Six months back, Nick, Shane, and I were all in attendance at the 2015 Concours of America, over in Plymouth MI. Nick’s shown us all the highlights and I’ve done a few features on one or two muscle cars and a set of dry-lake race cars, as well as a very unique Corvette. However, nothing gets in front of Best of Show, and at this show, one award is given to the best American car, and one is given to the best imported car. The winners this year genuinely embody the best of what the pre-war world of cars had to offer 80 years ago.
The Best In Show winner for the Foreign category is a car that we’re familiar with, as it was an Elegance Award winner at Pebble Beach in 2014 for Most Elegant Closed Car and won second in its class. This 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante once stood proudly in the Harrah Collection in the 1970s and has been repainted to match its original color after a restoration that stretched back to 1976. It also won Best of Show at the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance in Lexington, KY shortly before this show–as a multiple award winner, the Patterson Collection should be proud to own this car and all of its hardware.
The American Best of Show winner was one of a number of Duesenbergs featured last year at St. John’s. This particular body is one of only three that left the production line like it, as a dual-cowled Murphy Phaeton. In 1929, Roxy Rothafels purchased this car brand-new, for a price of $4,000, or about 8 times the cost of a normal new car at the time. The J would eventually end up in the hands of its current owner before my parents were even born–making this car in its owner’s posession for over sixty years. Comprehensively restored and driven often, this is a classic car that deserves plenty of merit, and it showed great out on the field. Enjoy the photos.