Going to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is like stepping into another world. Everywhere you turn, you’ll spot a different priceless, rare classic. The sorts of cars on hand at Pebble aren’t just cool ’70s BMWs. They’re one-off, coachbuilt, impossibly rare classics that you’ll never see in person outside of a place like Pebble. The winner of the Best of Show is always the most absurdly rare and precious car on display and this year it was a 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo.
The most powerful car in America. At some point
The ’32 Duesenberg is a helluva car. Back in 1932, the Duesenberg J Model was the most powerful car in America, thanks to a 32-valve straight-eight, making 265 horsepower. This specific car was coachbuilt by Joseph Figoni and features a stunning coupe design.
It was an easy decision, too. During the Torque Show, hosted by Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall during the Pebble Beach Concours, both hosts were positively giddy over the Sports Torpedo. Bell and Kendall called it as one of their favorites right away and so were many other fans and collectors.
The winning Duesenberg belonged to Lee R. Anderson Jr., who was gifted a Rolex and champagne winning Best of Show, as is tradition.
There were some other incredible cars that made it as finalists. Two of which were Talbots, which are always big hits at Pebble. The other finalist was, ironically, another Duesenberg. Only one of the Talbots was a post-war car, as pre-war cars are usually more popular with judges, due to their rarity. Some of the stories being told throughout the day, of pre-war cars being confiscated and scrapped for metal during WWII, put it into perspective just how special it is that many of them still exist.
Anderson’s show-winning Duesenberg is also a reminder of what real coachbuilding is. Back then, you could buy a rolling chassis and have a coachbuilder design you a completely custom body and interior, which is exactly what Sports Torpedo is and it’s stunning.
Of course, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is likely the most expensive car lawn in the world. And this year’s show was no exception. But there was an important addition this year: an electric vehicles category. Clearly, the show’s organizers are also looking to the future, one that could eventually feature expensive and unique “classic” EVs.
Autobianchi A112 Concept
One car that stood out this year was the Autobianchi A112 Concept, also known as the Runabout. The 1.1 liter 55 hp concept car with a design resembling boats won the Gran Turismo Trophy.
There was also your usual mix of unique Ferrari and Maserati models, along with the 24 hours of Le Mans winners. Among our favorites? A 1948 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta, 1951 Talbot-Logo T26 Grand Sport Stabilimenti Farina Cabriolet, 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight Dietrich Dual Cowl Phaeton, 1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible, Talbot-Lago Grand Sport, Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, and much more.
Essentially, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the place where you can see American and European Classics, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari Grand Touring and competition post war racing in a single place. It’s worth a visit every year!