Peninsula Classics Finalists See Concours Best Of Show Winners Compete For Glory

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These eight cars already triumphed at the most prestigious concours events in 2022.

We were fortunate to see some of the most spectacular classic cars up close at the 2023 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este last month, and now The Peninsula Classics has announced its own 2022 Best of the Best Award finalists. These eight finalists were victorious at the previous year's major concours events, so each is something special, but they will now go up against each other for the ultimate prize. The awards will be held in August on the grounds of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club situated along the California coast, a fitting setting for a group that includes sensational classics from Bugatti, Ferrari, Jaguar, and others.

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1932 Duesenberg Model J Sports Torpedo

It was a 1935 Duesenberg that already bagged a major prize at this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este with the Best of Show award, but the Model J Sports Torpedo featured here is a little older. It won the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show award thanks to its beautiful bodywork that was reminiscent of the automaker's approach to luxury in the 1930s. At the time, this was the most luxurious and powerful American car.

"This rare Duesenberg marries American might with European style," said Concours Chairman Sandra Button last year.

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1934 Duesenberg J-531 Model J LaGrande Convertible Coupe

Another Duesenberg Model J came out on top at a major show last year, with this LaGrande winning Best of Show at The Amelia (formerly Amelia Island). It is one of the final Duesenbergs to ever be produced and had a top speed of around 115 mph. Besides its beauty, this Duesenberg is also famous for having been owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post, the wealthiest woman in the world at the time and the founder of General Mills, Inc. This one was restored to its original specifications by its owner, Harry Yeaggy, from Ohio.

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1937 Bugatti 57 S

The only Bugatti on the list is the first of only four known Type 57 S models with a convertible body by Vanvooren. It was deemed worthy enough of the Best of Show award at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este last year. Built in 1937, the original inline eight-cylinder engine was replaced by a Buick V8 for test purposes by a Vice President for GM, one of the car's previous owners. Miraculously, the original engine was found online four decades later and returned to its rightful place in the Bugatti's timeless body.

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1938 Delage Type D8-120S Cabriolet

This car won Best of Show at the 2022 Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace. A one-off two-seater from the French luxury and racecar brand, the car was bodied by De Villars and looks fantastic with its sport body coachwork and riveted fenders. Like the Bugatti we just covered, this one also has an eight-cylinder engine and, at over $7,000 at the time, was one of the world's most expensive cars when it went on sale. Although it closed its doors in 1953, Delage is on the comeback with a plan to return to Le Mans after a 73-year absence.

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1938 Dubonnet Xenia Coupe

Andre Dubonnet was a racecar driver, inventor, and fighter pilot who flew during World War I, and he designed this one-of-one vehicle that you may otherwise have never heard of. It was Best of Show at Chantilly Arts et Elegance Richard Mille last year and sports a unique aerodynamic body; the rear wheels are almost entirely enclosed by the bodywork. The hyperflex suspension is said to give the car a sensation of flying, and it has a Hispano Suiza H6B engine. Coincidentally, Hispano Suiza is on the comeback trail too, but we're not so sure that its first car in America looks as good as the Xenia.

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1956 Ferrari 250 GT

The irresistible Ferrari 250 GT often forms part of the conversation at concours events, so it's no surprise to see it make the list of finalists for The Peninsula Classics 2022 Best of the Best Award. Last year, this 250 GT scooped the Best of Show at Salon Prive. It's motivated by a V12, and this example is one of a mere five long-wheelbase chassis models to be designed by Zagato. Its double-bubble roof and blue paintwork are features of a timeless specimen, but it's not the only Ferrari on this list.

Peninsula Classics

1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale “Tre Posti”

The Pininfarina family has crafted some of the most beautiful cars ever seen, and this winner of the Best of Show award at the 2022 Cavallino Classic was one of the first to be penned by Sergio Pininfarina. Much like the modern Gordon Murray Automotive T.50, this Ferrari 65 P features seating for three in a single row, with the driver in the middle and two seats on either side placed slightly further back.

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1956 Jaguar D-Type Sports Racer

This Jag won the Best of Show award at last year's The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. At the time, the car was said to walk away with the top award because of its "superb construction, design, attention to detail, workmanship, and extensive restoration process."

The D-Type was conceived with the goal of winning Le Mans and had an inline-six XK engine from its C-Type predecessor. Aviation technology was used when the aerodynamic body was designed, and it came with monocoque construction.

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"The vehicles this year exemplify the very best in automotive excellence and design," said William "Chip" Connor, co-founder of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award. "The accuracy of restorations [Is] becoming more precise and exquisite each year, making it difficult to select just one."

An impressive judging panel has been assembled that includes Jay Leno (who owns a Duesenberg himself), the infamous former Chief of Design at BMW, Chris Bangle, and fashion and culture icon Ralph Lauren, who owns one of the most extensive car collections in the world. Ian Cameron, former Design Director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, is also on the list of judges, as is the Chief Creative Officer for the Hyundai Group, Luc Donckerwolke.

The Peninsula Classics 2022 Best of the Best Award celebration will take place on Sunday, August 13, 2023.

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