Vintage Mercedes-Benz Wins Best of Show at Concours d’Elegance
This year’s Concours d’Elegance auto show in Pebble Beach was a huge success, with top honors going to a 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S. The Concours is the premier event of the year in the U.S. for serious classic car owners and fans of these superb vintage automobiles. The Mercedes awarded Best of Show at this year’s event is a gray beauty with maroon trim and custom bodywork by Jacques Saoutchik, a famous French coachbuilder. This year’s event drew 220 contestants from 15 countries and 33 states, who must pass very stringent entrance requirements. Other Best of Show nominees included a 1931 Duesenberg J Derham Tourster, a 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Figoni Coupé and a 1935 Duesenberg J Gurney-Nutting Speedster.
The people who attend this annual event pay top dollar for the privilege of witnessing automotive excellence firsthand, as general admission tickets cost $250 each. The event begins at 5 a.m., with the traditional parade of vintage cars onto the 18th fairway of famed golf course Pebble Beach Golf Links. Festivities continued throughout the day, with competitions in many different automotive classes. Later that afternoon, the owner of the winning Mercedes drove through thick smoke from fireworks to claim the top prize. Prize in hand, the owner shared a brief word with the audience about what helped his classic car stand out from the competition.
“It’s the whole package,” he said. “There’s not a bad line on this car. It was the sports car, the high performance car of its era, and then Saoutchik gave it style and grace. It has power and it has beauty.”
While many attendees only spend one day at the Concours, it is actually a weeklong series of events that include shows, tours, vintage car club meetings, races featuring vintage automobiles and one of the most prestigious classic car auctions in the world. This year’s auction set a record of $262 million in sales for 1,217 different lots on the auction block. The average sale price surged to $343,968 this year, up sharply from last year’s average of $233,950. Industry analysts said that the rise in average sales reflected recent trends in the classic car market, and they expect that trend to continue for the foreseeable future.
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