Every concours d’elegance — for that matter seemingly every car show on the planet — awards a best of show award, sometimes a couple of them. But have you ever wondered which car would win if there was a best of best of show competition?
If so, you aren’t alone, because someone convinced The Peninsula Hotels to sponsor The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award, convinced two dozen experts to serve as judges and during Monterey Car Week presented the inaugural trophy to Peter and Merle Mullin and the Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation for their 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS coupe aerodynamique “Goutte d’Eau” with coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi.
The car, eligible after winning best of show at the 2015 Goodwood Cartier Style et Luxe, was chosen over a field that included:
- a 1903 Mercedes 60HP Simplex (best of show at the Royal Concours of Elegance).
- a 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F. Ramseier & Cie Worblaufen cabriolet (2015 Pebble Beach concours d’elegance).
- 1930 Cord L29 Brooks Stevens Speedster (Amelia Island Concours
- 1965 Ferrari 166 P/206 SP Dino 0834 (Cavallino Classic).
- 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale (The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering).
Simply put, the Peninsula news release called the Mullins’ Talbot “the most exceptional car in the world.”
At least for 2015.
As an FYI, founders of the award are hotellier Michael Kadoorie, automotive expert Christian Philippsen and collectors William E. “Chip” Connor II and Bruce Meyer.
“It has been said that the look of the Talbot-Lago Teardrop epitomized speed, aerodynamic efficiency and elegance. Its form was perfect for an object in motion, resembling raindrops as they fall to earth,” said Kadoorie, hotel company chairman. “We are delighted to have awarded this exceptional motor car with the inaugural The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award.”
Among the judges voting on the award were Miles Collier, Henry Ford III, The Earl of March, Ralph Lauren, Jay Leno, and Nick Mason as well as car designers Anne Asensio, Chris Bangle, Peter Brock, Ian Callum, Luc Donckerwolke, Fabio Filippini, Flavio Manzoni, Gordon Murray, Shiro Nakamura, Ken Okuyama, Gordon Wagener and Ed Welburn.
“I’m thrilled that Peter’s car won this year’s Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award,” Leno was quoted in the news release. “The judges were all in agreement that the Talbot deserved the award not only for its incredible look, but because Peter’s cars are always restored as originally intended to a precise level of historic time and detail, and that’s what makes the Talbot so special.”