Every year, the excitement builds prior to Pebble Beach as all the top shops prepare their entries for the most coveted prize of all — Best of Show.
Our way of building the excitement was to ask Ken Gross, who has long been involved with judging at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, to talk to three top restoration shops to see what it takes to field a winner. The story, which appeared in the Fall issue of Hagerty Classic Cars magazine, was in the mail at the time of the concours.
As detailed in the story “Masters of the Lawn,” the three shops — all with multiple Pebble Beach Best of Show awards — were Paul Russell & Company of Essex, Mass.; Stone Barn Automobile Restorations of Vienna, N.J.; and RM Auto Restoration of Chatham, Ontario. The shop principals, Paul Russell, Rich Fass and Mario Van Raay, talked about how they approach Pebble Beach.
True to form, all three shops sent impeccable entries for 2012. RM prepared The Patterson’s Collection 1937 Talbot-Lago T150C Figoni & Falaschi Cabriolet, while Stone Barn was represented by the 1932 Packard 906 Twin Six Dietrich Convertible Sedan formerly owned by Al Jolson and now owned by David and Linda Kane. Finally, Paul and Judy Andrews’ 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo was an equally fresh restoration from Paul Russell & Company.
As three of the top restoration companies in the world, it was no surprise that all three cars won their respective classes, thus putting them in the hunt for Best of Show. After the chief class judges, honorary judges and chairman had cast their ballots, the four finalists for the top prize were the William Lyons family’s 1935 Duesenberg SJ by Gurney Nutting, Joseph and Margie Cassini’s 1931 Duesenberg J Derham Tourster, the 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Figoni Coupé of David and Adele Cohen, and the Andrews’ S-Type Mercedes.
When the trumpets blew and the confetti fell to the reviewing ramp, the honors went to the positively stunning Saoutchik-bodied Mercedes, earning Paul Russell & Company’s third Best of Show at the prestigious California event. We’re delighted for the Andrews and pleased that Hagerty Classic Cars picked the right restorers and the right cars.