The 15 best cars of Pebble Beach concours
So many utterly fantastic cars – but which were the greatest on show? Here are the AutoClassics favorites from an epic event, the finale of Monterey Car Week
1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Scaglietti Spyder California
Weathertech boss David MacNeill famously owns the $70m Ferrari GTO – but he also has this California Spyder, one of the few Spyders that was raced in period. This is one of the earlier long-wheelbase versions, the 11th Spyder California built.
George Lucas's 1948 Tucker 48
One of 12 on display – which is really impressive considering just 51 were made, and only 47 are thought to still exist. To choose between the 12 wasn’t easy, but this example, owned by Star Wars movie producer George Lucas since 1987, was one of the best on show.
Wayne Carini's 1954 Studebaker Commander
It looks perfect, and yet this Studebaker Commander Starliner Coupe was in the Post-War Preservation class, having covered fewer than 8000 miles in its life. Wayne Carini, from TV’s Chasing Classic Cars, is just its second owner. Its first owner only ever allowed his wife and daughter to ride in the car, and wouldn't let them in at all if they were wearing anything with buttons or zippers that might damage the bodywork or trim.
1937 Cadillac Series 90 Hartmann Cabriolet
In many ways this is the most ‘Pebble Beach’ of our selection; unique, outrageous (and 22ft long!), and built on one of just 50 of Cadillac’s indulgent Series 90 V16 chassis. It was the only one of the 50 to have been bodied by Carrosserie Hartmann – very much in the style of Figoni & Falaschi.
2018 Genesis Essentia concept
Pebble Beach has become known as the place for manufacturers to reveal new concept cars, and our favourite of this year’s offerings was easily the electric-powered Essentia, full of clever design touches by Sasha Selipanov, overseen by Luc Donckerwolke.
1966 Citroën DS21 Chapron Lémans Coupé
The Postwar Custom Citroën class produced several varieties of coachbuilt DS and SM, but this was the most striking and unusual in our view – one of around 27 built by Chapron.
1966 All American Racers Eagle Special
Belonging to racer and restoration specialist Bruce Canepa, this was the first 1966 Eagle, and Dan Gurney’s entry at the 1966 Indianapolis 500. It was driven the following year by Jochen Rindt, was entered into the 1970 Indy for Sam Posey (but failed to start), then again in 1971 and ‘72. Remarkable!
1956 Cadillac Hess & Eisenhardt Presidential Parade Car
Collector Harry Yeaggy has owned this magnificent car for 20 years, but this is the first time he’ exhibited it. Built for Eisenhower, it went on to be used by Kennedy and Johnson as a parade car. It was later demoted to parade ‘chase car’, and was behind Kennedy’s car on the day he was shot in Dallas.
1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta
The Best of Show winner, but also a favourite of ours from the start, thanks to the sheer elegance of its Carrozzeria Touring body clothing the technically advanced for the period Alfa 8C chassis. Utterly sublime and deserving of the top prize. Congratulations to owners David and Ginny Sydorick.
1954 OSCA MT4 1500 Morelli Spider
Our favourite of the phenomenal line-up of Osca, this was sold new to Guatemalan racing driver Manfredo Lippmann for the 1954 Carrera Panamericana. It was later driven by Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez, before being reacquired and restored by Lippman. It was bought by current owners Michael and Katherine Leventhal in 2007.
1965 Ford GT40 Roadster prototype
This was the first of six Roadster prototypes built, and was test driven by Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby in period. It’s been owned over the years by several renowned American collectors, including GT40 expert Harley Cluxton, and is now in the hands of London-based Max Girado.
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé
Runner-up for the Best of Show top prize, and one of just 26 surviving Grand Sports, built by Joseph Figoni for the Paris auto salon. Its first owner, Mr Fayolle, was known as the ‘zipper king’, hence the string of chrome strips above the front grille, resembling a zipper. It’s now owned by Robert Kudela of the Czech Republic.
1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Windover Limousine
Owned by His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singhji of Marwar-Jodhpur, India, this stunning Phantom I was designed to carry the female members of royal families – and has dark blue ‘purdah’ glass to the rear for complete privacy. Incredibly, it has never been restored and has covered fewer than 10,000 miles.
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
The flamboyant tail-fin styling feature of the 1950s came to a head with the magnificent 1959 Cadillac. To see this huge car gliding across the lawns at Pebble Beach was an absolute treat. 1320 Biarritz convertibles were built, and this one has all the options, including air-con, bucket seats and cruise control.
1970 Ferrari 512 S Modulo Pininfarinia Coupé
Surely one of the greatest concept cars of all time, and now fully drivable for the first time in its life thanks to owner Jim Glickenhaus and MJJV Cars. Built on a 512 S racing chassis, the body is formed of two overlapping clamshells, and access to the futuristic interior is made by sliding the entire cockpit cover forward. For us, the car of the show.
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