Every year, the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, California plays hosts to the world’s best display of classic cars at the Concours De Elegance. At that time of the year, the causeways of this golf links turns into a gorgeous sea of gleaming steel and chrome. Automobiles from all eras are showcased as a part of the celebrations and anyone who remotely claims to be an automotive enthusiast would give an arm and a leg to be there. Here is a list of the top five exclusive and exquisite cars from the vintage era (pre-1950s) that we think you should not miss.
1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer
This vintage Mercedes sportscar was ordered by the celebrated Le Mans racer Earl Howe in 1929. It was powered by a 7.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine with the S denoting that it was supercharged. Barker, the famous British coach builder, had hand-formed its aluminium boat tail body with the polished hood and painted the rest of it in Curzon blue, the Earl’s family colour. No wonder it won the Concours this year!
1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS Castagna Special Sports Tourer
Isotta Fraschini was like the Rolls-Royce of Italy or probably even better. Back in the early 1900s, they were the first ones to plonk a straight-eight into production cars and with 100bhp on tow, the Isottas were the machines of the day. And yes, the Castagna coachwork was so beautiful that the Isotta made its way to Hollywood as well!
1938 Packard 8 model 1601 Graber Cabriolet
This one is a Swiss beauty. Yes, Packard is pure American and the 1938 Cabriolet is a short-wheel base ‘junior’ Packard which went to Europe as a rolling chassis. Graber, the Bern-based coachbuilder, immortalised this cabriolet with one of the cleanest and simplest lines for the era weaved into beautiful curves and immaculate proportions. The 110bhp eight cylinder under the hood is a bonus here.
1947 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet Figoni et Falaschi
You might not know this, but before the Italians, it was the French who built the most beautiful cars. Figoni and Falaschi, the renowned French coach builders, had built only seven examples of this and there are no records on how many of these have survived today. We hope there are more of these beauties being cared for, just like the one Figoni Delahaye (not one of those seven) in India, being cared for by the Maharaja of Jodhpur.
1924 Voisin C4S Sport Tourisme
Gabriel Voisin, the French carmaker, was known to build exquisite limousines in the early 1900s and was a favourite amongst the rich and elite across Europe as well as America. But luxury cars, even back then, weren’t good for the books. So Voisin decided to build a smaller, sportier car that could be built faster and sell more. While we are not sure how many of them were made, the one that made it to Pebble Beach is one of the only two cars known to have survived the ravages of time.
Image source: Motor1, AutoBlog