Report and photos by Brian Lynch
The inaugural Legends of the Autobahn: West Coast Summer Concours was held Friday, August 13, 2010 at Rancho Canada Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California.
In 2009, the BMW Car Club of America conducted it’s own concours as the highlight of their annual Festorics gathering during Monterey Car Week. For 2010, the BMW CCA invited the Porsche Club of America and the Mercedes-Benz Club of America to join the party. Over 200 cars from all three marques entered concours competition, while another 300 vehicles formed a giant car corral. By itself, the corral parking would have made a great show, featuring a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, a Mercedes 300SL Roadster and a Porsche 911RS (complete with a “yes it is real” sign on the dash) among many other outstanding cars.
On the concours field, members of the BMW club brought out their finest, including several rare pre-war cars from the collection of Jim Smith. The highlight of this collection was one of the two BMW Pillarless Coupe 327/28?s built in 1939. This car is the only one known to still exist. The president of the BMW Auto Club of Columbia (that’s Columbia, South America) been literally shopping around the world for a high quality 1600 GT. Fortunately, he located a great car in Napa just two days before the Legends event.
The Porsche club also showed up in force. The very first 930 Turbo imported into the U.S. in 1976 was on display, complete with a copy of the January 1976 issue of Road & Track magazine with the car on the cover. Also on the lawn was a two-owner 1959 356 with over 500,000 miles.
Although smaller in numbers, Mercedes-Benz was also well represented. In addition to the Gullwing and 300SL Roadster in the corral, a beautifully customized Gullwing received lots of attention. Another highlight was a 300 SEL with the Autobahn-cruising 6.3 liter engine.
Although it has a lot of competition from Concorso Italiano and the Quail Motorsports Gathering, the Legends of the Autobahn event is on the brink of exploding. High-ranking national officials from all three clubs were in attendance, and all were enthusiastic about 2011. Add in the rumor that the Audi Club of North America will join the fray, look forward to the Legends of the Autobahn event becoming another of the many “must see” events during Monterey Car Week.
Legends of the Autobahn – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)