustion motor, gearbox or chain drive, the Detroit was extremely quiet to operate. In production longer than any other electric car, the Detroit was built from 1906 to approximately 1939. This vehicle is part of the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation.

More than 100 cars will be showcased along Rodeo Drive during the event. This year’s sponsors include the City of Beverly Hills, Gearys Beverly Hills, Brooks Brothers, Tag Heuer, David Orgell, IWC Schaffhausen, Ferrari Maserati of Beverly Hills, Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, Lladro Boutique and Ermenegildo Zegna. The event’s media partners are The Beverly Hills Courier and Beverly Hills Design & Life.

Visit Rodeo Drive for more.

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