Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

| 27 Aug 2018
Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta of David and Ginny Sydorick has stormed to victory at the 68th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, 80 years after causing a stir at the Berlin Motor Show.

The former Pebble Beach Most Elegant Enclosed Car winner was first restored in the 1990s, and has recently been brought back to the condition in which it was presented in Berlin.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Now immaculately finished, the car beat stiff competition from the 1929 Duesenberg J Murphy Town Limousine that topped the Duesenberg class, and the elegant and shapely 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé of Robert Kudela.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

One of the most technically advanced cars of its era, the Alfa Romeo 8C represented the best that money could buy, and the Sydoricks' Lungo Berlinetta example with Superleggera coachwork was a product of two firms – Alfa Romeo and Carrozzeria Touring – at the top of their game.

It differs from other 8C 2900 Berlinettas due to its steeply raked and aerodynamic front grille and lack of running boards.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Also making its return to Pebble Beach was the Lehrman Collection’s Duesy, which rounded out the top three cars from the event.

With a body designed by Franklin Q Hershey that included a strikingly angled windscreen, a beltline of polished aluminium and Murphy’s ‘Clear-Vision’ window pillars, it was kept by its first owner – Captain George Whittell – until 1939.

The car was then sold to his friend, George Newhall Jr, whose son restored the machine before showing it at Pebble Beach in 1971.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

This year’s Concours featured a number of special classes in addition to those usually on the roster.

These included categories for OSCAs, Postwar Custom Citroëns, Eisenhower Era Dream Convertibles, 1960s Indianapolis 500 Revolution, plus one of the most eagerly anticipated – that dedicated to often-overlooked marque Tucker.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The Tucker group included examples of the 48 Sedan – the only model the firm produced – including the earliest 1946 Test Chassis #2 from the AACA Museum at Hershey and the 1947 Prototype Sedan from The William E Swigart Jr Automobile Museum in Pennsylvania.

A staggering 12 cars were presented, led by the class-winning silver car of film director George Lucas.

Its first owner ordered the car as soon as it was announced, and it remained in the family until 1959. It was eventually bought by Lucas in 1987.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Also drawing plenty of attention was a stunning set of custom Citroëns, which had proved a hit during the Tour d’Elegance earlier in the week.

Jeffrey and Frances Fisher from Palm Beach, Florida, supported the class with three machines – two of which placed in the top three in class.

Third place went to the pair’s 1967 Citroën DS21 Cabriolet d’Usine, which was assembled in the firm’s Forest, Belgium factory and cost twice the price of a DS saloon in period.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The class win, meanwhile, went to the couple’s stunning 1966 DS21 Chapron Le Léman Coupé.

The car was one of just 27 built by legendary coachbuilder Henri Chapron, who persevered with his versions despite the factory offering four-door saloons, two-door convertibles and the Safari estate.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The OSCA classes were split into two groups, the first catering for cars built before 1955, and the second for those that left the factory in the following five years.

A popular winner of the first category was the MT4 MM Spider of Elad Shraga, who had brought the car from Savyon in Israel, and who proved instrumental in gathering the rest of the cars in the class.

It is the only remaining original MT4 of the three Ernesto Maserati-designed Mille Miglia-style cars, and the first to appear on the Californian racing scene.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The later class was topped by the 1955 MT4 1500 Morelli Spider of comparative locals Jack and Kingsley Croul, from Carona del Mar, California.

Italian carrozzeria Morelli quickly proved itself indispensable to the Maserati brothers, accounting for 25 of the 78 MT4 chassis built.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

In contrast to the diminutive Italian racers, the Eisenhower Era Dream Convertibles class was dominated by behemoths, including the class-winning 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible of Lawrence M Camuso.

The outrageous fins certainly brought a touch of ’50s style to the show field.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

In the Postwar Sports class, American manufacturers triumphed over Italian, with a 1966 Ford GT40 MkIIB taking the top spot ahead of the 1955 Maserati A6GCS Frua Spyder of Jonathan Feiber, which also picked up the Cunningham Award for the most exciting open car.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

One of the most exhilarating moments of the Concours came as the winners of the 1960s Indy cars took to the podium, with each of the three machines being started up in a cacophony of sound before leaving the ramp.

Top of the podium went to the Dean Van Lines Brawner Special Hawk 1, which was built by Clint Brawner and Jim McGee in 1965.

It was followed by the 1961 Bryant Heating & Cooling Epperly Special of Bill Akin and the ‘66 All American Racers Eagle Special, which was brought to the event by local dealer, tuning specialist and historic racer Bruce Canepa.

Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Classic & Sports Car – Alfa Romeo 8C crowned champion at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance