Monterey, California - This is the best of the best, the finest classic car in the United States.
This very unusual 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer, owned by collector Bruce McCaw of Bellevue, Washington, was the worthy winner of the Best of Show award at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Powered by a seven-litre supercharged straight six, it was fitted with lightweight tourer coachwork to the customer’s design by Barker of London for famed racing driver, winner of the Mille Miglia and Le Mans 24 Hours, and founder of the British Racing Driver’s Club, Francis Henry Penn Curzon, Earl Howe.
The entire body is hand-formed in aluminium, its front section highly polished while the rear section is painted the family colour of Curzon Blue. McCaw has owned the car for some years, and has in fact showed it at Pebble Beach in the past, in the ‘unrestored’ class - but for 2017 he decided on a ground-up restoration - in every tiny detail - to its original condition as Lord Howe first took delivery of it.
As always, that took longer than it should have and the car was finished just a week before the concours; it completed the 112km Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance on Thursday after having been driven less than five kilometres in testing.
The Tour took the 155 entrants from the Pebble Beach Golf Links around the Monterey Peninsula to a lunch stop and back along sections of the historic 17-Mile Drive, lined with cypress and California Pine trees.
And then on Sunday morning the same cars, joined by 49 invited guests, new and concept cars, were parked on the 18th fairway for the judging of the the various categories - with the McCaw tourer’s Best on Show award a tribute to a meticulous restoration.