Rare 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster Secures Top Prize at 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

In a captivating display of automotive elegance and history, the prestigious 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance unveiled a remarkable gem: a prewar 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, boasting a rich past as a possession of the Shah of Afghanistan. This particular Mercedes-Benz masterpiece, one of only three similar models in existence today, soared above competition to clinch the coveted Best of Show accolade.

Gathered on the illustrious competition field were 216 magnificent cars representing 18 countries and 30 states. Among them, the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, impeccably presented by Jim Patterson from the renowned Patterson Collection in Louisville, Kentucky, stood out as an embodiment of strength, grace, and meticulously preserved history. The careful restoration of every component showcased Patterson’s dedication to honoring the car’s unique heritage. Notably, this victory propelled Mercedes-Benz ahead of Bugatti in the race for the most Best of Show wins at Pebble Beach, solidifying the brand’s lead with a total of 10 triumphs.

The competition was fierce, featuring other strong contenders such as the 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Special Roadster from the Auriga Collection, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Figoni Cabriolet showcased by Gregor Fisken, and the 1939 Delahaye 165 Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet owned by the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.

The event commenced with the 25th Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, where a majority of Concours entrants participated in a scenic 70-mile drive along the coastal roads. Completing the Tour gave entries an advantage in the Concours class competition.

2023 Charitable Donations Surpass $2.68 Million

Aside from the remarkable display of automotive artistry, the Pebble Beach Concours made a significant impact on charity, raising more than $2.68 million this year. These contributions, managed through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the event’s primary charitable partner, have cumulatively surpassed $37 million. The funds will continue to benefit over 90 local charities, positively impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children each year in Monterey County.

BMW didn’t have a major presence this year, yet a 1937 BMW 326 owned by Erdmann & Rossi Cabriolet, Karra L. Canum, from San Jose, California, won the second place in the Class J-1: European Classic Sport category. The 73rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place August 18, 2024. The upcoming edition will celebrate the marques of Packard and Maserati, along with the legacy of Italian coachbuilder Pietro Frua.

Top Photo Copyright: Kimball Studios / Credit/provider Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance