With all the furore over the Countach’s quinquagenary at this year’s Monterey car week, it looked like a post-war car just might clinch the Best of Show trophy for only the third time ever at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. However, the incomparable Mercedes Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier took home the honours, perpetuating the unwritten rule that pre-war cars reign supreme on the fairway of the 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Joining the stunningly swoopy Merc in the final four was a 1957 Maserati 450S Zagato Coupe, the jaw dropping 1967 Ferrari 365 Pininfarina Tre Posti (our firm favourite), and arguably the Merc’s closest runner-up — the 1935 Bugatti Type 57C Convertible.
A lineup of previous Best of Show winners welcomed the newly victorious Mercedes. Sitting side-by-side were 2018’s overall winner: a 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, and the unforgettable 1954 Ferrari 375 MM that managed to sway the judges away from the pre-war cars to win Best of Show back in 2014.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the mind-bogglingly beautiful and expensive 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic took home honours in the Most Elegant Closed Car class, a decision we would’t dare dispute.
Of all the Countachs on display, it was the appropriately green 1981 LP400S Series III that emerged on top. Arguably even more of a spectacle was the assembly of 13 beautifully painted 917s,Including the 1971 Le Mans overall winner celebrating the 50th anniversary of its win.
Among the five iconic Gulf-liveried 917s was the number 21 car, which came first in the Post-War Preservation class. As for the Gran Turismo Trophy, the 1969 Ferrari 512 S Berlinetta managed to wow the judges with its dive planes and gold wheels. Finally, we simply can’t end without mentioning the Panamericana class, and in particular the Mercedes 300 SL Panamericana with its stunningly patinated period livery.