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Ventura Farms, Lake Sherwood, California

Inaugural Invitational



Self-made billionaire David H. Murdock hosted the Inaugural Invitational at his private estate, Ventura Farms. The event featured vintage automobiles from various prominent museums and collectors. Additional special exhibitions included Historic/Celebrity Cars, as well as dealer displays featuring Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini vehicles.


A 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Streamline Saloon was among the show highlights. This one-off design, originally owned by Sir Henry Royce, was a Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Winner. Other historic/celebrity highlights of the show included a 1936 Packard Phaeton (owned by Joseph Stalin), 1932 Plymouth Brewster Town Car (owned by Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt), and various automobiles from the Carroll O'Connor Estate (All in the Family) including a 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III from the Paris Auto Salon. Featured vehicles included a rare 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis, 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K Sport Cabriolet A (both Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Winners), 1929 Auburn 8-120 Boattail Speedster, 1931 Marmon 16 LeBaron Convertible Sedan and a 1930 Stutz Monte Carlo Fabric Body (one of three ever made).


The 2,200-acre private estate, Ventura Farms, features various gardens such as the Family Garden, Secret Garden, English Garden, Rose Garden, Grand Allee of Thai Sculptural Boulders; mined from the River Kwai in Thailand, and Redwood Allee. A herd of Santa Gertrudis cattle, Reindeer, Kashmir sheep, Arabian horses and about 800 Koi in a large lake are part of the estates zoological interests. Fascinating architectural beauty abounds, such as the Chinese Scholar House, Sound of Water Pavilion, Poet's House, Japanese Tea House and an 18,000 sq. ft. Conservatory that houses over 25,000 orchids.


From the motor vehicle enthusiast to the luxury item connoisseur, the Inagural Invitational had something for everyone. The event featured special performances, tours of the estate's gardens, world-renowned Arabian horses, birds of prey exhibitions, and numerous food stations. Also highlighted, especially for the St. Patrick's holiday, was premium beer and wine tastings, and Irish Whiskey and spirits. The Inaugural Invitational benefited the Westlake Village Park and YMCA.




Photos by:

Lili Rahmati |

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