The annual stroll down the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links showcased the usual grandeur of vintage automotive masterpieces, however this year there was a little extra blood flowing. That blood would be the ever-familiar Ferrari red. Fifty years ago Enzo Ferrari began selling his magnificent cars in the United States. Joining Ferrari as featured marques were Hispano-Suiza and Rolls-Royce, each celebrating their 100th Anniversary.
The day began in typical Californian style with coastal clouds slowly moving off to reveal a bright sunny day. The crowds quickly formed to become possibly the largest spectator attendance the Concours has ever seen. Entries arrived from as far away as Japan, Argentina, and Australia to show their prized possessions. Celebrity entrants were also present, including movie producer Joel Silver, and comedian Jay Leno. Phil Hill, Sir Stirling Moss, Andrea Zagato, and Sergio Pininfarina were among the 35 honorary judges.
The practice green in front of the Pebble Beach Lodge exhibited recent manufacturer concept cars, illustrating a proposed direction of future automobile design. These included the Rolls-Royce 100EX, Chrysler ME Four-Twelve, Toyota Allessandro Volta, and Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR. Ford also used this opportunity to present their latest creation from the revived Shelby-Ford design partnership; the Shelby GR-1.
The 210 historic vehicles entered were divided into 27 separate classes. We are proud to present a 150 shot slideshow
depicting some of the outstanding ‘works of art’ on display. Unlike other Concours d’Elegance held around the world, Pebble Beach organizers allow spectators to walk all around the majority of the cars without barriers. This allows for close inspection of such details as finished wood interiors, intricate engine compartments, and drivetrain components.
The awards ceremony began early in the afternoon proceeding with each of the classes and a comedic intermission from Jay Leno presenting four draw prizes. Highlighting the draw prizes was a 12 year old Concours volunteer winning a new Ford Escape Hybrid. The presentation of Special Awards and Best in Show followed immediately after.
Best in Show
The suspense was thick as the Best in Show winner was declared by Keith Martin. The spectacular silver 1938 Horch 853A Erdmann & Rossi Sport Cabriolet, owned by Judge Joseph C. Cassini III from West Orange, N.J. rolled onto the main stage amidst an explosion of flying streamers and confetti. The 1938 Horch 853A, designed by Fritz Fiedler, who later created the BMW 315 and 328 models, was the most expensive car from Auto Union, who later became Audi. With coachwork by Erdmann and Rossi of Berlin, it featured a 120 horsepower, 5.0 litre straight-eight engine and such modern features as power steering and overdrive in all four gears.
The 54th annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance went off without incident due in part to the wonderful weather and the exceptional organization by the Executive Committee and all of their staff and volunteers. Plans for the 55th Annual Concours are already underway for August 21, 2005. The featured marques will be Alfa Romeo, the 100th anniversary of Delage and 75 years of Pininfarina.