Sunday, September 25, 2011

2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Nobody can throw an anniversary party like the folks at Pebble Beach. To celebrate 50 years of the Ferrari 250 GTO, the world's most famous classic car show convened an incredible collection of Enzo's most coveted creation. And what a gathering it was. More than half of the 39 250 GTOs in existence were on display – the official number quoted was 22, although we could only count 21. The line of cars literally stretched farther than our cameras could capture. Factoring in the going rate of $25 million for a 250 GTO, the collection of Ferraris represented more than half a billion dollars worth of Pininfarina sheet metal and V12 engines.

Some of the more notable 250 GTOs present:

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Sperimentale, chassis 2643GT: This is regarded as the 250 GTO prototype, being the first Ferrari to combine the 250 SWB chassis and the race-spec 3.0L V12. The car raced at Le Mans in 1961 and at Daytona in 1962 with Stirling Moss behind the wheel.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3223GT: This is the first official 250 GTO built. The car has several distinctive features including mis-matched headlights that were thrown on the car during a race at Daytona to help the drivers see the wall on the banking at night. This car was selected as the best in class.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3705GT:This 250 GTO has one of the best racing histories, finishing first in class at the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, second overall. The car won every race it entered in 1965.

1964 Ferrari 250 GTO/64, chassis 5571GT:The first of three Series II 250 GTOs that features the lower and shorter Pininfarina body. The car raced at Sebring and Le Mans and was driven to victory at Daytona by Phil Hill.

You can see these 250 GTOs and the rest from the 50th anniversary celebration at Pebble Beach in the high-res gallery above.

Best of Show at Pebble didn't go to one of the GTOs however. No, it went to Peter Mullin's 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne. Voi-what?

Peter Mullin, who has about the most beautiful collection of pieces from the art deco movement in the world, now has one more item to add to his collection, the trophy that goes to the Best in Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. His 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne took the prize on Sunday.

Mullin has 15 Voisins in his collection, in addition to numerous Bugattis, Talbot Lagos and Delahayes.

"I'm a total French-car nut," he said. "French cars are the ultimate in automotive design, technology and performance."

On Sunday, the judges agreed. But it wasn't an easy decision.

"I thought it would be about like it always is here at Pebble Beach, they get better and better every year, and then you get here and there are over 200 beautiful cars all around you," Mullin said. "I heard, someone said, there were six cars with 100 points each [perfect scores] in our class."

If so, that's really something, since the class had only seven entries. But of course there can be only one winner per class. Pebble Beach now credits runners-up along with the winner. This year, those were a 1929 Bentley Speed Six and a 1938 Talbot Lago, both stunning.

But as every year, there can be only one winner.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110821/CARNEWS/110829979#ixzz1Z1tBDLYr

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