Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance coming 9/14

Hot Wheels Darth Vader car
Hot Wheels Darth Vader car

I rarely put up a notice of an event that costs money to attend or this far in advance.  But this show is big, beyond the normal car show we see here in L.A.  Its the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance coming on September 14 at the Trump Mational Golf Course in Palos Verdes.  This isn’t a cheap event, but has unique, rare and expensive automobiles.  Think Cord, Auburn, Dusenberg…not Galaxy, Impala or other plebeian rides.

Among the cars there will be a full size Hot Wheels Darth Vader car that was made to look like the toy car.  It was unveiled at Comic con this summer and will be at this show as well.

Gyronaut X-1 the worlds fastest motorcycle
Gyronaut X-1 the worlds fastest motorcycle

Also at the show there will be the worlds fastest motorcycle.  The Gyronaut X-1that set a world record in 1966 at Bonneville Salt Flats with 245.667 MPH.

For the full press release and info on tickets you need to make the jump 

Press Release:

The theme of the 22nd annual Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance is Innovation, and Mattel’s Darth Vader Car certainly reflects this.  It is one of several iconic vehicles that will be displayed alongside the nearly 200 classic cars that will compete for awards in 23 classes at the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes on Sunday September 14.

Mattel Designer Bryan Benedict says, “We wanted to create a car that best embodied all of the qualities of Darth in automotive form – not just his color scheme and the way he looks – but we also tried to capture his personality and his presence as well. Some of the descriptors that inspired the design were Powerful, Strong, Menacing, Fearsome, and Timeless. That last one is key, because the Star Wars property as a whole has a timeless quality to it, and we wanted to reflect that in the car design.

“We often think of Star Wars as being in the future, but it is really the past, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” So, you’ll see nods to classic car styling and our own Hot Wheels heritage, but it also reads as a very futuristic sports car.

“Also, we’ve played up on some of Darth’s iconic design elements, but we didn’t want to do that in too literal of a way. Homage to Darth’s iconic helmet is obvious, but not so literal that it reads as a helmet on wheels.

“Everything sort of serves a purpose – the light sabers on the sides serve as side pipes (of course these are backlit to give them a red glow), the chest plate has actual functioning buttons that act as controls for the car’s various features, the breathing apparatus serves as a functioning grille, and the screw tips of his face piece serve as working headlights and turn signals. And, of course, the wheels wouldn’t be complete without the Imperial logo on the center caps! Inside the cockpit is meant to represent the inside of Darth’s helmet, with its very industrial looking wires and hoses – in stark contrast to the sleek exterior.” Bryan said.

Benedict’s passion for designing cars began at an early age, while growing up on a dairy farm in California’s Central Valley. As a little boy he spent countless hours drawing cars, and at the age of 5 he told his parents that he was going to design cars when he grew up. Their response was “You can’t do that. That’s not a real job.”

But Bryan was convinced that someone actually had to make cars look the way they do, so by the time he was 12, he wrote a letter to General Motors to ask if there was actually such a thing as being a car designer for a living. GM responded with a very kind letter assuring him that it was an actual job, and directed him to study Transportation Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA when he got older. Bryan did just that after high school, graduating from Art Center in 1994. He then spent 10 years in the car industry working with many different car companies, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Ford, GM, Chrysler, and many more. He even provided design services to a few Chinese car companies, before making the jump to little cars.

Bryan joined the ultimate car design team at Hot Wheels® in 2004.  Since that time, he has worked on everything from the brand’s entertainment and innovation efforts to Hot Wheels® basic cars and adult collector lines.  Bryan was instrumental in the development of the Emmy nominated and Gemini award winning Hot Wheels® animated series Battle Force 5, and has also been the design force behind the Monster Jam® truck line for many years. More recently, Bryan has begun focusing on licensed entertainment character cars for Hot Wheels®, adding Marvel Universe and Star Wars characters to this ever-expanding world of popular characters reimagined as Hot Wheels® cars.

The Concours will be preceded by a Road Rallye on Saturday, September 13, when drivers and passengers can take in the beauty of the Palos Verdes Peninsula while competing for prizes.

Concours tickets are $45, pre-event; $50, day of the event; children 12 and under are  free; students with ID are $25. Tickets can be purchased by

The Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance is a 501(c) (3) charity event with proceeds benefitting Palos Verdes Rotary Foundation charities, including Harbor Area Boys & Girls Clubs, and Palos Verdes Art Center’s educational and community outreach programs, including art experiences for differently-abled youth and adults in Los Angeles County.

To purchase tickets please go to, call 1-866-522-7746 or visit one of the locations below. Media contact is Nissen Davis at[email protected] , phone 310-729-6510.