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This 1954 Ferrari 750 Monza has been crowned the winner of The Peninsula Classics 2020 Best of the Best Award.
The accolade goes to a classic car that has won one of the qualifying world-class concours that year, this Ferrari taking Best of Show at the Cavallino Classic in Florida in January 2020.
It was shortlisted along with a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Town Limousine owned by The Lehrman Collection that was Best of Show at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance last March, the 1970 Le Mans-winning Porsche 917K that took top honours at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in September, and Salon Privé’s winner, the 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Monza Spider by Zagato, in which Tazio Nuvolari won the ’32 Coppa Principe di Piemonte for Scuderia Ferrari.
This 750 Monza made its debut with a two-litre engine at the first grand prix at Imola Autodrome in June 1954, where Umberto Maglioli took it to victory.
Then with a three-litre unit installed, it also won that year’s Monsanto Grand Prix, as well as claiming a first and a second during Nassau Race Week.
It then went to California with new owner Sterling Edwards who founded the Pebble Beach Road Races in which, in 1955 and ’56, this car took four wins and a pair of first-in-class finishes.
Bob Whitmer was its next keeper and he raced it with a Chevy V8 until the early ’60s, but the Ferrari then spent around half a century disassembled.
Today’s owners, Jill and Tom Peck, embarked on what became a two-plus-year restoration in 2016 to bring the Scaglietti-bodied 750 Monza back to best, and today it wears the livery from its first Carrera Panamericana in 1954.
The car then received the Enzo Ferrari Award at 2019’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, ahead of its Cavallino Classic Best of Show.
“It is a true honour to be recognised by the venerable judges of The Peninsula Classics,” said Tom Peck.
This year, the judging panel included Gordon Murray, and car collectors Jay Leno and Laurence Graff.
“Like so many classic cars,” Peck added, “this one has been both a labour of love and the product of dedicated teamwork. The Best of the Best Award is a crowning achievement for everyone involved.”
Co-founded by The Hon Sir Michael Kadoorie in 2015, The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award usually draws its finalists from nine of the world’s most prestigious concours, however 2020 brought unprecedented challenges.
“Our judging procedures had to be carried out remotely and unfortunately the main awards event had to be cancelled,” he explained.
“However, it is always a great pleasure to spotlight the remarkable achievements of the automotive industry, and to create a small spark of joy in the current challenging times. These classic vehicles are an enduring testament to human artistry and ingenuity.”
Images: Jay Miller