Every year the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance offers a superb group of drool worthy antique and classic automobiles. This year was no exception however, this year’s special classes were particularly overflowing with jaw-dropping examples of spectacular cars. Here are our picks for the top 10 cars on the lawn at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Number 1 – 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet (Credit: Ron Kimball/Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance)
Humility is an attractive characteristic. This isn’t a car which necessarily screams “look at me” but once you do you’ll be enamored. While walking the field I came upon this car and was wowed by the intricacy of the details. Former owner Eric Clapton stated it was “the most fun I’ve had offstage out out of bed.” Hundreds of hours of work (five years) went into fixing a previous bad restoration to arrive at this beauty. Every body panel has been meticulously rehabilitated. The engraved metal trim is unbelievable, much of it had to be remade.
Here is something you don’t see everyday, the interior of the bumpers are handsomely finished. May I offer a personal thanks to one of the car’s restorers who very kindly asked if I had any questions and led me around the car.
Number 2 – 1949 Bristol 402 Convertible
This car first caught my eye in the Tour d’Elegance line-up on Thursday morning. Those big swaths of sheet metal perfectly formed are pure art.
How’s this for a stunning dashboard? The blue cord details on the interior are divine as well. Only the sixth 402 built, though for a Prince and RAF Spitfire pilot.
Number 3 – 1966 Ford GT40 P/1031 – P/1047 Mk IIB
Driven to center stage by Master of Ceremonies Derek Hill to begin the awards portion of the day this wonderful Ford GT40 has a juicy racing history. Driven first by Dan Gurney at 12 Hours of Sebring where he ignored the rules and pushed the car across the finish line, the car went on to race with other drivers at LeMans, Daytona, Reims and finally retiring at Montlhery in 1967. The car is now under the stewardship of The Revs Institute in Naples, Flordia, which means you can pay it a visit.
Number 4 – 1938 Delahaye 135 M Figoni and Falaschi Roadster
Beautiful from every vantage point, this stunner was found under an olive tree on an Algerian farm in 1992 and purchased for a mere £60, though not quite in this condition.
Number 5 – 1956 Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti Spyder
This Ferrari was built for Juan Manuel Fangio for the Mille Miglia, campaigned on the endurance and grand prix circuits without a crash for eight years and cost a cool $28 million in 2015. Fangio drove it solo in the 1956 Mille Miglia capturing 4th place. Its best finish came from Wolfgang von Tripps and Olivier Gendebien who captured 2nd place at the 1956 Swedish GP.
Number 6 – 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Thrupp & Maberly Limosine
The fine points of this car are just amazing from the silk interior trim to the large oval windows, one of the first sliding sun-roofs to the intricate detailing on the wooden wheels, all of it is engineering eye-candy.
Number 7 – 1912 Peugoet BP1 Bébé Columbia Lamp Works Roadster
If the initial Type 69 Bébé prototype stole the show at the Paris Auto Salon in 1904, the chatter on the field wasn’t much different on Sunday. It is just so darned cute! More importantly the original Type BP1 Bébé was designed by Ettore Bugatti. This custom body was created by Columbia Lamp Works of NYC, who sold lamps which “stayed lit.”
Number 8 – 1965 Iso Grifo A3/C Catarsi Competition Berlinetta
Here we have the most successful of the Iso Grifo Bizzarrini-built works race cars still around. It finished 9th at LeMans in 1965.
Number 9 – 1948 Delahaye 1935 MS Chapron Vedette Cabriolet
One of only four in existence this car was shown at the 1948 Paris Salon de l’Automobile afterwards is was sold to a M. Chanel of Paris. Could this have been the famous Mademoiselle’s car? Talk about style, how often do you see an acrylic steering wheel?
Number 10 – 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia “Bügelfalte” Roadster
The original car, built as a special, raced in LeMans and Mille Miglia amongst others. After its 1939 First in class and 8th overall at Mille Miglia, BMW tore it down and rebodied it as the streamlined version you see here. “Bügelfalte” means ironing crease, which is easy to note on the fenders. The fresh body upped its finish in the race to 6th in 1940. Next it went to German Minister Albert Speer during the war, after which it was seized by Russia and given to MIG aircraft engineer Artem Mikoyan.
In the coming weeks we’ll have more of the fabulous cars we saw during Monterey Car Week.