Saoutchik Mercedes wins vintage Pebble Beach Concours

| 20 Aug 2012

Guessing the the Best of Show at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours was a tough call with far more serious contenders for Best in Show than in recent memory.  

After much discussion among the judges, it was Paul Andrews' 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo that came out on top. 

Fresh from a four year restoration by Paul Russell & Co, the interior by Alpina featured 670 lizard skins.

Winner of the Classic & Sports Car's Best open car was Sam Mann's 1929 DuPont Model G Merrimac Speedster. 

Just 273 were built and the Continental-powered roadster was one of the fastest sports cars on American roads in 1929. 

Many regulars felt the 2012 event was a vintage year with spectacular special groups including Mercers, the flamboyant Saoutchik coachwork, cars of the Maharajahs  and Cobras.

Most distinctive exhaust noise on the fabled fairway was Ted Davis' 1911 Franklin D race car. 

The well preserved  air-cooled straight six had 12 exhausts and when motoring up the winner's ramp it sounded like a P51 Mustang fighter.

Highlight of the impressive Ferrari display was a rare outing of the fabulous ex-King Leopold of Belgium 1955 375 Plus Cabriolet. 

Hidden aways for several decades , the Pinin Farina beauty was a multiple winner for the Golomb family from Chicago.

A standing ovation greeted a special award for a remarkable woman, 102-year-old Margaret Dunning who drove the 1939 Packard 740 Custom Eight Roadster that she has owned since 1949 over the ramp to receive it.

Another crowd favourite was a rare appearance in public of Evert Louwman's 1919 Brooke 25/30 Swan Car. 

Featuring in the special Cars of the Maharajas group, it appeared alongside the 1919 Maharaja of Nabha 'Cygnet', an Indian-made electric car that mimicked the Swan Car in miniature and which the Maharaja used on his estate.

Highlight for Mick Walsh was a the ex-Lord Howe 1929 Mercedes-Benz SS-type. 

Recently sold from the Indianapolis Museum's reserve collection, this sleek Barker-bodied roadster was a favourite of Howe.

Novel features included Zeppelin-style running boards for carrying tools.  "I love the sleek body style, and the highly original condition," said Walsh.