A complete different category are the other featured class of the Tucker and the Citroen DS. Both very
innovative in time the déesse (goddess) acclaimed international reputation whereas the Tucker (although no
less innovative) became famous for its struggling against the established automotive industry of the time and
so the few built Tuckers became rare collector cars especially in the US. About 13 of them are expected to
line-up on the green on Sunday and a few of them could be seen today already. One of the biggest single
marque contingent on the field will be again Ferrari as the cars from Maranello is yearly featured in own
classes just like Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and Duesenberg showing the reputation of these brands.
Of particular interest is always the race Ferrari class as these early endurance racers formed the myth of the
Cavallino Rampante and it is no secret that the road cars are more expedient to the financing of the racing to
Enzo Ferrari than primary interest. No less than three pontoon fendered Testa Rossa could be seen and most
interestingly one of them is a 4-cylinder TRC rather than the bigger engined V12 derivate that is more known
for the characteristic body style helping to cool the huge drum brakes of the era. Another 4-cylinder 2-litre is
coming fresh from restoration, this time a black-red 500 Mondial, lined up just a few meters from the sister car
that will go over the block this weekend at Gooding.
But apart from personal interest the main theme is every year a guess for the Best in Show candidates
among all the visitors of the tour. There are years when the choice is rather easy but this year will be pretty
special as one could easily spot at least three candidates for the highest laurels. Not only are those three
cars of the highest level of automotive design but they are also entered by very prominent collection, all of
them not new in winning major awards. Representing the European Continent or more specific the Italian art of
coachbuilding is the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Touring Berlinetta brought by David & Ginny Sydorick. More known
as a Zagato collector Sydorick fell for the famous Touring design that already shone on the previous PB BoS
winner exactly a decade ago, when Jon Shirley won his first title with a blue example, this year we will see a
All American is the Duesenberg JN Bohman & Schwartz Convertible Coupe owned by Sam & Emily Mann.
This very car was originally owned by Clark Gable whose Duesenberg SSJ is expected to set a new record at
this year’s Gooding Auction. The car was already shown in 2007 when it won a special award before winning
in Amelia Island and the fact that it was already shown might take away the actual chances to win overall but
nevertheless this car certainly is one of the stars of the weekend.
Building the bridge between the two continents is the huge Cadillac V16 Series 90 with Swiss Hartmann
Cabriolet body owned by The Patterson Collection. After spending some time in the Blackhawk Collection the
car was restored recently be RM Restorations and both Patterson and RM are no strangers to winning BoS
awards so this car might be the actual favourite for the title. But after finishing the tour and going back to the
trailers one has to wait whether the international jury will agree with our guess and whether these three cars
will be in the final selection.
After the Tour it was time to have a look at the last of the “big three” auction previews at Bonhams. Although
the smallest of the big ones the single day auction located at the Quail Lodge will lead into the weekend
tomorrow when several very interesting cars will cross the block. Although the sale is led by numbers by the
Ferrari 250 GT SWB maybe the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competition might be the more interesting car. Being an
original Mille Miglia contender this is as exotic as it gets with apparently only two examples in existence
today. It will be interesting to see what the market will be like as not few collectors and also dealers are
waiting for the trend setting Monterey sale being an indicator of the current market situation. Never before so
many big cars could be seen in Monterey as the 10 million dollar mark might fall more often than ever before.
But Monterey is not only about the highest paid prices for unique cars, it also shows the current value of
rather standard types like the several Porsche 911 and 356 lined-up on the grass at Bonhams. Latest in three
days we will know the answer when the auctions end and the final curtain of the Monterey week opens for the
Tomorrow will be the Quail Lodge Motorsport Gathering and all three auctions houses will have their first day.
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Report & Images ... Peter Singhof