1963 Best of Show Winner
April 29, 2020
1931 Pierce-Arrow 41 LeBaron Sport Sedan shown by William Harrah
In 1963, gaming legend William Harrah served notice that he was up to the challenge, winning Best of Show with this 1931 Pierce-Arrow 41. Fittingly the car was of the same year, make and model that Phil Hill had shown in 1955. But Harrah’s Pierce-Arrow was bodied by LeBaron as a Sport Sedan.
Prior to this point, a look at the top contenders from the first dozen years of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance makes clear, J. B. Nethercutt was the man to beat. He had established his own meticulous standards for restoring cars, setting the bar for all other enthusiasts, and he had already garnered not one but two Best of Show awards at the Concours, winning with a duPont and a Bugatti.
But Harrah made certain that this Concours would be a competition and not a one-man show. He not only won in 1963, but he also won again in 1964, so for a brief time, the two men were tied 2-all. Harrah won again in 1966, but Nethercutt came back with two more wins before the decade ended.
Theirs was a rivalry—and a friendship—that continued for years.