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A trio of classic Mercedes-Benz cars is in the running for The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award 2021 – what’s more, all three are from 1938.
In all, eight cars are vying for this accolade, founded in 2015, which pits the winners of each year’s major, elite, international concours against each other to crown an annual victor.
The greatest of 2021’s contenders will be revealed during Monterey Car Week 2022 at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club, on 14 August, and the 540K Cabriolet A (pictured above) is in the running after it achieved Best in Show at Salon Privé in September 2021.
The other two Mercedes in contention for this award are not only also from 1938, they’re both based on the 540K, too.
One is the unique 540K Autobahn-Kurier that claimed top honours at the 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last summer.
The other was also victorious in California last year, because this 540K Spezial Roadster was crowned Best of Show at the 2021 edition of The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering.
Two older classics in the 2021 Best of the Best line-up are a 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet and the one-off 1934 Voisin C27 Aérosport.
Before it won Best of Show at the Amelia Island Concours in 2021, the Hispano-Suiza already had serious pedigree because, as well as a postman from Long Island, its previous owners include the founder of the 12 Hours of Sebring and a Tunisian king.
The Art Deco-style Voisin, powered by a complex sleeve-valve six-cylinder engine, wowed the judges at last September’s Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace to take top honours.
The remaining three cars in 2021’s Best of the Best shortlist are all Italian.
There’s a one-of-nine 1956 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Competizione campaigned at the Mille Miglia just days after completion, which was Best of Show at last October’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
This will be joined by a 1957 250GT Berlinetta Tour de France raced extensively in period that scooped Best in Show at 2021’s Cavallino Classic.
Last, but not least, is the youngest contender which triumphed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Cartier Style et Luxe in 2021: a 1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale.
Judges including Jay Leno, Ralph Lauren, Chris Bangle and Henry Ford III will gather to decide which of 2021’s winners is deserving of the year’s ultimate concours accolade.
“Our world-class judges not only look at their original engineering and design excellence, but also consider the enormous effort and exceptional craftsmanship involved in their extensive restorations before selecting the best,” said Bruce Meyer, co-founder of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award, together with The Hon Sir Michael Kadoorie, William E Connor and Christian Philippsen.
The Best of the Best 2020 was a 1954 Ferrari 750 Monza owned by Jill and Tom Peck that first won Best of Show at the Cavallino Classic in Florida.
Images: Max Edleston/Amy Shore
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