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Posts Tagged ‘concours d’elegance’

Rare Barn Finds Among the Highlights at 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

"It was a part of history."

by on Aug.22, 2016

Best-in-Show, Eric Clapton, the one-time owner of this 1936 Lancia called it the most fun he's ever had off-stage and out of bed.

“I took a mortgage on my home because it was the most expensive car I ever bought. Then I took it home in boxes and pieces,” says Lothar Schuettler, a Darnestown, Maryland, collector, as he shows off his 1937 BMW 328 Roadster.

It took Schuettler six years to put all those pieces back together, the retired executive estimating he did about 80% of the work himself, everything from cutting and shaping the steamed oak pieces that formed the frames for the rear fenders to recreating missing screws and bolts that needed to match the original factory pieces.

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But, “It needed to be done. It was a part of history,” said Schuettler, standing on the 18th fairway at the tony Pebble Beach golf course. He was one of about 200 collectors participating in the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, generally considered the world’s most elegant and exclusive classic car show.


Only the Most Elite: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Fielding a classic requires, patience, love – and lots of money.

by on Aug.17, 2015

Jim Patterson drives his 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A across the stage to take best-in-show honors at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Champagne and a flurry of confetti put the cap on a weekend of festivities wrapped around the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

More than 20,000 classic car fans crowded onto the greens outside the tony Lodge at Pebble Beach Sunday to check out a gathering of 220 of the world’s rarest and most desirable automobiles, a collection pulled together from 15 countries.

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“I’m a little bit overcome, and a little bit emotional,” said Jim Patterson, the owner of the 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A that took honors as best-in-show. “In this business, if you win at Pebble Beach, you’ve done the ultimate. Nothing else compares.”


BMW Concept M4 to Make Pebble Beach Debut

Maker confirms plans as images leak out on Internet.

by on Aug.15, 2013

BMW planned to reveal is Concept M4 on Friday, but images like this one forced the maker's hand.

BMW is reluctantly confirming it will reveal the new Concept M4 in Pebble Beach this week, part of the frenzied run-up to the annual Concours d’Elegance many makers are using to introduce their latest luxury models.

The German maker had hopes to keep things secret until a dramatic unveiling on Friday at the Quail Motorsports Gathering, an event that precedes the yearly Pebble Beach Concours, but images and details have begun leaking out on the Internet.

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“The BMW Concept M4 Coupe reflects the BMW M philosophy in ideal form: It combines motor racing genes and unrestricted everyday suitability in a highly emotional overall concept,” said Friedrich Nitschke, chairman of BMW’s managing board, in a statement. (more…)

Blasts From the Past: The “Orphan” Car Show

Sponsored by the world's last Hudson dealer.

by on Oct.07, 2011

A 1947 Hudson Convertible welcomes visitors to the annual Orphan Car Show.

Jack Miller is a persistent man.  You would expect that of a man who claims to be “the world’s last Hudson dealer.”  For those who don’t recognize the name – brought back by the character Paul Newman voiced in the original animated Pixar film, Cars – Hudson was a once popular automotive brand that vanished in 1954, subsumed by the forever-struggling American Motors.

Miller’s showroom sits in a back corner of Ypsilanti, itself a backwoods suburb of Detroit.  But it has become the anchor of an annual pilgrimage by some of the world’s most serious car-nuts, folks who don’t really concede that brands like Hudson or DeSoto, Packard or Plymouth are gone.  And they’re not during the yearly Orphan Car Show Miller inaugurated in 1997 — just before several of the latest brands, including Oldsmobile and Plymouth, headed for that rust heap in the sky.


It is said that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and for my money there is nothing more appealing than this offbeat gathering, held this year on the last Sunday in September.

This show isn’t the stuff of Social Register types who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars – sometimes millions — acquiring rare classics from the likes of Bugatti or Talbot Lago and then investing still more big bucks having them restored to flawless perfection for display at a Concours d’Elegance like the ones in Pebble Beach and Amelia Island.

Studebaker had a strange way with names, chosing to pair the President (r) with the pre-war Dictator.


In Search of the Best: 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

"Great people...and the best cars in the world."

by on Aug.22, 2011

Peter Mullins' Voisin Aerodyn takes Best-in-Show.

Parked on the lawn, the motor of his 1934 Avian Voisin C-25 Aerodyne idling, Peter Mullin had no idea what to expect.  The next couple minutes might bring the biggest surprise of his life or the biggest disappointment.

There was no question he’d delivered a showstopper with the French sedan he’d entered into the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  It took a full three years to restore the Voisin – “And I had already been planning it for seven years,” he recalled.  But there were two other striking examples of pre-war automotive elegance sitting alongside, anyone of which might grab the most coveted trophy in the world of classic cars.

Suddenly, like angels calling, the trumpets began their fanfare, fireworks bursting into the air as Mullin got the signal he was hoping for.  Yet it wasn’t until he had the Aerodyne parked on the center stage that the long-time collector finally allowed the reality to set in. After 30 years of trying, he had just won the Concours’ Best-in-Show.

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“I just can’t believe it,” Mullins repeated, still in shock, confetti now covering the dark grey and black Voisin, which was one of only six C-25s built by French aeronautical pioneer Gabriel Voisin after he decided to switch to automotive manufacturing in the wake of World War I.  “I thought I’d finished third.  This is the most rewarding thing that ever happened to me in the car world,” said Mullin.


First Look: Lotus Evora GTE Road Car Concept

British marque beginning its grand expansion program.

by on Aug.17, 2011

Lotus developed the Evora GTE for the Le Mans circuit, but this concept suggests it may offer a version of the 2-seater for the street.

The tony communities of California’s Monterey Peninsula look a lot like a used car lot this weekend – albeit populated some of the world’s highest-priced “previously-owned” vehicles as the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance rolls into town.  But while most of the attention focuses on classic cars, a number of high-line makers are hoping to grab some of the spotlight for their own, newer offerings.

Among the many products to be previewed in the next few days, Lotus will lift the covers off its latest entry, the Evora GTE.  At last year’s Paris Motor Show, the maker announced plans to introduce a half-dozen new products in the next few years – its biggest roll-out ever – and, as more recently reported, Lotus also is developing an all-new V-8 engine to power some of those offerings.


The GTE fits in with the mandate of legendary Lotus founder Colin Chapman to “add lightness” to every vehicle.  It starts out as a standard Evora tuned for the track – and redubbed the Lotus Evora GTE.  The concept version of the car coming to Pebble Beach, meanwhile, would be street legal if put into production.


Basking in the Glory: the Amelia Island Concours

No “trailer queens” here, please.

by on Mar.17, 2011

A rare barn find, a 1950 Allard J2 Le Mans.

A chill breeze whips through the pre-dawn darkness, an out-of-tune generator noisily providing the power for the sole spotlight marking the start of the “Dawn Patrol.”  Passing cups of coffee and sharing old war stories, folks like Hans Wurl and Jeff Orwig wait for the signal that will begin the day’s events.

“Go, go, go,” shouts the woman in the day-glo vest, waving her yellow flag as if chasing away a swarm of hornets.  Within seconds, a score of ancient engines have fired up, a 1937 Duesenberg Town Car Cabriolet leading the procession down onto the field.

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By the time the sun has risen high enough to boil the dew off the beach grass, most of the old machines have taken their places, the majority getting there under their own power – “trailer queens” not being favored here.  But a few must be towed to their spots on the manicured golf course greens, like Don Prudhomme’s impossibly long old rail dragster.