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Pebble Beach, 16 August 2009

The 59th annual running of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance took place in its usual location of the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, which is the only time that the course is closed during the year. As with other events during the Monterey week of historic automobile activities, there was no outward signs of the worldwide economic recession, as there was a spectacular display of cars, plus motorcycles for the first time this year, and massive crowds throughout the day.

The 2009 feature marque was Bentley and they had the largest presence on the 200+ vehicle concours field, with a total of 39 examples in 8 different classes, ranging from a 1922 3 Litre Park Ward Tourer which had been brought over for Australia for the event, to the 2003 Speed 8 Le Mans, from Bentley Motors Ltd in the UK. Within the number there were also the 4.5 litre “Birkin Blowers” numbers 2, 3 and 4, together with Speed Sixes “Old Number 1, 2, and 3”, which together had been entered from as far apart as Washington, New York, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the UK. The gathering also celebrated the Centenaries of Audi, Bugatti and Morgan, with many fine examples of each marque, with Bugatti having two classes of their own, the Morgans present ran from a 7hp Runabout from the first year of production, 1909, to the 2009 LIFECar Coupé, whilst the Audi class featured not only a 1939 Auto Union D-Type single seater, but the spectacular silver Best of Show winning 1937 Horch 853 Voll & Ruhrbeck Sport Cabriolet, owned by Robert Lee from Nevada. It was quite a weekend for this renowned collector, as he had won the Best of Show award with his Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Cabriolet at The Quail on the Friday.

There were three Ferrari classes, two for display only, and the third judged one for GT/Competition Cars. The class winner in this group was the 375 America Vignale Coupé, chassis # 0355 AL, of Heinrich & Magdalena Kaempfer from Switzerland, which also took the Enzo Ferrari Trophy for the best Ferrari present. One of the display classes was for the 166 MM Touring Barchetta, of which there were ten examples on show, and it was quite amazing to see the multiple differences between the individual cars in such a small production run for a fledgling manufacturer. The second was for the 1959 Testa Rossa sports racing model, and all four remaining examples came together fifty years after they were produced, to make a great study in Rosso Corsa on the fairway. Other classes included one for “Silver Arrows” featuring a selection of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix cars, 90 Years of Zagato, with a fine selection of body styles produced by the firm ranging from a 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Spyder to a 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2 Berlinetta, plus themed, preservation and single marque classes including ones for Duesenberg, Packard and Rolls Royce.

A further celebration was that of Sir Stirling Moss’ upcoming 80th birthday, with a large birthday cake monument close to the ocean edge, surrounded by three of the cars in which he raced during his illustrious career, an OSCA MT4, a Maserati 250 F F1 car and a Cooper Climax Type 43 F1 car. Naturally the maestro was in attendance as part of this tribute, and was his usual ebullient self. A surprise visitor was “Arnie”, aka Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, who toured the field, and then partook in light hearted banter with Jay Leno during the charity auction during the afternoon, which is traditionally hosted by the latter, preceding the major awards ceremony, which brought the day to a close with the ticker tape presentation of the Best of Show award.

David O’Neill

Bentley's at Pebble Beach
Class Year, Make, Model Chassis Registration Comment

F1-01 1926 Bentley  6 ½ Litre H J Mulliner Drop Head Coupé sn.TB2542 TB2542 YR633

F1-02 1929 Bentley  6 ½ Litre VdP Dual Cowl Tourer sn.KF2399 KF2399 UL7151 Work Demonstrator

F1-04 1929 Bentley  6 ½ Litre H J Mulliner Sedanca de Ville sn.KR2687 KR2687 SR1929 (AUS) Olympia Motor Show Car 1929

F1-05 1930 Bentley  Speed 6 Gurney Nutting Fixed Head Coupé sn.LR2788 LR2788 GC3661 Monte Carlo Rally, Glen Kidston

F1-06 1930 Bentley  Speed 6 H J Mulliner Drop Head Coupé sn.LR2776 LR2776 GH1517 ex. Terry Cohn

F1-07 1930 Bentley  Speed 6 Gurney Nutting Coupé sn.HM2855 HM2855 GJ3811 “Blue Train” ex. Woolf Barnato

F2-01 1930 Bentley  8 Litre H J Mulliner Saloon sn.YF5002 YF5002 GK706

F2-02 1931 Bentley  8 Litre H J Mulliner Saloon sn.YX5115 YX5115 GAG6917

F2-03 1931 Bentley  8 Litre VdP 4 seater sn.YR5095 YR5095 GP401 Ex. Woolf Barnato

F2-04 1932 Bentley  8 Litre VdP Tourer sn.YX5119 YX5119 DM7853 Original Body still fitted

F3-01 1922 Bentley  3 Litre Park Ward Tourer sn.141 141 XM6761 First Bentley to race in Le Mans

F3-02 1928 Bentley  4 ½ Litre VdP Le Mans Sports sn.TX3246 TX3246 YW5758

F3-03 1928 Bentley  4 ½ Litre VdP Le Mans Sports sn.KM3077 KM3077 YV7265

F3-04 1929 Bentley  4 ½ Litre SC VdP “No.2 Birkin Team Blower” sn.HB3403 HB3403 UU5872 Bentley Motors

F3-05 1929 Bentley  4 ½ Litre SC VdP “No.4 Birkin Team Blower” sn.HB3404/R HB3404/R YU3250 Chip Connor

F3-06 1929 Bentley  4 ½ Litre SC Single Seater  “No.1 Birkin Team Blower” sn.HB3402 HB3402 UU5871 George Daniels

F3-07 1929 Bentley  4 ½ Litre SC VdP  “No.4 Birkin Team Blower” sn.HR3976 HR3976 UR6571 Ralph Lauren

F3-08 1929 Bentley  Speed Six Gurney Nutting 2 seater “Old Number One” sn.LB2332 LB2332 MT3464 Double Le Mans Winner

F3-09 1930 Bentley  Speed 6 VdP Tourer “Old Number 2” sn.HM2868 HM2868 GF8507

F3-10 1930 Bentley  Speed 6 VdP Tourer “Old Number 3” sn.HM2869 HM2869 GF8511

F3-11 1933 Bentley  4 ¼ Litre Offord Sports

F3-12 1939 Bentley  4 ¼ Litre “Embiricos” Pourtout Coupé   FXW6

L1-04 1926 Bentle  3 Litre VdP 4 seater sn.PH1461 PH1461 KM2321