For the first time since 2007, an American car secured the coveted Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on 18 August, as Joseph and Margie Cassini III took a popular home victory with their magnificent 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Convertible Victoria.
The unique Dietrich-bodied V12 was selected from an all-pre-war shortlist and saw off competition from a Lincoln, a Rolls-Royce and a Hispano-Suiza to take the top prize at the prestigious Californian classic set in the dramatic environs of the famed Pebble Beach Golf Club.
“I won in 2004 and the second time around it’s even more exciting,” said Joseph. “It’s almost an impossible dream to have lightning strike twice.”
Special classes this year included coachbuilder Vanvooren, plus anniversary celebrations of Lamborghini, Aston Martin and the Porsche 911 (above), and one-marque groups highlighting Simplex, Lincoln, Packard, Duesenberg, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and Ferrari.
There was also a one-model class for the BMW 507 and a breathtaking non-competitive display of 28 Alfa Romeo 8Cs ahead of their forthcoming tour of the Rockies.
None could match the winners of the Indy roadster group (above) for drama across the block, although Bruce Meyer's outrageous 1970 Porsche 935 K3 (Porsche 935 Competition) and Henry David' 1966 Ford GT40 (Postwar Sports Racing) ran them close.
Competition for the main awards was fierce, with new chief judge Chris Bock and his army of luminaries – including racers Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss, plus design legends Wayne Cherry and Gordon Murray - having their work cut out simply to get around the 249 stunning cars on display. See below for a full list of award-winners.
Like most of the entrants, however, Margaret and Christopher Duhon of Illinois were just delighted to be there with their 1933 Packard 1005 Twelve Coupe Roadster. Margaret enthused: “When we were dating he said, ‘Why don’t we go out West to Pebble Beach to see the concours?’ I thought wouldn’t that be amazing – and now we’re in it!”
“We have the whole history of the car and the first owner, ‘Debonair’ Dave Clark, was accused of shooting a mob boss,” said Christopher. “The next owner was the attorney who got him off!
“Incredibly, a guy came up to use during the Tour and he turned out to be the car’s fifth owner.”
Away from the main prizes, the concours team led by chairman Sandra Button was also able to present an incredible $1.277m cheque for the Pebble Beach Company Foundation charity.
Next year’s concours will feature special celebrations of steam-powered classics and the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. For further details, see the website.
Below is a full list of award-winners:
Best In Show: 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria, Joseph Cassini
Most Elegant Sports Car: 1955 Ferrari 250GT Pinin Farina, Lee & Joan Herrington
Most Elegant Convertible: 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria, Joseph Cassini
Most Elegant Open Car: 1929 Duesenberg J LeBaron Phaeton, John & Linda Muckle
Most Elegant Closed Car: Bentley 6 1/2-litre Surbico Sport Coupe, William E Connor (above)
Elegance in Motion: 1938 Talbot-Lago 150C SS Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet, Tom Price
A1 – Antique: 1912 Packard 30 7-passenger Touring, The Phil Hill Family
B – Simplex: 1911 Simplex 50hp Holbrook Toy Tonneau, Ray Scherr (above)
C1 – American Classic Open: 1938 Buick Series 40 Lancefield Drophead Coupe, John & Christine Beebe
C2 – American Classic Open Packard: 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria, Joseph & Margie Cassini III
C3 – American Classic Closed: 1931 Cadillac 452A Fleetwood Coupe, Brent Merrill
D1 – Lincoln Custom Coachwork V8: 1930 Lincoln L-170 Judkins Coupe, David W Schultz
D2 – Lincoln Custom Coachwork V12: 1932 Lincoln KB Murphy Roadster, John & Heather Mozart
D3 – Lincoln-Zephyr and Continental: 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe, Chris V Bang
D4 – Lincoln Custom Coachwork Postwar: 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II Coupe, Rick & Elaine Schmidt (above)
E – Aston Martin Centennial: 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Roadster, Bill & Linda Pope
F – Vanvooren Coachwork: 1934 Hispano-Suiza J12 Vanvooren Coupe, Sir Michael Kadoorie
G – Duesenberg: 1929 Duesenberg J LeBaron Phaeton, Tony & Jonna Ficco
H1 – Rolls-Royce Prewar: 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Van Den Plas Belgium Torpedo, Dr Terry Bramall (above)
H2 – Rolls-Royce and Bentley Postwar: 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Graber Cabriolet, Fred Kriz
I – Mercedes-Benz: 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, Autosport Designs Inc
J1 – European Classic Early: 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Baby Royale Faux Cabriolet, Richard Adams
J2 – European Classic Late: 1939 Bugatti Type 57 Gangloff Stelvio, Steve Hamilton
L1 – Prewar Preservation: 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C, Alan W McEwan
L2 – Postwar Preservation: 1965 Porsche 911, Reed & Nan Harman
M1 – Ferrari Grand Touring: 1955 Ferrari 250GT Pinin Farina Berlinetta Special, Lee & Joan Herrington
M2 – Ferrari Competition: 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Touring Barchetta, Jack & Kingsley Croul
N – Lamborghini: 1973 Lamborghini Miura SV, Simon Kidston
O1 – Postwar Sports Racing: 1966 Ford GT40, Henry A Davis
O2 – Postwar Touring: 1960 Alfa Romeo Superflow IV, Caballeriza Inc
P1 – Porsche 911 Road Cars: 1963 Porsche 911 Prototype, Don & Diane Meluzio
P2 – Porsche 911 Competition: 1979 Porsche 935 K3, Bruce Meyer (above)
U – BMW 507: 1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster, Charals & Diana Haagen
V1 – Early Race Cars: 1908 Benz 105HP Prinz Heinrich, Bruce & Jolene McCaw
V2 – Indianapolis Roadsters: 1960 Epperly Mid-Continent Securities Special, Bill Akin
X – French Motorcycles: 1937 Peugeot 515SP with sidecar, Leslie Dreist