Highlights from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering and Multi-Million Dollar Auctions. Plus: The return of the DeLorean.
The country’s most prestigious motor show got back into action last week, celebrating historic cars from the past, present and even the future.
Monterey Car Week, a ten-day event on the California coast, is as much a well-oiled machine as the rides it attracts, with more than a thousand cars up for auction, hundreds competing — notably at the 71-year-old Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – and a handful more starting at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering in Carmel.
The celebrations conclude at the 18th hole of the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course, where instead of these other types of drivers, the green becomes home to 200 antique automobiles – some more than a century old – vying for the Concours’ prestigious award for Best Show. Each is appropriately judged on elegance, which is judged on everything from its technical merit to the accuracy of its preservation in categories such as American Classic and Postwar Racing.
This year’s Best in Show was a 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo (above), owned by Lee Anderson of Naples, Florida. His first victory and the seventh for a Duesenberg, the honor rewards years of work: the car, originally owned by a Peruvian sugar heir, was split in two in the 1960s – its body removed from the chassis and attached to another Model J – and Anderson searched for the missing half for decades before putting it back together.
“The story behind this car is just incredible,” Anderson said in an interview after the awards ceremony. “There has always been only one Figoni Duesenberg, and it is this one. It’s like all of those things come together to make a real champion.”
As for victory? “It’s overwhelming,” he said.
Auctions held during the week were expected to sell $400 million worth of classic cars, surpassing last year’s total of $351 million. A 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider, which fetched $22 million, became the week’s highest-priced ticket: one of only two to be driven by Carroll Shelby, who won more competitions behind the wheel than in any other car.
Several new rides were also announced, including Bugatti’s latest model with a W16 engine, as well as concept cars from Lincoln, DeLorean and others.
But if you didn’t make it to Monterey, don’t worry about being left in the dust. Here are the best and most beautiful rides from the event.
cliffhanger: Classic Tour d’Elegance cars drive over the legendary Bixby Bridge in Big Sur.
Fortune favors goldArguably the most famous Hispano-Suiza in the world, this 1924 H6C “Tulipwood” Torpedo was commissioned by André Dubonnet, racer and heir to the Dubonnet Aperitif fortune. It was sold at RM Sotheby’s auction for a whopping $9.3 million.
Rare beauty: This $10.4 million 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlante was one of the biggest sales of the week and one of just 17 of its kind.
Roadster Warrior: Bugatti introduced the Mistral, its last with a W16 engine, which it hopes will be the world’s fastest roadster. Named after a strong wind in France, the 1,577 hp convertible costs $5 million – and all 99 models have already been claimed.
Need speed: Hennessey, who set records with his 265.6 miles per hour Poison Spyder In 2016 one also hopes for the fastest track. His $3 million Venom F5 Roadster is aiming for 300 mph.
On wings: As the first production Porsche with reduced air resistance, the new 911 GT3 RS flies to 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 184 km/h. Price tag: $225,250
Screen Jewel: Born out of virtual reality, the single-seat McLaren Solus GT racer drew inspiration from the automaker’s 2017 Vision Gran Turismo concept.
Great Scott! DeLorean Motor Company returned to the future with the official unveiling of their Alpha5 EV prototype. Four seats – as opposed to the original model’s two – and gullwing doors define the car, which is estimated at around $175,000 and can accelerate from 0 to 88 mph in 4.35 seconds. It still needs roads… for now.