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June Is the Month When Automobile Shows Will Be Busting Out All Over Southland


Southern California is into the first of its automotive seasons--convertibles to celebrate spring, sports cars for summer driving, sedans bringing warmth to autumn and sport-utility vehicles for slogging through winter--and that means June is busting out with car shows.

In calendar order, there's the fifth annual Gilmore Heritage Auto Show--honoring spring and convertibles, of course--June 5 at Farmers Market in Los Angeles. Next, but only by 24 hours, is the 32nd annual Le Cercle Concours d'Elegance on June 6 at Loyola Marymount University in Westchester.

Motor Trend Thunder will roar across the closed runways at the former Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin during the weekend of June 11-13. Then the month's gala close-out: four days of rallying, partying, auctioning and displaying as functions of the California Classic starting June 17 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. and along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Gilmore Heritage Auto Show: The free show is named for the famed oil company, its Indy 500 sponsorships and the long-gone Gilmore Stadium just north of Farmers Market and home of midget racing in the '40s. About 50 vintage automobiles, including pre-1964 convertibles, will be displayed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 5 at 6333 W. 3rd St. (at Fairfax Avenue). Information: (800) 965-6050.

Le Cercle Concours d'Elegance: Now in its 32nd year, this doyenne of Southern California's concours will present French classics from the '20s to the '50s, including Bugatti, Delage, Delahaye and Hispano-Suiza. The show, also featuring American, British, German and Italian cars, will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 6 at Loyola Marymount's Sullivan Field, 80th Street and Loyola Boulevard. Admission is $10 (to benefit United Cerebral Palsy), with children 12 and younger admitted free. Information: (888) 733-4227.

Motor Trend Thunder: Everything on wheels that makes noise and can be raced will highlight these three days of modern and elderly pacemakers June 11-13. That includes go-carts, vintage race cars, radio-controlled models, TransAm trucks and retired stock cars--with a moment of silence for an electric-vehicle grand prix.

Gates will open at 6:30 a.m. all three days, with racing commencing at 8 a.m. and continuing through the afternoon. Admission, ages 12 and older: one day, $20; two days, $35; all three, $45. Spectators should enter through the gates on Edinger Avenue on north side of the base. Information: (323) 782-2850.

The California Classic: The Pasadena Concours, Beverly Hills Car Show and Concours on Rodeo have merged into one: the California Classic, now stretched into a five-day automotive love fest. The rundown:

* First there's the Cars & Stars Gala at the Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (at Fairfax Avenue), at 6:30 p.m. June 17, where a $150 ticket (with proceeds benefiting the Petersen) buys several hours of imbibing and buffet dining with celebrity car owners and collectors. Also: the unveiling of "Surf's Up! The Great American Woody," the latest in a series of temporary Petersen exhibitions. Frankie Avalon will serve as honorary chairman. Information: (818) 994-4661.

* The California Classic Rallye will leave the 200 block of Rodeo Drive at 9:30 a.m. June 18, with 40 invited classic automobiles driving back roads and the California coastline for an overnight stay in Santa Barbara. The public is welcome to cheer them off.

* Christie's International Motor Cars will hold a 53-lot auction starting at 2 p.m. June 19 at the Petersen. Among the items headed for the block is Frank Sinatra's 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, expected to sell for as much as $120,000. Admission is by catalog purchase ($30); information: (310) 385-2699.

* The Concours on Rodeo, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 20, is the only event allowed to close chic Rodeo Drive to Beverly Hills' fashionable traffic. In place of today's Bentleys and Ferraris, you get to look at yesterday's Lagondas, Maseratis and Duesenbergs, parked for three blocks between Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. Admission is free. (310) 360-7800.

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