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Scottsdale, 15th of January, 2017

With the New Year only 2 weeks old the international concours circuit had an early start with the fourth annual Concours of Elegance at the Arizona Biltmore hotel. For many years Scottsdale is a synonym for the first big auctions of the year including
RM Sotheby´s, Gooding & Company, Bonhams, Russo & Steele and certainly the top dog Barrett & Jackson. But for the fourth time the international collectors did not only have the chance to take a new car back home from Scottsdale but also bring one of their treasured collector cars to the first concours of the year. The famous Arizona Biltmore built by Frank Lloyd Wright is the perfect location not only for the RM Auction but also for the Concours.

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Although relatively fresh on the calendar the Arizona Concours already has a strong number of supporters bringing cars to the lawn behind the hotel worth the location and being of very high standard. About 100 car were set up very early in the morning before the sun was out (although the sun unfortunately was rarely seen today) including both featured marques of Lincoln and Bugatti as well as the work of Coachbuilder Vignale. The Vignale class featured some great examples from Ferrari including a 212 MM and the prototype 250 Europa in stylish two-tone color combination as already seen in Pebble Beach and the Cavallino Classic. Bugatti on the other hand did not only feature a handful of the Type 57 street cars but also some GP cars dedicated to the theme of pioneer woman in racing including the Helle Nice Type 35.

Over the next hours the international Jury had the difficult choice to find the class winners both in American and European car classes from the prestigious classic pre-war ere as well as from the early years after the war. Whereas the pre-war era is mainly dominated be elegant and representative Coupés and Cabriolets the post-war era was much more sportive including several race cars that are not typical concours cars. Although the styling of a Jaguar D-Type or a Maserati 250 F might be exciting for the race fans and showing that the form follows function principle could give great proportions those cars were not supposed to take part in a concours originally.

So it is not a surprise that at the end of the day the four selected cars to contend for the Best of Show were more typical coach built cars than racers including a Lagonda LG45 Rapide, a Marmon 16, the Ferrari 250 Europa as well as the famous Bugatti T57SC Atlantic that formally won the Pebble Beach Concours. Although the design of Vignale has both the elegance and rarity certainly an Atlantic is impossible to beat on the concours ground and so it was no surprise that the 8-cylinder Bugatti took the crown of the day although the car had to be pushed onto the stage as it refused to start after taking the red carpet for the first time to collect its class award. But the lines of the Bugatti did not only appeal to the judges but also to the kids of the Make-a-Wish foundation who gave the car also the kids’ award. The Ferrari on the other hand was not only runner up but also awarded most elegant post-war design.

Out of competition but not less interesting was the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 N.A.R.T. Spyder once driven by Denise McCluggage as shown in the women’s display in front of the hotel.

For today we have put together a 100-images preview gallery giving a first impression of the show field before the next days are dominated by the various auctions. One could be curious how the year will start after the insane RM Sotheby´s sale in Milano at the end of last year, again there are some really interesting cars going over the block at all auction houses.

Followed by the 26th Cavallino Classic in 10 day the first highlights of the season will be reviewed in more depth later.

Report & images … Peter Singhof

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