1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Claims Best-In-Show at 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

September 4th, 2012

By Mike Daly

The 2012 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which took place Sunday, August 19, added a number of new judging classes, including one dedicated to automobiles originally commissioned by maharajas. Yet by the time the show was over, the concours’ accomplished judges had awarded the best-in-show to yet another prewar European luxury car.

Paul and Judy Andrews’ 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik-bodied Cabriolet drove away with the top honor, despite the presence of a number of outstanding Ferraris and some genuinely unique mid-century American customs. In recognizing the coachbuilt Benz, the concours maintained its long-demonstrated preference for traditional European prewar classics, which have won in 25 of the last 30 years.

While the concours d’elegance did not offer any worldwide debuts of new production models, auction house Gooding & Company prefaced its official Pebble Beach sale with a Friday-night cocktail party that featured the unveiling of McLaren’s new Spider version of the MP4-12C sports car.

Over the following two nights, Gooding sold a near-record $113.7 million worth of superlative classics, including a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster that went for $11.8 million (a record for a Mercedes sold at auction). Across town at Monterey’s Portola Hotel, competitor RM Auctions sold a 1968 Ford GT40 once used as a high-speed camera car in Le Mans (Steve McQueen’s 1971 cinematic rendering of the famed French endurance race) for $11 million, a record for an American car sold at auction.

Sunday’s jam-packed Concours d’Elegance, situated as always on the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach golf course, saw General William Lyon’s 1935 Duesenberg J Speedster (bodied by coachbuilder Gurney-Nutting) win the Maharaja class, earning a nod as one of only four finalists for the coveted Best-in-Show. Among the delectable selection of Ferraris, former Pebble-winner Jon Shirley took home the Gran Turismo Trophy and first in the Postwar Preservation class with his 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial, narrowly edging the Petersen Automotive Museum’s 1952 Ferrari 212/225 Inter Touring-bodied Barchetta.

The Golomb family’s 1955 Ferrari 375 Plus with rare Pinin Farina cabriolet coachwork (implying telltale cues of the forthcoming California Spider) won the Gran Turismo Trophy, as well as first place in the Ferrari Grand Touring Class.

Check out the photo gallery below.

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