Classic Car Capital
1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo
The 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show Winner - a 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo once driven in the 1932 Paris-Nice Rallye before being delivered to its first owner. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography

2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

By Kristina Cilia and Rex McAfee

Pebble… glorious Pebble! How does one convey its significance in the collector car community? We start with the obvious; the world’s finest and most historic automobiles judged and displayed on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links. With a backdrop of Carmel Bay, even the most demanding “connaisseur de voitures” has little to fuss about. But it’s much more than just an event.

It’s a tradition whose legacy wasn’t bought but distilled from more than seven decades of pursuing excellence. What started as an “adjunct” in 1950 to sports cars racing through the nearby Del Monte Forest now firmly represents the cornerstone of Monterey Car Week, the world’s most respected collection of events celebrating the automobile.

1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo
Lee R. Anderson Sr. wins Best of Show in his 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo. © 2022 Rex McAfee
1952 Siata 208CS
A 1952 Siata 208CS enters the field under early dawn light. It is powered by a 2-liter Fiat “8V” engine called “Otto Vu.” © 2022 Rex McAfee
1952 Aston Martin DB2 Drophead Coupe
This 1952 Aston Martin DB2 Drophead Coupe enters the showfield in the early morning. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1932 Lincoln KB-242A Dietrich Coupe
The stunning 1932 Lincoln KB-242A Dietrich Coupe of Bill and Barbara Parfet. © 2022 Rex McAfee

We arrived early to watch the cars being driven onto the field, then detailed by caretakers before the judges arrived. Strolling along the manicured fairway, it’s a sight to behold; beautiful pieces of transportation are carefully arranged in one fantastic location. Like kids in a candy store, we attempt to capture the elegance and art of these automobiles that are judiciously chosen to appear in this annual outdoor competition.

As dawn dissolves into daylight, crowds of spectators, armed with smartphones and digital cameras, carefully record the affair’s ambiance to commemorate all the details, including a squadron of pelicans flying nearby over the water. This is Pebble, an experience unique all unto itself.

1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport
This 1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport won the same year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
turquiose Lincoln
Cowboys descend upon the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in a turquiose Lincoln, a feature marque celebrating its centennial anniversary. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
Attendees at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours
Capturing the feelings of happiness is just part of the magic on the lawns at Pebble Beach. © 2022 Rex McAfee
Rolls-Royce hood ornament
The Rolls-Royce hood ornament, ‘The Spirit of Ecstacy’, perfectly encapsulates the mood of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography

For the 71st Concours d’Elegance, let the numbers speak for themselves; over 200 cars traveling from 21 countries, judged by many of the world’s top authorities on the automobile. Ferraris are primarily judged by historians of the fabled Italian marque, whereas other marques have specialized critiques too. When a “featured class” (one that doesn’t repeat annually) is created like this year’s 1932 Ford Historic Hot Rods, luminaries in that field are solicited.

Knowing the “correct” brightness of chrome plating or gloss depth on exterior paint is just the tip of the iceberg for what these judges must understand for the class they are scoring.

1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé
The 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé of Robert Kudela was awarded the The French Cup. © 2022 Rex McAfee
1965 Ford GT40 Mk II
All the way from London is the 1965 Ford GT40 Mk II of Gerard Lopez. © 2022 Rex McAfee
1929 Bentley Speed Six "Old Number 1" Gurney Nutting Sports Two Seater
This 1929 Bentley Speed Six “Old Number 1” Gurney Nutting Sports Two Seater is a two-time Le Mans winner. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
Attendees at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours
Fashion and Style go hand-in-hand at the Concours d’Elegance! © 2022 Rex McAfee

This year’s big news is that the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance officially started the centennial anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s most grueling and prestigious endurance race. What could be more appropriate than to create two feature classes, 24 Hours of Le Mans Centennial “Early” and “Late,” to showcase these road racing legends?

The Early class started with the 1929 Bentley Speed Six known as “Old Number 1”, a two-time Le Mans winner driven by Woolf Barnato and Tim Birkin in 1929 and by Birkin and Glen Kidston in 1930. On the far end of the “Early” class was the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT0 of David MacNeil, which finished fourth overall in the 1963 Le Mans 24. It also won this year’s “Early” Le Mans class.

1964 Ferrari 250 LM Scaglietti Berlinetta
Luigi Chinett’s North American Racing Team (NART) won Le Mans in 1965 with this 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Scaglietti Berlinetta. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1935 Voisin C 25 Aerodyne
The 1935 Voisin C 25 Aerodyne of Craig McCaw won the The Vitesse ~ Elegance Trophy. © 2022 Rex McAfee
1953 Jaguar Lightweight C-type Race Car
This 1953 Jaguar Lightweight C-type Race Car won Le Mans in 1953. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Berlinetta
Spencer Croul (blue jacket & bow tie) explains the recent restoration completed on his 1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Berlinetta, which earned 2nd in the Ferrari Competition class. © 2022 Rex McAfee

The 24 Hours of Le Mans Centennial Late class featured a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Scaglietti coupe that, in 1965, became Ferrari’s last overall winner of the 24-hour spectacle (I know that doesn’t sound correct, but it has been over half a century since the Prancing Horse took top honors). Also in the Late class was the 1979 Porsche 935 K3 of Bruce Meyer, which earned the overall win at Le Mans in 1979.

Porsche enthusiasts will remember this is the car that Don Whittington was driving when the belt that drove its fuel injection pump broke. Far from the pits, it’s rumored he was able to swap in the alternator belt, which allowed him to limp the car back to the pits, where a proper repair was made. And for the icing on the cake, it won this year’s Le Mans Centennial Late class.

1963 Abarth Simca 1300 GT Sibona & Basano Coupe
A spare tire is kept in the backseat of this former racecar, a 1963 Abarth Simca 1300 GT Sibona & Basano Coupe. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1955 Ferrari 410 S Scaglietti Spyder
The 1955 Ferrari 410 S Scaglietti Spyder of Brian Ross earned 1st place in the Ferrari Competition class.. © 2022 Rex McAfee
Wing detail of the Rothmans Porsche 962C Longtail
Wing detail of the Rothmans Porsche 962C Longtail once piloted by Derek Bell and Hans-Joachim Stuck. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1955 Porsche 550 RS Sypder
Cam Ingram and his team at Road Scholars once again proved their expertise with restoring this 1955 Porsche 550 RS Sypder. © 2022 Rex McAfee

Many other featured classes were part of the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, including the centennial of Lincoln. Its story began in 1917, building aircraft engines, and was later purchased by Ford in 1922. The brand made a reputation for luxury with its Zephyr and Continental models. The Lincoln V-8 class was won by the 1928 Lincoln L Holbrook Fully Collapsible Cabriolet of Bill & Dee Kuettel.

Top honors in the Lincoln V-12 class went to the 1932 Lincoln KB Murphy Dual Cowl Phaeton of Beth & Ross Myers. Finally, the Lincoln Zephyr and Continental through 1962 class was won by the 1956 Continental Mark II Hardtop Coupe of Leon Flagg & Curtis Lamon.

1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Berlinetta
A crowd gathers around this 1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Berlinetta as the judging commences. It was the first of only four cars to be completed and won First Place at the 1951 Mille Miglia. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1955 Jaguar D-Type Le Mans racecar
The 1955 Jaguar D-Type Le Mans racecar of JSL Motorsports Collection won the prestigeous Phil Hill Cup. © 2022 Rex McAfee
2007 Peugeot 908 Hdi FAP
The 908 was a sport prototype built for endurance racing. This particular 2007 Peugeot 908 Hdi FAP has won three World Endurance Championships and placed 5th at Le Mans in 2011. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
The 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza from the Auriga Collection in Germany won 1st in the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 class and the Tony Hulman award. © 2022 Rex McAfee

You would have loved the featured class Talbot-Lago Grand Sport if you have a soft spot for French elegance. Under the direction of Anthony Lago, the T26 Grand Sport chassis debuted in 1947 with a total production number of 32 chassis. Today, only 28 are known to survive and feature the teardrop body from French coachbuilder Figoni et Falaschi.

The 1951 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Stabilimenti Farina Cabriolet from the Merle & Peter Mullin Collection took top honors. Looking at this rolling piece of elegance, it’s clear why it won.

1964 Alpine M64 Coupe
This 1964 Alpine M64 Coupe won its class at Le Mans in 1964. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1925 McFarlan 154 Twin Valve Six Town Car
Known as the “American Rolls Royce,” the McFarlan marque was featured this year which included this 1925 McFarlan 154 Twin Valve Six Town Car. © 2022 Rex McAfee
1966 Ford GT40 P/1046 Mk II
Once driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, this 1966 Ford GT40 P/1046 Mk II placed first at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
Ted Wingate Roadster and Ray Brown Roadster
The 1932 Ford Historic Hot Rods class included the Ted Wingate Roadster (forefront) as well as the #99 Ray Brown Roadster. © 2022 Rex McAfee
Alpine-Renault A441C Sports racing Prototype
This Alpine-Renault A441C Sports racing Prototype raced at Le Mans in 1975, however a DNF was caused by a fuel pump failure. At Monza, it won its class, competing in the World Endurance Championship. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography

Known as the “American Rolls Royce,” the McFarlan marque was also featured this year. Production of the little-known make commenced in 1910 with testing conducted during the 1911 and 1912 Indianapolis 500. Because of their massive size and quality, they attracted celebrities of “all ilk,” including mafia kingpin Al Capone. Due in part to their high cost and a failing U.S. economy, production ended in 1928.

Less than two dozen McFarlans are still known to exist. First place in this class was awarded to the 1923 McFarlan 154 Twin Valve Six Knickerbocker Cabriolet of the Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, California.

1969 Autobianchi 112 Bertone Concept Car
The 1969 Autobianchi 112 Bertone Concept Car was a real crowd pleaser, and earned the Gran Turismo Trophy. © 2022 Rex McAfee
1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic interior
For some, perfection is seen in highly original examples such as the interior of this 1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic that won the Postwar Preservation Class at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2 Zagato Competition Berlinetta
Bill Lyons brought his 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2 Zagato Competition Berlinetta that he also drove on the Tour d’Elegance. © 2022 Rex McAfee

Now I admit to knowing nothing about cars bodied by Swiss Carrosserie Hermann Graber, a featured class for 2022. Hermann Graber was a coachbuilder in Wichtrach, Switzerland, from 1927 to 1970 and built custom-built bodies that were installed on the chassis of various English, European, and US cars for well-heeled customers. His most successful contract was with Alvis in England, to whom he supplied bodies during the 1950s and 1960s.

Two classes were formed for this year’s Graber feature; Graber Coachwork Early and Graber Coachwork Late. The Early class top honors went to the 1930 Duesenberg J Graber Cabriolet of Concours veterans Sam & Emily Mann. The 1953 Bentley Mark VI Graber Drophead Coupé of John Miller won the Late class. When you see the difference in designs, it’s apparent how talented Graber Coachwork was, starting with two different canvases.

Attendees at the Concours
Dressed for a proper country side voyage, the Antique Class always brings lots of smiles. © 2022 Rolex / Tom O’Neal
15 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonics
Seen here is the very first of only 15 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonics ever built. This very original example has a little over 17,000 miles on the odometer since new. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1952 Mercedes-Benz W194 Coupe
The Mercedes-Benz Star of Excellence Award was given to this 1952 Mercedes-Benz W194 Coupe. © 2022 Rex McAfee

If you genuinely want to become a sports car savant, look before WWII to see what automobiles were true pioneers. Case in point the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300. A featured class of 2022, the Alfa Romeo model 8C 2300 not only defined touring car performance but also defined what many consider the quintessential sports car of its era.

Powered by an innovative supercharged “straight 8” engine, its racing variant won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1931 (Howe-Birkin); 1932 (Chinetti-Sommer); 1933 (Nuvolari-Sommer), and 1934 (Chinetti-Etancelin). First in class was awarded to the 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza from the Auriga Collection in Germany.

1950 Cadillac Series 61 Le mans Race Car
Entered in the 1950 Le Mans race, “Le Monstre”, a modified 1950 Cadillac Series 61 Le mans Race Car finished 11th overall. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1900 De Dion Bouton Tricycle
Possibly the simplest of all machinery shown this year was the 1900 De Dion Bouton Tricycle entered by Rob Kauffman. It won the FIVA Prewar Trophy. © 2022 Rex McAfee
Closeup of water droplets
Heavy early morning fog left its mark on the competition field. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography

Long dismissed as “real” sports cars, Fiat and Siata have both become recognized for their roles in the evolution of the sports car, especially those models powered by the now famous “8V” Fiat engine. While just 2 liters in displacement, the 70-degree V8 provided plenty of motivation for the Fiat model “8V” and Siata 208.

Italian coachbuilders, including Vignale, Ghia, and Zagato, produced streamlined open and closed bodies that these two models would wear for both street and competition use. Produced in limited quantities, the Fiat 8V and Siata 208 are now highly collectible and demand lofty prices. Earning first in the “Otto Vu” class was the 1953 Siata 208CS Balbo Coupe of Larry and Jane Solomon.

1957 Ghia Chrysler 400 Superdart
3rd place in Postwar Preservation when to this extremely unique 1957 Ghia Chrysler 400 Superdart owned by John H. White of Lincoln, California. © 2022 Rex McAfee
1951 Talbot-Lago Type 26 Grand Sport Stabilimenti Farina Cabriolet
The 1951 Talbot-Lago Type 26 Grand Sport Stabilimenti Farina Cabriolet from the Mullin Automotive Museum collection was awarded the “Best in Class” prize for the Talbot-Lago Grand Sport Line.
1979 Porsche 935 K3 Coupe
The famous Whittington brothers once owned and drove this 1979 Porsche 935 K3 Coupe to a first place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography

For some Pebble Beach enthusiasts who focus on elegance, featuring a “Hot Rods” class back in 1997 was a step in the wrong direction. However, many patrons thought it was a refreshing change of pace, so hot rods were featured again this year in the class “1932 Ford Historic Hot Rods.” Not only were they all 1932 “Deuces,” but most were also featured on the covers of various hot rod magazines during the post-WWII hot rodding boom.

Returning 25 years later to take 1st place again was Bruce Meyer of Beverly Hills, behind the wheel of his 1932 Ford “Bob McGee” Roadster.

squadron of brown pelicans flys
A squadron of brown pelicans flys along the foggy shoreline of the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1909 Stanley “Steamer” E2 Runabout
1909 Stanley “Steamer” E2 Runabout drew plenty of attention in the Unorthodox Propulsion class. © 2022 Rex McAfee
Attendees at the Concours
Mobile memories captured at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography

“Unorthodox Propulsion” is the last featured class that certainly was entertaining for those fortunate enough to see one of these vehicles start or run. In the case of a 1904 Stanley “Steamer,” one had to wait for the water to reach boiling before steam could be seen, signifying “all systems go.” Others used gas turbines, coal, and hybrid electric systems as propulsion.

This year’s class winner went to the silent electric-powered 1907 Columbia Mark XIX Surrey owned by Mark Hyman.

1989 Sauber Mercedes C9 Group C Racecar
Finishing first at Le Mans in 1989 was this 1989 Sauber Mercedes C9 Group C Racecar © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography
1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Coupe
First place in the Postwar Preservation class was earned by this 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Coupe from the Audrain Collection in Newport, Rhode Island. © 2022 Rex McAfee
Attendees taking selfies
Capturing selfies at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. © 2022 Kristina Cilia Photography

And while each of these classes certainly provided unique examples of the world’s best, only one Best of Show trophy is awarded to what the judges claim to be the most elegant car on the 18th fairway. When the confetti flew, a 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo of Lee R. Anderson Sr. took top honors, becoming the first American-built winner since 2013. Justifiably so, Mr. Anderson stated, “We’ve been doing this for years, and we’ve come close in the past, but we’ve never won. All the preparation—the story behind this car is just amazing.

There’s only one Figoni Duesenberg, and it’s this one right here. So, it’s like all these things coming together to make a real champion. We’re so excited.”

1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo
The 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo of Lee R. Anderson Sr. won Best in Show. Luca Bernasconi, CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A, presents the Rolex chronograph. © 2022 Rolex / Tom O’Neal

Here at Sports Car Digest, we congratulate all those who participated in North America’s most prestigious Concours and look forward to doing it again next year.

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