Recap: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Awards the World's 5 Most Elegant Cars, Plus We Pick Our Favorite Moment

From www.justluxe.com, by Vicki Arkoff
Recap: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Awards the World's 5 Most Elegant Cars, Plus We Pick Our Favorite Moment

The 65th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance proved yet again that it’s one of the world’s grandest auto events, culminating with a winner’s parade of the world’s most beautiful, rare and valuable vintage and antique automobiles. As always, it’s a fitting climax to the week-long Monterey Auto Week event of races, rallies, record-setting auctions and new car unveilings.  

Held August 16 on the 18th fairway of the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Monterey bay-front car show and convivial competition heralded 219 cars from 16 countries and 29 U.S. states. Ferraris were featured in greater numbers than ever this year, along with antique Popes, classic era duPonts (six out of 11 owned by the DuPonts from New York, Florida, Idaho and Virginia), British pre-war sports cars and post-war Cunninghams. Special classes celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350 and the 75th anniversary of the Lincoln Continental, and Mercury Customs were on display for the first time. Some of the most stunning categories this season were the Duesenbergs, designs by Carrozzeria Touring, Rolls-Royce Pre-war, Post-war Alfa Romeos and Aston Martins, the Mercedes-Benz class and early European Classics.

Pebble Beach Concours d'ElegancePhoto Credit: Steve Burton/Pebble Beach Concours

That last category holds the distinction of yielding the day’s biggest winner. After all the pomp, circumstance and heavy-sweating by the owners and judges, someone had to be voted prom queen.  This year it was a stunning Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Cabriolet presented by Jim Patterson and The Patterson Collection of Louisville, Kentucky.

The winning car has quite an impressive pedigree and an unusually long 145-inch Italian 1924 Tipo 8A chassis, which was purchased in the early 1930s by Swiss Carrosserie Worblaufen to be used as the basis for a new sport cabriolet. Once completed, the car was shown at the 1932 Geneva Auto Show and won the Grand-Prix d'Honneur at Cannes in 1933. After its achievement, the car passed through the hands of just three owners before Patterson. 

Pebble Beach Concours d'ElegancePhoto Credit: Steve Burton/Pebble Beach Concours

When the overcome owner was asked what he loved most about the massive cabriolet, Patterson focused on its small details. "I love the cigarette lighters," he said. "You should see them! I wondered a while ago if they worked, and I've got a blister on my finger to show they do."

There were many strong contenders for Best of Show this year, including a 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Kellner Torpedo Phaeton owned by Doug Magee Jr. of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire; a 1937 Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet owned by Sam & Emily Mann of Englewood, New Jersey; and a 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Ghia Coupé owned by Grant Kinzel of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. But when the judges’ scores were tallied, it was these four beauties won the top Most Elegant Awards:

  • J.B. & Dorothy Nethercutt Most Elegant Closed Car: 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Figoni & Falaschi Pillarless Berline, owned by Don Williams of Danville, California.
  • Gwenn Graham Most Elegant Convertible: 1937 Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet, owned by Sam and Emily Mann from Englewood, New Jersey.
  • Most Elegant Open Car: 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Kellner Torpedo Phaeton, owned by Doug Magee Jr. of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
  • Strother MacMinn Most Elegant Sports Car: 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, owned by Jon Shirley in Medina, Washington. 

Pebble Beach Concours d'ElegancePhoto Credit: Steve Burton/Pebble Beach Concours

Held on the grounds of the beautiful Lodge at Pebble Beach, the event is produced by the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Not only does the Concours d’Elegance raise money for charity—this year they pulled in more than $1.8 million to benefit 100 local organizations—you can always expect unexpected highlights. For instance, our favorite moment this year was when the 1948 Talbot-Lago T26C Grand Prix Racer won a special award, the Tony Hulman Trophy, but had to be pushed onto the winners’ ramp by three assistants!

Pebble Beach Concours d'ElegancePhoto Credit: David Burton/Pebble Beach Concours