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Polyphony Digital Trophy Awarded at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Kazunori Yamauchi participates as an honorary judge, and a special award is added to the repertoire of awards, the first award to be added in 7 years since the last.

Concours for original and restored historic cars are held throughout the world, and are the ultimate venue to celebrate car culture. However, no other Concours compares to the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance in terms of variety, history, and perfection.

On August 17, Kazunori Yamauchi, creator and series producer of Gran Turismo, participated in the 58th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as an honorary judge, with the honor of selecting a special car to receive the Polyphony Digital Trophy, the first new Trophy category to be added to the world-renowned Concours in seven years. Held in northern California, approximately 60 miles south of San Francisco, at the luxury Pebble Beach resort, the Concours d’Elegance is not the only famous event to take place here. The US Open golf championship is also held at Pebble Beach, and the Concours d’Elegance event takes place on the fairway of the 18th hole of this distinguished golf course.

Only those who have entered a car before, or those that have been recommended by previous participants and have received an official invitation from the committee, are allowed to enter their cars in this prestigious car show. Though cars vary greatly by year and model, in order to receive a special award, and especially the coveted “Best of Show” trophy, a car must undergo a very strict evaluation by famous race drivers, designers, journalists, and other hand-picked judges from around the world. The criteria for judging is simple: how close the car is to its original, new condition? Judges scrutinize cars extremely close, going so far as to check the material of bolts and stitching on the seats. To these judges, cars are works of art, worthy of the utmost attention to detail. Those familiar with the historic car world know that the phrase “Pebble Beach Condition” refers to a car being “immaculate,” and to win an award at this historic auto show, a car truly has to be a picture of perfection. In addition to Polyphony Digital’s Kazunori Yamauchi, other notable judges hailing from Japan members in the past have been Shirou Nakamura (Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Design and Brand Management at Nissan Motor Company), and Wahei Hirai (Managing Officer of Design at Toyota Motor Corporation). And the Polyphony Digital Trophy goes to…

Out of the carefully selected jewels, Kazunori Yamauchi selected the 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400, Bertone Prototype, to receive the Polyphony Digital Trophy.

The Miura was originally only a show car to promote Lamborghini cars, but because of the overwhelming popularity of the Bertone design when it was shown at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini decided to put the car into full production. And the winner of the Polyphony Digital Trophy for 2008 is the only existing prototype created before this car went into production.

The owner of this classic Lamborghini is J.W. Marriot, founder of the international hotel group Marriot International. In 1967, he fell in love with the car and talked Lamborghini into letting him purchase the 2nd prototype Miura that had just been announced instead of waiting for a production model. Because the first prototype was later destroyed, Marriot’s Miura is the oldest in existence. Marriot has been the sole owner of the car for the past 41 years since he first bought it, and he has meticulously maintained its original condition. The picture of immaculate. Finally, the “Best of Show” grand prize for the whole event went to the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta (owned by Jon & Mary Shirley).

Polyphony Digital will continue participating in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event, in order to award more historic cars the Polyphony Digital Trophy, and to support those who make efforts to preserve irreplaceable, precious automotive culture for future generations to come.

Comment by Kazunori Yamauchi, Gran Turismo series producer: “At the Pebble Beach event, there was an incredible number of very old cars, in absolutely magnificent condition. For someone like myself, who has mainly been exposed to more modern cars, it was a great opportunity to go back in time and experience the era in which cars and car culture was born.

Cars were born at the end of the 19th century. And the solidity and weight of these old cars tells a story: You can tell that back then, man lived in the “Age of Fire and Steel”.

And in this new generation, the video games that we work to create were born at the end of the 20th century, the the start of the “Information Age”.

Visiting the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, I came to hope that one day I can make Gran Turismo a bridge that crosses the gap between these two eras, separated by a century of progress. I guess I still have much more work to do.”