These bazillion-dollar antiques are mostly traditional, but with a few surprises thrown in.
Most years in the late summer, except for last year, rich people and their cars get together to celebrate. The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance went off without a hitch this past weekend (we're guessing besides a few overheated cars that needed to be trailered out of there) crowing a winner in the one-of-a-kind 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier. It was the kind of traditional pre-war winner we expect, though it has a bit of a dicey past. Then again, there's not much from Germany in the 1930s that doesn't have a dicey past.
In celebration of the weekend's festivities, we're bringing you all the winners.
The Autobahn Kurier won Best In Show and is currently owned by collector and restorer Arturo Keller, who's had several vehicles take the top spot at the most famous concours. It was joined in the final four by a 1957 Maserati 450S Zagato Coupe, a 1967 Ferrari 365 Pininfarina Tre Posti, and the 1935 Bugatti Type 57C Convertible. It also won it's own Mercedes Pre-War class.
The Kurier was bought new in 1938 in Barcelona. It then moved to Africa, Switzerland, and then back to Barcelona. The original owner kept the Mercedes the rest of his life. It was then sold it to Keller, who restored it. And they didn't just put it in a bubble, never to be seen again. Keller and his wife Deborah instead drove the 540K, even driving it from Monte Carlo to Venice over Alpine passes.
Keller won way back in 1986 with a 1936 500K Special Roadster, and again in 2001 with a 1930 700SS Erdmann & Rossi Roadster. Both are Mercedes vehicles.
This 1910 Winton won best in the antique class. It's owned by the Schuster family and originally came from the Winton Motor Carriage company that operated in Cleveland, Ohio. It made "touring" cars from the late 1800s to 1924, and was eventually bought by General Motors. From what we can gather, its 7.8-liter straight-six engine made about 48 horsepower when new, put to the wheels via a four-speed transmission.
This 1912 Rauch & Lang won the Early Electric Vehicles class at Pebble. The EV was also produced in Cleveland, Ohio where the company made its home. It operated from 1905 to 1920 and produced hundreds of thousands of quiet little carriages. This one was owned by inventor Thomas A. Edison himself. The TC4 features a unique layout with an exposed chauffeur seat and a tall passenger cabin like a horse-drawn carriage.
This 3-35 won the Vintage class with owners Timothy and Dennis Heywood. It was produced from 1916-1923 and featured a 424-cu-in. V12 (hence the 'Twin Six' name). It's three-speed manual transmission had been moved from the rear axle to the back of the clutch, leading to smoother acceleration with its 88 hp.
This 1933 Auburn 12-161A Speedster is like Pebble Beach bait. The judges love this brand and it won the American Classic class. One of these recently sold for almost a half million dollars at auction. It features a 391-cu-in. Lycoming Side-Valve V12 engine, a single Stromberg carburetor and delivered 160 hp at 3,500 rpm.
Here's more Packard magic, in a class full of Packards. The 1407 Twelve was offered in many different body styles including several different four-door sedans configurations. It housed a 473.3-cu-in. twelve-cylinder under the hood with four main bearings and Stromberg-Duplex carburetor making 175 hp at 3,200 RPM. A three-speed selective synchromesh transmission kept the gear changes smooth.
This J Murphy Dual Cowl Phaeton won this year's Duesenberg class. If you're unfamiliar with Duesenberg, it was an American company that made luxury and race cars from 1916 to 1937. They're long, rare, and expensive, and they win a lot of awards. One of these sold recently for $2 million at an RM Sotheby's auction. 265 horsepower is brought forth by a 420 cubic inch inline eight, which more than doubled the output of any rival at the time.
Long before the current Rolls-Royce Ghost, we had the Silver Ghost, and this one won the Rolls-Royce class. They call this a Skiff body, and it was coachbuilt by Shapiro-Schebera in Berlin. It has a a 7.4-liter L-Head inline-six cylinder engine making just 50 hp at 1,500 rpm with a four-speed manual transmission. One sold for over $1.1 million at Bonhams in 2015.
This 1937 Bugatti Type 57S joined the Bugatti Bolide out at the 70th Pebble Beach Concours. It won the European Classic class and looks stunning its its period-correct two-tone paint. The Type 57 and its variants was an entirely new design created by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore. Only 710 examples were ever produced and these days they sell for millions.
Alfa Romeo made the 6C from 1927 all the way to 1954. It utilized engines ranging from 1.5- to 3.0-liters. This one sported a 2.5-liter (2,443-cc) I6 making about 95 hp with a single carburetor. Top speed was 96 mph. This 2500 S Touring Coupe was one of the few hundred that were built between 1940 and 1945, before production stopped during wartime.
This Packard also featured a V12. Dietrich was a coachbuilder, who was joined by LeBaron for the Tenth Series vehicles. Packard changed the name from Twin Six to make sure its customers understood how many cylinders they were actually getting. Its 445-cu-in. side-valve twelve was refined, quiet and powerful with 160 hp on tap.
Though the Pebble photo crew is calling this a 917PA Spyder, we're pretty sure its Porsche 917K that was raced at Le Mans by Helmut Marko. Only two 917 PA Spyders were ever built, and they didn't have a roof. The 917K got those vertical fins and a less upswept tail. It was both more attractive than the previous model and maintained more downforce at speed. It features a 4.5-liter flat-12-cylinder engine making more than 500 hp, in a car that weighs well under 2,000 pounds.
The Ferrari 275 GTB was a two-seat grand touring coupe produced between 1964 and 1966. The engine's per-cylinder displacement was 275 cc, hence the name. It came and the Italian designation Gran Turismo Berlinetta and used a 3.3 liter Colombo-designed 60º V12 engine. Output was claimed to be 280 hp, though it was found to have less in actual use, according to an article in Cavallino. It was rear-wheel drive and had a five-speed manual.
This 1964 example of the Ferrari 250 GTO took top honors in one of the several Ferrari classes. The 250 GTO was produced 1962 to 1964 for homologation into the FIA's Group 3 Grand Touring Car category. It was powered by Ferrari's Colombo V12 engine while the name denotes the displacement in cubic centimeters of each of its cylinders. Just 36 of the 250 GTOs were manufactured between 1962 and 1964. This particular one had its bodywork modified by Scaglietti and was part of the Series II model line.
The Iso Grifo didn't begin production until 1965, hence this prototype winning the Iso class. It was intended to compete with the grand touring Ferraris and Maseratis of the world, but never quite made it. The funny thing about these cars is that they all worked with American engines under the hood. Early ones, including this prototype, had a 340-hp Chevy 327. Race versions got a 454.
This particular example wears a coachbuilt body by Bertone and is the only prototype in existence. It was originally restored in the late 1980s by a Pebble Beach Concours judge.
The Porsche 904 debuted after the company withdrew from Formula 1 to focus on sports cars. The GTS model was created to compete in FIA-GT motorsport classes. Based on the Porsche 718, it inherited a mid-engine layout, making it a predecessor to the modern 718 Cayman. It housed a Type 906 2.0-liter flat-four engine eventually making around 180 hp. A 904 won the Targa Florio race and at Le Mans.
This 1956 Maserati A6G won the Postwar Sport class. It was bodied by Zagato, who's made some pretty interesting vehicles lately, and sported a 2.0-liter inline-six with triple carburetors. According to ClassicDriver, in just over three years, 60 A6G/54 GTs were produced with coupé and spyder bodywork by Frua, Allemano and Zagato - the latter making just 20 of the lightest, most competition-focused cars.
This 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Fleetwood took home the crown in the Postwar Touring class. When new, this car cost about $13,000, equivalent to about $126,000 today. To build it, GM designer Harley Earl put together the styling of a couple of show cars for the Brougham, and the result is stunning. Only built over a two-year span, each Brougham was built by hand and featured air suspension and a 365-cubic-inch V8. It was luxurious for the era and was the first car to feature a two-position memory function for the power seats.
In the Pinin Farina Pre-War category, this Lancia Astura won first place. The 1938 drop top was one of only 423 Series IV Asturas built between 1937 and 1939, and various coachbuilders designed their own bodies. It's not known how many Pinin Farina bodies were built. It was only offered in long-wheelbase form and in this Series IV guise, it was powered by an 82-hp 3.0-liter V8. This isn't the first time an Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet has been successful at Pebble Beach, as a 1936 version once owned by Eric Clapton won the Best of Show Award in 2016.
Another Pinin class winner, the Aurelia debuted at the Turin Motor Show in the spring of 1952. , Pinin Farina premiered a new car built on a Lancia B52 Aurelia chassis. It has Jet Age styling, a raked windshield and pontoon-style fenders. It made 90 hp with a 1,991-cc V6 with dual Weber carburetors and a four-speed manual rear-mounted transaxle.
The 375 America was introduced was built as a successor to the 342 America and used the new 4.5-liter Lampredi designed V12. It produced up to 296 hp at 6,300 rpm, with three Weber carburetors. Top speed was almost 160 mph, lighting at the time. Twelve cars were made, with the majority having either three or five-window coupe bodies by Pinin Farina. This one won the Pinin Farina Ferrari Early Class.
This 1966 Ferrari 365 P was one of the final four in contention for best in show. It'll have to contend with a class win of the Pininfarina Ferrari Late class instead. It featured a midengined layout and a central driving position like the McLaren F1. The exterior design was loosely based on the Dino concept, with Aldo Brovarone of Pininfarina credited as the Berlinetta Speciale designer.
Another winner in the Porsche 917 class, the K stands for kurzheck or 'short-tail'. The 917 L was the long tail. These cars won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and were plenty famous even before Steve McQueen's Le Mans movie debuted. They regularly change hands for more than $10 million.
Only three Ferrari 340 Mexico Vignale Berlinetta were made, purpose built to contest 1952 Carrera Panamericana. Its single overhead cam V8 displaced just over four liters and made 280 hp. It had three Weber carburetors, a five-speed manual transmission and an independent front suspension. One sold for $3.6 million ten years ago at RM Sotheby's.
Finally, after 50 years, a Countach gets recognized at Pebble Beach, although it may have something to do with the new Countach premiering at the event, and a special 50th anniversary class being established to celebrate. This LP400 was bodied by famous coachbuilder Bertone and the color is called Verde Metallizzato. It houses a 365-hp 3.9-liter DOHC V12 with six dual-throat Weber carburetors and a five-speed manual transmission.
In the Miller class, this 91 Perfect Circle took home the crown. In the late 1920s it was dominant in American racing, usually filling more than half the grid at the Indianapolis 500. It won the event outright in 1926, 1928 and 1929. They sported 1.5-liter engines as that was the regulation. Later Miller fitted a supercharger to one, allowing it to hit 170 mph.