A 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini III of West Orange, New Jersey, won Best of Show at the 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held Sunday, August 18, 2013 on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links at Pebble Beach Resorts.
“This Packard is the epitome of American style and grace in the Classic Era; it embodies that period,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “It is understated but elegant, and it has a striking but quiet presence. When it drove onto our show field this morning, and I stepped forward to greet the Cassinis, I could barely hear the engine running.”
Apart from a 2007 win by the 1935 Duesenberg SJ Speedster known as the Mormon Meteor, this win marks the first for an American car in nearly twenty years.
“That makes this win even more special,” said Joseph Cassini III. “It’s nice to see that even the European judges found this car significant enough to win Best of Show.”
The Cassinis previously won the top award at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with a 1938 Horch 853A Erdmann & Rossi Sport Cabriolet. “This win is more emotional,” said Cassini. “This is the Olympics of car shows, and you would never think that you could win the Olympics twice.”
The judging process at the Pebble Beach Concours is two-fold: Class Judges focus primarily on originality and authenticity, while Honorary Judges direct their attention to design, styling and elegance. To be eligible to win Best of Show–the event’s top award–a car must first win its class.
The Cassini’s Packard Twelve began to turn heads and gain notice in the competition when it participated in a related event, the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex, on Thursday.
The Packard Twelve is considered to be one of the most significant creations of the Classic Era. While the majority of Packard Twelves were initially delivered with factory bodies, Packard offered a catalog of custom bodies, including a Raymond Dietrich Convertible Victoria, and this deep green beauty was further customized for its first owner with distinctive features such as teardrop fenders and dual rear-mounted spares. When Cassini purchased the car three years back, it was in pieces, but he had it meticulously and thoughtfully restored, working with RM Restorations. Some 10,000 hours went into the effort.
Other nominees for Best of Show included a 1932 Lincoln KB Murphy Roadster owned by John and Heather Mozart of Palo Alto, California; a 1934 Hispano-Suiza J12 Vanvooren Coupé owned by The Honorable Sir Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong; and a 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Van den Plas Belgium Torpedo owned by Dr. Terry Bramall CBE of Harrogate, England.
The 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance celebrated Lincoln, Simplex, Vanvooren Coachwork, Aston Martin Centennial, Lamborghini, Porsche 911, BMW 507, Indianapolis Roadsters, and French Motorcycles. Notable displays included gatherings of four Prinz Heinrich Benz Race Cars, 27 Alfa Romeo 8Cs, and a pairing of the only two custom-built BMW 507s.
Tonight Show host Jay Leno made a guest appearance at the event, offering tickets to his show and tours of his Big Dog Garage and quickly raising $25,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County.
This year’s event showcased nearly 250 cars from 36 states and 12 countries and raised $1,277,007 for charity. The 64th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
[Source: Pebble Beach Concours; photos: Kimball Studios, courtesy Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance]