The Road to Best of Show:
The Judging Process at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
The judging process at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance seeks to recognize and properly preserve the great automobiles of the world. This process is two-fold: Class Judges focus primarily on originality and authenticity, while Honorary Judges direct their attention to design, styling and elegance.
To be eligible to win Best of Show at Pebble Beach—the event’s top award—a car must first win its class. Class Judges evaluate all of the candidates in a particular class to determine if they are correctly preserved or restored. Class Judges are each acknowledged experts on a specific marque or marques, and they judge only the class related to their area of expertise.
“By placing this emphasis on originality and authenticity in class competition, the Pebble Beach Concours strives to make a significant contribution to the proper preservation of automotive history,” says Ed Gilbertson, Pebble Beach Concours Chief Judge since 1999.
Teams of Honorary Judges, overseen by Chief Honorary Judge Glenn Mounger, undertake the more subjective task of determining the winners of many additional special awards apart from the class competition and Best of Show. But only the cars that are named First in Class are eligible to compete for Best of Show.
Best of Show ballots are provided to the Chairman, the Chief Judge, the Chief Honorary Judge, each Chief Class Judge, each Honorary Judge team leader, and select Class Judges. These individuals observe the First in Class cars as they cross the winner’s ramp to receive their class awards, and they also examine these cars in the winner’s circle. Each of these individuals independently selects his or her choice for Best of Show and then discretely marks the ballot and drops it in the slotted Best of Show voting box on the presentation ramp. The car with the most votes is named Best of Show.
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