What started as a very foggy, humid cool morning at 5:30 am ended up being a scorcher by 11:30 am. The cars loading onto the field as usual were spectacular with most of them being greeted on the entry hill by Barry Meguiar, yes of Meguiar polishing fame and later at the entrance to the show field by Sandra Button, Chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours.
My photographer and I found an optimum position on the entrance hill road to the field and were able to get unadulterated beautiful shots of the cars as they floated down the hill towards the field. This gave us an early preview of what would be seen later in the glorious sunshine but also before the throngs of people attended the show field. This year, one of the marques of the Concours was Citroën of which there were several models. All models shown were Henri Chapron bodied Citroëns which included an SM, a DS19, and a couple of DS21 sedans with special rooflines. To finish off the collection were a couple of DS21 cabriolets, again developed and bodied by Henri Chapron. These magnificent engineering feats were given one of the premiere positions at Pebble, immediately adjacent to the shoreline. They shone with some wonderful colours, some of which were unique to my experience but nevertheless, very pleasing to the eye.
The Citroën was one of the most advanced vehicles of its time with its hydra pneumatic suspension, its crumple zones upon impact and the variable ratio steering that tightened up the steering the faster one drove. Not to mention, the hydraulic suspension system was wonderful for driving in snow conditions so that if ever one got stuck, one could drive until they got stuck, pause, lift the car up, drive out of the very impudent system of snow which would halt ones tracks and then lower the car and drive away (which I used judiciously over several years as an owner of three DS21s).
Some other cars at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours included a 1948 Daimler DE36 Hooper Convertible that 8 weeks earlier was in pieces on the floor of the owner’s auto restoration shop looking much like a child’s very disorganized playground. On Sunday, August 26 that finished car was a beautiful sight to behold, all completed with fresh interior and restored new mechanicals.
Another vehicle of this order was a 1937 Hartmann bodied Cabriolet built on a Cadillac Series 90 V16 chassis that was so spectacular it was a wonderful example of the swooping fenders Art Deco styled extravagant cars of the 30’s.
This car was restored by a Canadian firm, RM Restorations in Blenheim, Ontario but it had been originally commissioned for a teenager in Lausanne Switzerland in the late ‘30’s. If only that car could talk!
Finally, to finish the day off, the Best in Show was an incredible 1937 Alfa Romeo 8c2900b Touring Berlinetta owned by David and Ginny Sydorick of Beverly Hills, CA again a wonderful car restored by another Canadian restorer, RX Autoworks, located in North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Rob McLeese, Eastern Correspondent for the NAACC with photos by Cory Haggar