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Pebble Beach, 16th of August, 2015

After an eventful week in the Monterey Peninsula the Classic Car Week finally came to an end with the annual Concours d´Elegance at Pebble Beach. Now in its 65th edition the most prestigious concours in the world again attracted more than 200 cars in 29 different classes to be displayed at the 18th hole of the famous Californian golf course that also featured no less than 5 US Open in the past.

The highlight in the concours scene
The Pebble Beach Concours is still the highlight in the concours scene as not few cars make their restoration debut at Pebble Beach and the last weeks upfront the line-up in Monterey are the busiest ones in many restoration shops all over the world when the clock is ticking and the deadline is approaching before the cars have to be shipped. Some of them do not even make it to the Tour d´Elegance on Thursday before the big show when most of the cars (as participation in the Tour is not mandatory) could be seen in public for the first time. On Thursday morning two groups of cars line up in front of the Gooding & Company tent near the former Polo Field were the parking for the numerous trucks and trailers is located bringing their treasured cargo from all over the country.
For many cars these are the actual shake down miles as some of them never run before on public roads. After the start led by Jochen Mass and Sir Stirling Moss in a Mercedes Gullwing the cars leave the 17-miles drive after passing the Pebble Beach Lodge towards highway 1 south to the turning point in Big Sur. On the scenery coastal drive along the Pacific coast the cars could be admired in their natural habit, on the road and the photographers are lined up at the most important points like Bixby Bridge to take their photos. The crowds on the other hand are patiently waiting in Carmel for the cars arriving for the lunch stop as the Ocean Avenue again seemed even more crowded than two days before on the Concours-on-the-Avenue at the same venue as this gives the possibility to see the majority of the cars without spending hundreds of Dollars for the desired ticket on show Sunday. After returning to the car park most of the cars disappear in the trailers or being touched up in a nearby shop for the big day. Normally the Tour Thursday leaves a good impression about the favorites of the concours but as several of the last Best of Show winners did make it without driving the tour there is still some pleasant anticipation what to see on Sunday on the lawn.

219 cars took the lawn
Sunday morning traditionally starts very early with the first cars lined up at the gate of the Golf Course long before dawn to be first in line when entering at about 6 am. A lot of people already line up at the entrance to wait for the participants entering the field were every single of them is personally welcomed by Sandra Button, chairwoman of the Concours. As mentioned above 219 cars took the lawn this morning to be set up by the countless volunteers at their intended spots. As soon as the cars are arrived at their destination bustling hands are starting to prepare them for the judging, not that the cars are dirty but it seems that some need to bridge the time to hide nervousness how their time consuming restoration efforts will be honored by the judges. For those attending the traditional dawn patrol with the coffee & donuts provided by Hagerty´s the early hours of the day gave the opportunity to look over the different classes before the lawn gets packed later that day. Unlike in previous years the sun was out early on without the usual fog and the cars were covered in the warm morning light.
Many classes are well known from the past with several European and American classes both pre and post war, the interesting preserved class and the cars from the brass era. Apart from Mercedes-Benz, Duesenberg and Rolls-Royce Ferrari is the only marque with own classes, usually both for street and race cars but being featured marque this year there was an own Pebble Beach Race Course and preservation class as well. 2004 was the last time the prancing horse was featured and as last year Maserati celebrated their centenary Ferrari was shunted from the usual 10-year rhythm to this year.

New … the Class of the Pebble Beach Road Race
One of these features was the Class of the Pebble Beach Road Race. For a short period from 1950 to 1956 the Del Monte Forest featured the races on the dirt roads within the grounds of the gated Pebble Beach community before the permanent track at Laguna Seca was built in the hinterland. Just as Laguna Seca featured the practice sessions of the historic races the surviving original part of the former race track was opened on Friday for the seven Ferrari entered in the class. The very first Ferrari to race here was the Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta (chassis 0010M) once raced by Jim Kimberly in the second PB race. Although crashed that day it started a tradition of Ferrari there winning the editions from 1953 to the final race in 1956. Today this particular car is owned by last year’s BoS winner Jon Shirley who even changed the livery from the 24h Spa winning race number to the livery of the 1951 race. Along with its sister car (0058M) that came second in the 1953 race it was only on display not judged for the class awards. No less than three cars came from the stable from Les Wexner, famous for being owner of the Victoria Secrets brand. Two of the three cars were recently repainted to Wexner’s favorite color Ferrari red, both blue-white in the past. The one-off 340 Mexico Spyder (0228AT) from the late Lorenzo Zambrano collection came second overall in the 1953 PB race, the 340 MM (0350M) almost 30 years owned by Sherman M. Wolf won the 1954 edition and was sold 3 years ago at the Pebble Beach auction at Gooding. Third car in the line-up was the 857 Sport (0588M) raced in the final race 1956 by Jack McAfee to a 3rd overall and joined Wexner’s stable the same weekend as the 340 MM. With the 340 Mexico and the 857 S second and third in class they only had to give way to the 500 Mondial Spyder Pininfarina (0438MD) who made it into the news this year as the most recent restoration at Ferrari Classiche back to its original configuration. Originally owned by Porfirio Rubirosa it was later raced by its next owner John v. Neumann who was Ferrari Representative of California back then and who came home 10th in the last PB road race. Back then it was equipped with a 3-litre rather than the original 2-litre engine before it was “Americanized” with a Chevy V8. Today it wears the beautiful blue livery of its first outing in Santa Barbara. Also originally owned by Rubirosa was the last car in the class, the 166 MM/53 Vignale Spyder (0342M).

Ferrari got its own preservation class
Over the last years the trend goes more and more towards unrestored cars, barn finds not only tend to achieve record prices since the sale of the Baillon Collection in February by Artcurial in Paris. Although Pebble Beach often has the reputation to feature over restored cars this is certainly a tendency that cannot be ignored at the most important Concours. So aside the two normal preservation classes before and after the war Ferrari got its own preservation class and it is actually no surprise that the much covered Baillon California Spyder headlined the class. Although in a different class it was also reunited with the Maserati A6/2000 Frua Spyder of the same provenance. But there seems to be no tougher class to judge than unrestored cars as the normal point system of the judging does not apply to them. Certainly the California Spyder made it to the field under its own power but still with the “original dust” of the Baillon barn on its paint this is certainly not a car to be driven. Although always good for headlines in the auction catalogue the barn find cars are not the typical preserved cars. The class winning 250 GT Lusso (5867GT) for example featured this great preserved character of a classic car both driven and taking care of his entire life being in the same family since new. Although among more glamorous examples it won the class followed by a 400 Superamerica (2809SA) with the same lovely patina of a well-loved car. Third in class was one of the race cars, the 275 GTB/C (9015) once raced without success at Le Mans under the entry of N.A.R.T.  Rarely seen in recent years it made a great figure both on the lawn and during the tour. Also entered by NART was the most important Ferrari on the field, the last Le Mans winning car from Maranello, the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM (5893GT). As this car passed directly from Chinetti to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum after its active career the car never suffered from the amateur racing after his active career or the historic races of today so it remained remarkable original. Just as when Ferrari was last featured in 2004 the car was shown to the public and one of the centerpieces on the display at the coastal line. Further cars in the class were a 212 Inter PF Coupe once owned by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (0269EU), a 275 GTB (6609), a 330 GTS (9343) and the newest model, a 365 GTB/4 Daytona Speciale (12925) as shown on the Paris Motor Show in 1969.

Ferrari is apart from Rolls-Royce the only marque featuring regularly two classes
As mentioned before Ferrari is apart from Rolls-Royce the only marque featuring regularly two classes and whereas the long history of RR is divided by the war the history of Ferrari features the race and the street cars. Despite its sportive genes the road going Ferrari were mostly known for their touring qualities so the road car class is named “Ferrari Grand Touring”. Oldest car in the class was the 1950 Ferrari 195 Inter Ghia Coupe (0101S) as exhibited at that year’s Turin Motor Show. When comparing the Ghia lines with those of the 212 Inter Pinin Farina Coupe (0263EU) also shown at Turin just three years later one could see why the more elegant lines of the PF design made it over the next decades whereas the baroque lines of the Ghia body only found its way on a couple of Ferrari chassis. In 1953 finally the 3-litre engine found its way into the street car series, first the Lampredi and later the Colombo engine. The first series was the 250 Europa on the long wheelbase (2800mm) and available both from Pininfarina and Vignale. The very first car shown on the Paris Motor Show by Vignale in 1953 was the example on show (0295EU). This car just made its post restoration debut in striking two-tone livery but unfortunately did not make it to the podium for the class awards. Following the 250 Europa was the GT line, both successful on the track and the road. Just as seen at the auctions this year with the high result at Gooding the California Spyder is one of the most sought after examples available. One of them (0919GT) was present alongside two Series 1 Cabiolets. The California Spyder was originally sold to Cuba and found its way to the US through Chinetti who also intended Enzo Ferrari to build this Spyder version for the name giving market. The car was last shown in 2013 at the Cavallino Classic were it was awarded by public vote at the Jet Center Reception as well as winning Platinum and Judges Cup at the main Concours at the Breakers. According to his waving during the Tour the new owner enjoyed the driving just as much as going over the ramp for the second in class. First in class was one of the Series 1 Cabriolets (0777GT) that was recently repainted to its original color after being presented for several years in Mr. Kalikow’s favorite dark blue as see at the Villa D´Este more than a decade ago (2004) when it won Best of Show. The Judges did not seem to care about the change of the interior color from black to red. The third Cabriolet was 1181GT as sold last year at RM in Monaco.
Most unusual car in the class was without doubt the 400 Superamerica PF Coupe Aerodinamico Prototipo (2207SA). This car as a very colorful life as it started as Superfast 2 at the Torino Motor Show as seen today at Pebble Beach but was changed two times by Pininfarina into Superfast 3 and 4 specification to be shown again at Turin and Geneva. 3 years back the car was shown in bare metal Superfast 4 configuration at the Cavallino Classic and was restored since to the original configuration by Wayne Obry´s Motion Pictures. Although the show car within the class with its retractable frog eyes and the showy black-white interior the car just did third in class and somewhere wondering whether this is due to the fact that the car was shown in Amelia Island this year as Pebble Beach is certainly keen on having the cars first.
The class was rounded off by another 250 GT Lusso (5215GT).

The biggest classes on the field
The competition class of Ferrari featured no less than ten cars making this one of the biggest classes on the field. Spanning the early 1950s to the 1971 GTB/4 Daytona (14271) that was raced by Dan Gurney in the 1971 Cannonball Run from coast to coast non-stop.
Oldest car in the class was the 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Coupe (0237EU) that has very simple lines compared to the Vignale Coupe in the street class. From the same year came the one-off 250 Sport (0156ET), a proven Mille Miglia winner of the same year against the Mercedes 300 SL Prototypes that won Le Mans that year. This car is a Pebble Beach veteran as it was shown already in 1974, 1993 and 2000 and just on display that day. In 1953 the new 250 MM was the weapon for the Mille Miglia but the works racer of Mike Hawthorn (0288MM) failed to finish. The Ferrari 340 Mexico was just built in 4 units, 3 of them being coupés and on spider. With the Spider in the PB race class, one further coupé at the Quail Lodge two days before no less than 3 out of 4 examples were present this weekend as 0222AT came from the famous Keller collection that day. As the name intends these 4 cars were specifically built for the Carrera Panamericana and therefore 0222AT still wears the livery of the first of two attempts by Luigi Villoresi and Phil Hill to master this long distance race in this very car, both times failing to finish. The next car in the class was not intended as a concours car as it is one of few 250 GT Boanos (0529GT) that was raced in Venezuela. After spending most of its life in a very sad condition it was brought back to life by its present owner just to do what the car was originally made for: racing. In its first outing at the Cavallino Classic earlier this year it was driven at the nearby Palm Beach International Race Track before entering the concours the same weekend. Nevertheless it was awarded second in class at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours.
The 250 GT Boano was not the car for the race track, this was the 250 GT LWB nicknamed TdF after its success in France. Chassis 1321GT was entered by Ecurie Francorchamps in the 1959 Le Mans race where it did not just win its class but also came home third behind the winning Aston Martin duo being best Ferrari in the result lists after the favorite 250 TR failed to finish. Just two positions behind came the next Ferrari in the class, the 250 GT LWB California Spyder (1451GT), a very rare competition alloy version, this car was awarded third in class.
Following the LWB was the 250 GT SWB, both the Berlinetta and the California Spyder. One of these all alloy Competizione versions (1813GT), a veteran of three Targa Florio between 1960-62 won this class.

Pebble Beach traditionally features a specific coachbuilder … this year Carrozzeria Touring
But certainly Ferrari was not the only feature as Pebble Beach traditionally features a specific coachbuilder, this year Carrozzeria Touring. Founded by Felice Bianchi Anderloni in 1926 and later lead by his son Carlo Felice the Carrozzeria Touring is known for some of the most elegant designs especially on Alfa Romeo. Two of the famous Alfa 2.9 both in short chassis spyder (1988) and long chassis berlinetta (2008) won the Pebble Beach Concours over the years and the later car (412035) high lined the Touring Class next to a long chassis spyder (412026).
Touring started in the mid-1920s using the Weymann system of a wooden frame with special joints and fabric coating but Touring became famous for their Superleggera patent. Prior to that Touring already started with the usage of alloy giving them far more styling possibilities apart from the Weymann tourer and saloon cars. One of the most striking early Touring designs is the “Flying Star” that found its way both on an Isotta Fraschini 8B (Anderloni had close relationships to Isotta due to his former job at this company) and the Alfa Romeo 6C1750. Already a great design on the Isotta the lower radiator of the Alfa giving the styling a more stretched character suited even better and this car won the Coppa d´Oro at the 1931 Concorso d´Eleganza at the Villa D´Este putting Touring into the first league of the coachbuilders of this time. Slightly more simple without the separated running boards and the hood vents following the upper line of the body this design found its way to the sportive 6C1750 and 8C2300 models as represented by the 8C (2211094) next to the Flying Star. Next car in the line-up was already in the Superleggera era of a light skeleton of tubes instead of the former wooden substructure covered by light alloy. Entered in the 1938 MM the 6C2300 (815001) featured this new technique making this a very light and with the superb Alfa Romeo chassis easy to handle car that was good for winning the class. As mentioned earlier two of the highly desirable 8C2900B were present at Pebble Beach this day, the road going version of the 8C2900 chassis gave the owners the look of an elegant street car combined with the current racing technology of the sports racers (8C2900A) and the GP cars (Tipo B) in slightly detuned form. One of these 8C 2900 B Touring Berlinetta even won the first MM after the war naturally aspired due to the regulation. Just as the Alfetta this proved that Alfa Romeos performance was that advanced before the war that it was even competitive right after the war.
In the last editions of the Mille Miglia before the war Alfa Romeo entered the 6C with the Tipo 256 racing engine and a light Superleggera Corsa Spyder body that was later replaced with a coupe for road use (915014). By that time Touring also worked for BMW and unfortunately none of the MM entered BMW 328 MM made it to Pebble Beach this weekend.

The Touring Barchetta is considered by many as the best looking Ferrari ever
After the war the first Alfa Romeo, the 6C2500 was also available with Touring body as the 6C2500 SS shown in this class but after leaving Alfa Romeo with his Scuderia to run his own cars Ferrari became the dominant name on the sport car market. With his background at Alfa Romeo it is no surprise that Enzo Ferrari went to Touring to body the first “series” of cars, the 166 MM. The Touring Barchetta is considered by many as the best looking Ferrari ever and apart from the two examples in the PB road racing class the most successful of them was presented in the Touring Class, chassis 0008M not only winning the 1949 Mille Miglia but also the Le Mans 24h a month later. But Touring did not just built the open version but also the Berlinetta version as seen on the 166 Inter (0047S), a very early Ferrari street car.
During the 1950s Touring had to change due to the upcoming mass-production. Instead of coachbuilding single cars for customers the design became more important and the Aston Martin DB4 was a perfect example as the car was designed by Touring but after a few examples production of the body was handed over to Aston under the Touring license. Unfortunately none of the DB-series was present. To handle larger series in house Touring built a new factory and one of the first cars was the Maserati 3500 GT to be built in higher numbers. Unfortunately Touring had to close its doors in 1967, one of the last projects was the cooperation with Lamborghini for the 350 GT and 400 GT.
Today the name Touring Superleggera is revived as Touring both houses a restoration department for the cars bodied by them as well as a design studio that features cars like the Touring Berlinetta Lusso based on Ferrari and shown earlier this year at the Villa D´Este as well as at the Quail before.

The class of duPont
Just next to the Touring class was another feature of this year’s concours, the class of duPont. Born into the wealthy industrial family duPont E. Paul duPont soon left the family business to get on his own feet. After graduating at the University of Philadelphia he earned his first merits as engineer of a rotating side sleeve silent engine that should serve as marine engine. Like many engineers he decided to build cars and with his financial background he was able to set up a company and hire the needed staff. The first cars were derivatives if the marine engine but the goal was to build a 6-cylinder that was finally introduced in 1923, the Type E. This was also the first model with four wheel brakes and first produced with a Herschell-Spillman engine and later with a more powerful Wisconsin OHV. As the bodies were not produced in house the final assembly was first in Moore near Philadelphia and then in Wilmington, Delaware.
After the tourer, roadster and sedan the convertible sedan by Woonsocket was introduced as seen on the oldest duPont in the class. Although featuring roll-up windows the removable central pillars made it look like a tourer when open.
After the Type E a supercharged version was intended for the Type F but it was never fully developed and the Type G was introduced instead, now featuring a straight-eight from Continental Motors with 125 hp and about a dozen different body styles delivered by Merrimac and Waterhouse but also special bodies could be ordered. The Type G was very well represented at Pebble Beach with a Phaeton, Sedan, Roadster, 4-seater speedster, convertible coupé, club coupé, town car and speedster. Being the most sportive and attractive version the speedster was star of the 1929 New York Automobile Show and soon ended in the possession of Douglas Fairbanks. Just like the Hollywood actors Clark Gable and Gary Cooper for Duesenberg certainly the silent movie actor Fairbanks was a good carthorse for the brand duPont and soon more Hollywood celebrities followed. But the speedster was not only looking good, it also served as base for the duPont racing activities. Due to the regulations at Le Mans back then the car needed more than 2 seats so the 4-seater speedster was sent over to France as the first all American racing team but retired soon. Although obviously none of the original 2 racing speedsters survived one of the sister cars built to the same specification could be seen at the Simeone Collection in Philadelphia. But duPont also went to Indianapolis with a stripped speedster but again failed to finish due to an accident, the car was shown in Pebble Beach this Sunday.
1929 duPont sold almost 150 cars and an increase was planned just when the financial market collapsed. At the same time E. Paul duPont bought the Indian Motorcycle company in Springfield and lost more and more interest in the cars. The final model was the Type H on a longer wheelbase. With just three examples this is certainly the rarest and most likely the most elegant of the duPont, the black-white example won its class that day. With just over three dozen known survivors out little more than 500 cars built the rate seems very low and owning a duPont today is as exclusive as it was back in the days and rarely one does see 11 of them lined up in perfect sun making this another very special feature at Pebble Beach.

The 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350 Mustang
Further features included the short history of the Pope Motor Company before the first WW, the Postwar Cunninghams including the road and race cars, the 75th birthday of the Lincoln Continental and the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350 Mustang that was also featured at the historic races in Laguna Seca.
Normally the American custom scene is very different from the usual concours scene but just as Amelia Island with the hot rods earlier this year Pebble Beach featured the historic customized Mercury.

The four nominees and the Best of Show winner
At the end of the day the award were given and after the numerous class and special awards the long waited Best of Show was called. Four cars lined up in front of the ramp and the choice could not have been more diversified. After the sensational win of a post war car last year with the Ferrari 375 MM two of this year’s nominees where as expected the class winners of the two European coach build classes, the 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A and the 1937 Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet. Entered by previous BoS winners Jim Patterson and Sam Mann they were both among the favorites since they were seen on the tour on Thursday. The other two nominees were very contrary as the winner of the antique class, the 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Kellner Torpedo Phaeton was slightly too old to fit the common scheme of the BoS contenders. Certainly the Silver Ghost is one of the best cars available in this era and the superb finish and excellent interior made this car worth the nomination but maybe some might say that the Edwardian lines of the car are not elegant in the common sense.
But much more a sensation was the fourth nominee, the 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Ghia Coupe entered by Grant Kinzel from Canada. But it is not only the exceptional small car that makes this nominee unusual but also the story behind its restoration. Shown at the 1953 Turin Salon and later by its first owner at the New York Auto Show the car disappeared from the public view since, only to be found in very sorry condition by its owner. So far a normal story but as reported Kinzel apparently restored the car completely on his own without any restoration shop behind him. Whereas most likely most of the cars on display were restored with a lot of man power to a certain deadline for wealthy clients the Abarth was the owner’s very first entry to Pebble Beach and just ended among the last four cars at the ramp. Just as last year BoS was judged as a clear statement to the owners of post was cars and Ferrari in particular in front of the Ferrari year that their cars could win, a win of the Abarth would have shown that it does not need unlimited means to get the most prestigious award in the concours scene but apparently this would have been a step up to fast so at the end it was the Isotta Fraschini entering the stage under the fireworks.
That does certainly not mean that this is not a deserved victory as this car brought everything one could ask for. The 1924 Isotta Fraschini was bought by Swiss Coachbuilder Fritz Ramseier of Carrosserie Worblaufen in 1931 to serve as a donor chassis for his design of a very elegant Sport Cabriolet. It was not uncommon during this time that the design of prestigious and expensive cars like the Isotta were modernized to the latest fashion as with the fast development of the automotive design the old Torpedo body certainly looked dated. Having continuous ownership from new the car was sold in 2014 at the Artcurial Retromobile sale to Jim Patterson who commissioned a complete restoration at RM Restorations who were already responsible for his last BoS Delage. Changing the color to a more stylish black from the crème white and black color combination to underline the elegance with a matching black interior the car looked stunning on at the ocean during the final shots of the day for the winner. As this is a car that also needs to be enjoyed more from a distance due to its size the crowded day in the hash midday light did not do it full justice.
Funny enough that the runner up, the Delahaye was also rebodied in period, after serving as a race car it was later converted by Franay to road use.

The conclusion after concours
So what is the conclusion after concours Sunday? Just looking at the BoS one might think that the show is back to business as usual with one of the favorites winning out of the few selected classes of coach built cars between WWI and WWII after the sensation of last year. Taking into account that also Pebble Beach is not immune against politics one might think that last year’s Ferrari win was a sign to potential entrants of the cars with the prancing horse to bring their treasures to the featured marque year having a proven chance to win the top prizes. Others might say that it was just a question of time that a post war car needed to win and that it is coincidence that it happened last year. What is certain is the fact that after 2004 this is just the second time in years that the morning was free of fog and sunny and as this was again a Ferrari year one did not have to be Ferraristi or highly spiritual to assume a higher power behind that. Despite a raise in the ticket prices the field again was packed throughout the day with thousands of people enjoying the biggest show in the classic car scene and with the following Gooding & Company Auction that evening a long and exhausting week ended for all those visiting Monterey. Few of them might be as happy as Rob Myers as RM Sotheby´s did not only achieve a record result this week but he could also add another BoS award to the achievements of RM Restorations.

Report & images … Peter Singhof

Ferrari Chassis Numbers compiled by Jens Robert

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Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Entry List 2015 with many chassis numbers in .docx Format