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Event Report

Double Winner as the Best of Show, the Mercedes-Benz S, Receives the 2017 Gran Turismo Trophy

On August 20 (local time), the 67th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was held in Monterey, California, where Gran Turismo series producer Kazunori Yamauchi selected the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer as the winner of the Gran Turismo Trophy. This is also the winner of the Best of Show in this year’s Concours, making it a double winner.

The winning Mercedes-Benz S is the first sport model ever released by Mercedes-Benz. Designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche who had transferred from Austro-Daimler of Austria, it participated in a race at the Nürburgring in 1927 and won the race with Rudolf Caracciola at the wheel. This is a model that became the basis for the famous sports models of Mercedes that followed thereafter, such as the SS, SSK, and SSKL.
The winning car was originally ordered by one of the founders of the British Racing Driver’s Club, Earl Howe. London coachbuilder Barker built the body, and the peacock blue of the car is an original colour that Earl Howe had painted on all of his racing cars. This is the first time that a pre-war model dating back to 1929 has won the Gran Turismo Trophy, now in its 10th year.
Let us introduce you to some of the other nominees for the Gran Turismo Trophy this year:

・Bentley 4 2/1 Supercharger (1930)

In the beginning of the 20th century, Bentley showed fantastic performance in races such as the Le Mans 24 hour race. This is a model equipped with a supercharger from 1927, and is one of 50 such cars that were built in order to pass homologation for participating at the Le Mans. A beautiful car equipped with a Vanden Plas body.

・Abarth 1000 Record (1960)

This is an experimental car that was built by Abarth as a speed record car. The Pininfarina designed body is powered by an engine for a Fiat 1000, and was developed using the wind tunnel testing lab of the Polytechnic University of Turin. In 1960 it set 8 world records including a 72 hour average speed record of 186.687km/h at the Autodromo of Monza.

・Ferrari 166MM/195S (1950)

This is essentially the first mass production road car produced by Ferrari, who had mainly been a developer of race cars until this time. The car is a perfect match of a V12 engine designed by Gioacchino Colombo and a lightweight body by Carrozzeria Touring. From 1948 to the following year, it also won many victories in races like the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio.

・Talbot-Lago T-26GS (1948)

Talbot-Lago was a French premium car brand, and the T-26GS is a sportscar with an impressive 190hp inline 6 cylinder engine. This particular car with chassis number 110105 is a veteran racer that was entered in the Le Mans 5 years in a row from 1949, with many other participations in rally races.

・Jaguar XK140 Zagato Coupe (1957)

This is a rare car where the XK140 body with its classical beauty was changed to a one-off design by Zagato. The body designed by Zagato of Milan exhibits an air of modern Italian elegance.
At the stage of the show at the Pebble Beach Golf Course, there were a variety of automobile manufacturers displaying their latest prototypes, further turning up the heat in this summer car festival.

(Curation support provided by Hideo Kodama)