Which cars were contenders for Pebble Beach Best of Show?

To win Best of Show at world’s most important concours is the ultimate honour. Here are the cars we tipped before top prize was announced. Did we get it right?

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1933 Duesenberg SJ Rollston Torpedo Sedan

Jack and Helen Nethercutt (of the famed Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, California) have achieved success at Pebble Beach many times. Their Duesenberg looked like the winner in the Rollston Coachwork class, setting it up as a contender for Best of Show.

This car was known in period as the ‘Twenty Grand’, because that’s what it cost. That was a huge amount at the time.

What might have counted against it, is that it’s a previous winner with the Nethercutts – but that was back in 1980...

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1937 Cadillac Series 90 Hartmann Cabriolet

This fantastic machine is owned by previous winner Jim Patterson of Kentucky. It's one of 50 of Cadillac’s indulgent Series 90 V16 chassis, and the only one to have been bodied by Carrosserie Hartmann – very much in the style of Figoni & Falaschi.

At 22ft in length, it suffered a series of accidents due to its size, and wasn’t driven after 1938. It was finally bought from the original owner in 1968 for $925. It’s now been fully restored by multiple Best of Show winner RM Auctions to debut at Pebble Beach.

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1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé

This is a later car than the rest of the contenders, which we thought would stand it in good stead in a concours keen to show that it’s not all about 1930s coachbuilts.

Still, it’s more than capable of standing on its own merits, one of only 26 surviving Grand Sports. Its first owner was Mr Fayolle, known as the ‘Zipper King’ – hence the faux zip on the front.

It went into storage in the 1960s and only emerged in recent years. Its current owner, Robert Kudela from the Czech Republic, has had it fully restored, finishing in time for Pebble Beach.

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1937 Bugatti Type 57S Vanden Plas Sports Tourer

It doesn’t have the ornate bodywork of the more typical Best of Show contenders, but what this Bugatti does have is the much-desired ‘elegance’. Its lines are prefect, sitting low and long, with meticulous detailing.

Its owner, Rob Kauffman from Charlotte, North Carolina, has returned it to original specification, complete with Vanden Plas body panels and original engine. Wayne Carini of TV’s Chasing Classic Cars has also been involved in the body restoration.

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1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta

This was our hottest tip for Best of Show. Not only is it based on the most technologically advanced model of the time, the Alfa 8C, it also wears arguably the most elegant of any of Carrozzeria Touring’s bodywork creations.

It has won prizes at Pebble Beach in the past, namely Most Elegant Closed Car in 2001, but owners David and Ginny Sydorick of Beverly Hills have since had it restored to its 1938 Berlin motor show specification.

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1935 Duesenberg JN Bohan & Schwartz Convertible Coupe

Although Rollston bodied, this is in the Duesenberg class not the Rollston class that the Nethercutt car is in – and looked strong in that class.

Sam and Emily Mann of New Jersey are multiple former winners, and their car has the added appeal of having been given by Carole Lombard to Hollywood star Clark Gable. The pair later married, but Lombard died in an air crash in 1942 and the car was put into storage.

It later moved to the Blackhawk Collection, before being bought by the Manns.

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1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III James Young Drophead Coupé

All the way from China, with owners Zongmin Huang and Xiaoling Sun, this Rolls-Royce is stunning, and looked like a possible winner in the Rolls-Royce pre-war class.

It remained in Europe until the late 1990s, then moved to the States before the current owners bought it two years ago. It has now been restored to its original specification.

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