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Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance 2017 – Report and Photos

Best of Show Winner - 1925 Rolls-Royce Springfield Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster, ex-Howard Hughes
Best of Show Winner - 1925 Rolls-Royce Springfield Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster, ex-Howard Hughes

The Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance 2017 was held Saturday, May 6th on the fairways of the Pinehurst Resort and Golf Club in North Carolina. The entrants and spectators that endured a rainy start to the fifth annual event were rewarded with another fabulous Concours (and weather) at the birthplace of golf in America.

The field at this year’s Concours featured more than 100 cars staged in 14 judged classes. In addition to the traditional Concours classes, the 2017 edition featured Packards, Chevrolet Corvettes, Carrera Porsches, Japanese Classics, Race Cars and Modern Super Cars.

A 1925 Rolls-Royce Springfield Silver Ghost, purchased new by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, captured Best of Show at the 2017 Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance. This was the second time the tan-bodied Rolls-Royce with black fenders and red-spoke wheels had been shown since owner Guy Lewis purchased the car three years ago, which had been sitting in a Florida barn for more than four decades.

The Rolls-Royce’s restoration was completed three months ago by Lloyds Auto Restoration, which included the gilded HH initials on the customized three pieces of fitted luggage found in the trunk that once belonged to Hughes. Hughes purchased the car for $13,450 on his honeymoon on Christmas Day in 1924. It took 10 months to build. The 2017 Best of Show came out of the European Classics Pre-War class and has logged just 16,000 miles.

“I found a Rolls-Royce in a barn, it was a Silver Ghost and then I find out it was a Howard Hughes car — so it was like hitting the Trifecta,” said Lewis, 55, of Pinecrest, Florida. “We just finished this car up and I’m so proud, it showed so well.”

“There were some beautiful cars on the field today, some that were just drop-dead gorgeous. It is the nicest field I’ve seen in the three years I’ve been here. But my car showed really well with some of the documents and that luggage. I was just happy to win Best in Class and never expected to win Best of Show. I am going to show the car a few more times and then I’m going to start driving it,” continued Lewis.

The 1925 Rolls-Royce joins previous Pinehurst Concours Best of Shows winners that have included a 1928 Isotta Fraschini 8ASS (2016), 1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 66 A-4 Tourer (2015), a midnight blue 1931 Cadillac 452A (2014) and a 1938 Steyr 220 Glaser Roadster (2013). The 2013 and 2016 Best of Shows winners, both owned by Peter Boyle, were on hand as display cars for patrons to enjoy.

A 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S captured the HVA/FIVA award out of the Japanese Classics class — a car thought to be one of the most original Cosmo Sports in the world. Other notable winners included Chip Perry’s 1951 Porsche 356 ‘Split-window’ Coupe winning the European Classic Post-War, the 1928 Auburn 8-115 of Al and Barbara Mason winning American Classics Pre-War and the Packard class went to the 1937 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria of David and Patty Peeler.

A team of student judges from surrounding Moore County high schools participated again this year, with one deserving prep judge earning a scholarship in automotive trades and technology at Sandhills Community College. Led by Chief Judge Nigel Matthews, the senior judges mentored the apprentice students in the process of looking for a correct and authentic restoration or preservation.

The event kicked-off on Friday, May 5th with the Iron Mike Rally, a 60-mile tour through the golf country of Pinehurst, the horse farms of nearby Southern Pines and then the wide-open roads of the massive Fort Bragg, home of the United States Army Airborne and Special Operations Forces and one of the largest military complexes in the world. Additionally, Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Deputy Chief of Staff, United States Army, as well as NBC-TV Formula One commentator Steve Matchett, were the featured speakers at the Concours Dinner on Friday night, part of the 5th anniversary celebration of the 2017 Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance.

The crowd was also entertained after the Best of Show presentation by award-winning country artist Sara Evans, continuing a Pinehurst Concours tradition that has included concerts by Three Dog Night (2015) and The Commodores (2016).

Similar to 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Sports Car Digest also documented the 2017 Pinehurst Concours, with photographer Michael DiPleco offering the following images from the 5th annual event in the Sandhills region of North Carolina.

Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance 2017 – Photo Gallery (photos: Michael DiPleco)

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