The coveted Best of Show award went to this 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer, belonging to The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong. The 8 Litre was an enlargement of Bentley’s famed Speed Six. The body features dual cowls and a detachable rear windscreen. It is one of two built on the short chassis, the other is now a Rolls-Royce.
Think of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as the Brigadoon of car museums. Much like the ephemeral Scottish town of the 1947 musical, it emerges from the mist of the Central California coast for one day each year to dazzle the fortunate folks who can procure a ticket, and then disappears again. Its composition changes each year, but the 18th fairway at the Pebble Beach Golf Links is always guaranteed to have around 200 of the most impressive old cars available. “Pebble” is the gold standard among restorers, collectors, and the enthusiasts who admire them.
Each year, Pebble includes its traditional classes of pre-and post-World War II cars, divided into open and closed categories, and whether they were produced by American or European companies. Special classes change each year, and for 2019 included one celebrating the 100th anniversary of Bentley’s founding, a class for the Lamborghini Miura, and the return of the hot rod class in the form of Historic Hot Rod Cover Cars.
Of course, the Best of Show award is always hotly anticipated and this year’s was no disappointment, with top honors going to a 1931 Bentley 8 Litre belonging to The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong. Other nominees for Best of Show were a 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS, owned by Richard and Melanie Lundquist of Palos Verdes Estates, California; a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K from The Keller Collection at the Pyramids in Petaluma, California; and a 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT, property of David MacNeil from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The awards don’t stop there, with another four cars being honored with Elegance Awards, and Special Awards going to a further 23 cars. Here, we’ve attempted to give you a flavor of the outstanding collection of machinery present at motoring’s Brigadoon. To see details on all the award winners and get details about next year’s event, take a look at the Pebble Beach website at www.pebblebeachconcours.net.
Among the Mercedes-Benz Prewar class was this 1932 SSKL Avus presented by Mercedes-Benz Museum of Stuttgart, Germany. One of four built, and dubbed the “Silver Arrow,” it won in its first outing at Berlin’s Avus circuit.
This gas turbine-powered 1968 Howmet TX, which raced at Le Mans, was shown by Andreas Mohringer of Salzburg, Austria.
This was the last 1966 Bentley S3 Continental Graber convertible built, shown by the Lee Automobile Collection of Reno, Nevada.
This 1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport, one of 32 ultimately built, was shown in the Postwar Sports class by Ralph and Marion Stadler of Meggen, Switzerland. It was rebodied by Rocco Motto in 1952. Judges bestowed it with the French Cup.
A true rarity in the Prewar Preservation class was this 1914 Pathfinder 14A Touring. Made in Indianapolis from 1912 to ’17, only a handful are known to exist. This one is owned by noted author Clive Cussler.
When Willys-Knight unveiled the 66 B roadster in 1929, the grid pattern paintwork was dubbed “Plaidside” by the contemporary media. A total of 400 were built, including this 1930 presented by Gallery 260/Brent Merrill of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Among the Historic Hot Rod Cover Cars contingent on display was Ed Roth’s “The Outlaw.” Originally named “The Excaliber” (sic), it became Revell’s hottest 1:24-scale model. It’s now in the care of the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Actor and drag racer “TV Tommy” Ivo was inspired to build his Buick-powered T-bucket after seeing Norm Grabowski’s car. Completed in 1956, it made the cover of Hot Rod in 1957. Owners Jack and Linda Rosen of Rancho Mirage, California, brought it.
Presented by Rex and Vicki Myers, of Berne, Indiana, this 1966 Ford GT40 – chassis AM GT40/1 – was significant. It was one of five built for Alan Mann, and it featured an aluminum body. Raced at Sebring in 1966, it’s the only aluminum GT40 extant.
A mere 25 Lamborghini Miura P400s were built in the original production series, and only 474 of the mid-engine, V-12 sports cars were produced in total, from 1966 to 1970. This 1967 is the 22nd of those early cars. It belongs to Tom and Gwen Price of Belvedere, California.
Helping to celebrate the Zagato Centennial was this 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C Zagato Spider belonging to Jonathan Feiber and Heather Buhr of Atherton, California. It’s one of the earliest 8Cs remaining and was built for the factory race team.
Just five 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt dream cars were created for Chrysler by LeBaron, and only four still exist. Co-designer (along with Alex Tremulis) Ralph Roberts retained this one for his personal use, and it was later owned by the Vice President of Mexico. Now it belongs to Roger Willbanks of Denver, Colorado.
Another centennial Zagato, this 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Zagato Spider with red headlamp covers, spent the first 28 years of its life in Switzerland. Now it lives with Linda and Paul Gould in Pawling, New York.
Winner of the Lamborghini Miura class was this one-of-a-kind 1968 SV Coupe from Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy.
First in the Bugatti Type 57 class went to this 1937 Atalante, one of 17 built, that resides in New York.
Ernest Ballot built more than 100 race cars from 1921 to ’24, including this 2-litre powered example (chassis 32) from 1922. It was raced by the Ballot team until an engine rule change in 1925. It was shown by George Wingard of Eugene, Oregon.
Displayed in the Postwar Preservation class, this 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 CS Touring Coupe belongs to The Schigiel Collection of Leo and Lisa Schigiel in Miami Beach, Florida. It is one of around 70 bodied by Carrozzeria Touring in Milan, Italy.
Dr. Mark and Srinuan Sinning brought their 1939 Bentley 4¼ Litre with Drophead Coupe coachwork by Park Ward from New Bern, North Carolina, and took home third in class honors. The family wore period-appropriate attire to go along with the car.
Packards have long been a regular feature of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and among those on display this year was this 745 Deluxe Eight roadster, built in 1930, now owned by Dale Johnson, of Morro Bay, California.
First place in the Historic Hot Rod Cover Cars class went to Norm Grabowski’s “Kookie Car,” a 1922 Ford and arguably the first T-bucket. It belongs to Ross and Beth Meyers and 3 Dog Garage in Bayertown, Pennsylvania.
This 1914 Moline-Knight, owned by Ron and Sandy Hansen of Fillmore, California, took third in the American Antique class.
Cadillac and Fleetwood built this Series 75 Town Car – one of 53 from 1940. It was shown by Don Williams/ Blackhawk Collection.
Inspired by the iconic Doane Spencer ’32 Ford, itself a Pebble Beach vet, the “Nickel Car” was built by Buffalo Motors for Bob Morris and was on the cover of Rod & Custom for April 1993. It now belongs to Bruce Meyer of Beverly Hills, California.
On display in the Prewar Preservation class was this incredible 1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Merrimac Town Car, owned by Michael and Patricia Adams of Temecula, California. It was once owned by Warner Brothers Studios and used in several films.
112 years old and unrestored, this 1907 Renault XB Labourdette Transformable Laundaulet took first in the Prewar Preservation class. Garaged in Switzerland from 1919 to 2018, it now belongs to Steve and Marilee Hamilton of Washoe Valley, Nevada.
On exhibit in the Thomas Flyer class was the 1907 that won the 1908 New York to Paris race after 169 days on the road (such as roads existed at the time). It resides in the National Automobile Museum (the former Harrah Collection) in Reno, Nevada.