A 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo owned by Paul and Judy Andrews of White Settlement, Texas, was named Best of Show at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held Sunday, August 18th on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. The 62nd annual Concours showcased 220 cars from 33 states and 15 countries and raised $1,077,220 for charity.
“I’m not sure I can put into words how I feel,” said Paul Andrews, founder and CEO of TTI. “It’s probably the most wonderful feeling I’ve had in my life. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. We’re all excited. We’re tickled to death.”
Of his car, he said, “It’s the whole package. There’s not a bad line on this car. It was the sports car, the high performance car of its era, and then Saoutchik gave it style and grace. It has power and it has beauty.”
Jacques Saoutchik made seven avant-garde Torpedo bodies for the Mercedes-Benz 680S chassis, each differing in their details. The combination of chrome accents and low windshield make this car, shown first at the 1928 New York Auto Show, both a sports car and a luxury touring car.
The Mercedes-Benz S Type – also known as the 680S because of its 6.8-litre engine capacity – was launched in 1927 as an evolution of the Mercedes-Benz Model K super sports car. It established the legendary family of heavyweight supercharged cars that included the SS and SSK models from 1928. The cars dominated racing history over the years, but could also be bought as conventional road vehicles. All vehicles in this family had a six-cylinder in-line engine with a supercharger to increase output. Power was also boosted by the dual ignition. Each cylinder had two spark plugs, one fired by a battery ignition and the other by a high-voltage magneto ignition.
“This car really has everything,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “It has fantastic German engineering, elegant French styling, and a wonderful restoration by Paul Russell. It’s a car you can imagine racing as well as touring. It’s just a marvelous embodiment of everything that is Mercedes-Benz.”
The judging process at the Pebble Beach Concours is two-fold: Class Judges focus primarily on originality and authenticity, while Honorary Judges direct their attention to design, styling and elegance. To be eligible to win Best of Show — the event’s top award — a car must first win its class.
Other nominees for Best of Show included a 1935 Duesenberg J Gurney-Nutting Speedster owned by the William Lyon Family of Newport Beach, California; a 1931 Duesenberg J Derham Tourster owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini III, of West Orange, New Jersey; and a 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Figoni Coupé owned by David and Adele Cohen of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
In addition to Saoutchik Coachwork, the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance featured Maharaja Cars, Mercer, Fiat, Mercedes SLs, Sport Customs and German Motorcycles.
Tonight Show host Jay Leno made a guest appearance at the event, offering tickets to his show and tours of his Big Dog Garage, raising over $50,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County. The previous evening, at the Pebble Beach Auction presented by Gooding & Company, Leno’s Fiat 500 Prima Edizione, initially valued at $25,000 to 35,000, sold for $385,000 and attracted an additional $215,000 raising a total of $600,000 for the Fisher House Foundation.
The 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 18, 2013.