Best of the best

Launched in 2015 the The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award has become the hot ticket in Paris during Retromobile week.

Through a shared desire to celebrate the best of what defines the automotive world, The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited and co-founders William E. (Chip) Connor, Bruce Meyer and Christian Philippsen established the award bringing together eight of the concours circuits’ elite ‘Best of Show’ winners from around the globe.

The finalists under consideration from the eight concours events were as follows:
1929 Duesenberg J/SJ Convertible by Murphy, Updated by Bohman: Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Zagato: Cavallino Classic
1958 Ferrari 335 S Spyder by Scaglietti: Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S ‘Boat Tail’ Roadster by Barker: Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace
1972 Monteverdi 375L High Speed by Fissore: Goodwood Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d’Elegance
1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta by Touring: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200C Spider by Pinin Farina: The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering
1933 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster by Jean Bugatti: Salon Privé

Pre reveal chat positioned the 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta as the stand-out choice. Rightly so the 26 judges also agreed, awarding it as the best car in the world. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the car was entered into the running for the award after being named ‘Best of Show’ at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

“The winning Alfa Romeo is a perfect example of the type of car that inspired us to create this award,” said William E. (Chip) Connor, Chairman and CEO of William E. Connor & Associates Ltd, and co-founder of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award. “To provide an opportunity for car lovers to pause a moment and celebrate flawless design and engineering of this calibre is truly an honour each year.”

The Alfa Romeo is owned by David and Ginny Sydorick of Los Angeles, California. Reflecting on the car’s recent recognition, David said: “As an avid auto-collector, having two cars in the running for this year’s award was truly remarkable. It goes without saying that Ginny and I are ecstatic at the result – a proud moment for us both.”

The winning car was unveiled using a ‘shutter-effect’, whereby individual slats turned in sync to reveal the Alfa Romeo standing proudly within a bespoke-designed, up-lit box.

An automotive jewel engineered by Ingegner Vittorio Jano, the 8C 2900 was designed to compete in sports car races, specifically the Mille Miglia, which it won outright in 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1947. In racing trim, they dominated all the major competitions, and in road trim, they were the fastest grand touring cars.

Established in 1925 in Milan, Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring had first licensed Charles Weymann’s system of fabric-covered lightweight frames and then developed its own ‘Superleggera’ construction. Patented in 1936, the Superleggera system consists of a structural framework of small-diameter steel tubes that conform to an automobile body’s shape and are covered by thin alloy body panels that strengthen the framework. The winning vehicle, 412020, is the first of only five known Berlinettas built on the Lungo chassis and is the car that Touring refers to as the beginning of Superleggera.

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Best of the best