Mercedes-Benz 540K Named Best of Show at the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Contact: Kandace Hawkinson
(831) 622-1700; media@pebblebeachconcours.net

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 20, 2023) — A prewar Mercedes-Benz roadster that was first owned by the Shah of Afghanistan—one of just three similar cars surviving in the world today—was awarded the top prize at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

This year, 216 cars from 18 countries and 30 states pulled onto the competition field of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and the car named Best of Show was a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster presented by Jim Patterson of the Patterson Collection in Louisville, Kentucky. 

“This 540K balances strength with sweeping lines and style, and its history is unique,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “In talking with Jim about this car, I was impressed by the time and thought invested in this restoration. Every piece of this beautiful Mercedes-Benz was researched so carefully to honor its history.”

Prior to this win, the marques of Bugatti and Mercedes-Benz were tied with the most Best of Show wins at Pebble Beach. This win puts Mercedes-Benz in the lead, with 10 wins in total.

“In Kentucky, you know, we talk about winning the Derby. Well, there’s such a thing as winning the Triple Crown,” said Jim Patterson. “And so I’ve won this Concours twice before today. This is a Triple Crown for me.”

This year’s race for Best of Show featured other strong contenders, including the Auriga Collection’s 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Special Roadster, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Figoni Cabriolet shown care of Gregor Fisken, and the 1939 Delahaye 165 Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet owned by the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.

The competition got underway on Thursday when the majority of Concours entries participated in the 25th Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, which traces about 70 miles of scenic coastal roads. Entries that complete the Tour have the advantage if they tie in the Concours class competition.

The Pebble Beach Concours raised more than $2.68 million for charity this year, bringing the event’s total charitable donations to over $37 million to date. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the primary charitable partner of the Concours, these funds will benefit more than 90 local charities, impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children annually in Monterey County. 

Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, hosted its 19th sale at the venue, presenting its largest catalog to date and grossing over $92 million in sales. The top lot of the weekend was the unrestored 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, which sold for $9,465,000. The auction house also set a new world record for the Mercer marque with the sale of a 1914 Type 35-J Raceabout for $4,790,000. The 73rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 18, 2024, and will celebrate the marques of Packard and Maserati as well as the creations of Italian coachbuilder Pietro Frua—with more features to be announced in the early fall. For more information on the Pebble Beach Concours visit www.pebblebeachconcours.net.

Complete List of 2023 Winners

BEST OF SHOW

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster
Jim Patterson/The Patterson Collection, Louisville, Kentucky

BEST OF SHOW NOMINEES

1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Special Roadster
Auriga Collection, Germany

1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Figoni Cabriolet
Care of Gregor Fisken, Private Collection, London, United Kingdom

1939 Delahaye 165 Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet
Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation, Oxnard, California

ELEGANCE AWARDS

Gwenn Graham Most Elegant Convertible
1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Saoutchik Cabriolet
Steve & Marilee Hamilton, Washoe Valley, Nevada

J. B. & Dorothy Nethercutt Most Elegant Closed Car
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
William E. Connor Family, Hong Kong

Jules Heumann Most Elegant Open Car
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Corsica Open Sports
Lord Anthony Bamford, Rocester, United Kingdom

Strother MacMinn Most Elegant Sports Car
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competition Scaglietti Berlinetta
Rob Kauffman/RK Motors, Charlotte, North Carolina

SPECIAL AWARDS

Alec Ulmann Trophy
1936 Hispano-Suiza J-12 Saoutchik Cabriolet
The Keller Collection at the Pyramids, Petaluma, California

Ansel Adams Award
1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall
Laura & Jack Boyd Smith Jr., Elkhart, Indiana

ArtCenter College of Design Award
1963 Porsche 901 Prototype “Quickblau” Karmann/Reutter Coupe
Alois Ruf, Pfaffenhausen, Germany

Briggs Cunningham Trophy
1954 Edwards America Convertible
Gary & Cathy Edwards, Spring Branch, Texas

Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) Award for Automotive Innovation
1928 Mercedes-Benz 710 SSK Sport Two Seater
John Houlihan, Ireland

Chairman’s Trophy
1952 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Touring Spider
Matthias Metz, Rosengarten, Germany

Charles A. Chayne Trophy
1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Bertone Coupé
Raphael Gabay, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Classic Car Club of America Trophy
1930 Cadillac 452 Fleetwood All Weather Phaeton
Hans Emerén, Nadar, Malta

Elegance in Motion Trophy
1947 Delahaye 135 MS Figoni et Falaschi Narval Cabriolet
Dana & Patti Mecum, Geneva Lake, Wisconsin

Enzo Ferrari Trophy
1950 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta
Clive & Alison Beecham, London, United Kingdom

FIVA Prewar Trophy
1933 Duesenberg SJ Weymann Speedster
The Anne Brockinton Lee/Robert M. Lee Automobile Collection, Sparks, Nevada

FIVA Postwar Trophy
1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Pinin Farina Coupe
Alex & Judy Albarian, San Clemente, California

The French Cup
1927 Bugatti Type 38/49 Figoni Cabriolet Philadelphia
Luc Slijpen, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Gran Turismo Trophy
1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Figoni Coupé
David & Adele Cohen, West Vancouver, Canada

Lincoln Trophy
1932 Lincoln KB LeBaron Convertible Roadster
Larry Carter, Los Gatos, California

Lorin Tryon Trophy
John Bentley

Lucius Beebe Trophy
1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Brewster Special Permanent New Market
Lehrman Collection, Palm Beach, Florida

Mercedes-Benz Star of Excellence Award
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster
Jim Patterson/The Patterson Collection, Louisville, Kentucky

Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy
1965 McLaren M1A Race Car
Egon & Birgit Zweimüller, Ennsdorf, Austria

The Phil Hill Cup
1957 Maserati 200SI Fantuzzi Spyder
Jonathan & Wendy Segal, San Diego, California

Tony Hulman Trophy
1988 McLaren MP4/4-2 Formula 1 Race Car
Mouse Motors, Chicago, Illinois

CLASS AWARDS

Class A-1: Antique
1st: 1910 Stearns 30/60 Touring, Stu Laidlaw & Kirk Bewley, Bolivia, North Carolina
2nd: 1912 Simplex 50 HP Quinby 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer, The Singleton Collection, Newport Beach, California
3rd: 1910 Pope-Hartford Model T Touring, Joe & Janice Conzonire, San Marino, California

Class A-2: Vanderbilt Cup Era Race Cars
1st: 1910 Fiat S61 Grand Prix, William Evans, San Diego, California
2nd: 1911 Fiat S74 Grand Prix, George F. Wingard, Eugene, Oregon
3rd: 1908 Benz 105 HP Prinz Heinrich Two Seat Race Car, Bruce McCaw, Redmond, Washington

Class C-1: American Classic Open
1st: 1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet, Greg Ornazian, Troy, Michigan
2nd: 1937 Cord 812 Sportsman Convertible Coupe, Dr. Scott & Susy Spiro, Livingston, New Jersey
3rd: 1931 Cadillac 452 Fleetwood Convertible Coupe, Bill & Patti Spurling, Evansville, Indiana

Class C-2: American Classic Closed
1st: 1932 Pierce-Arrow 51 LeBaron Sport Coupe, Ross & Beth Myers, Periomenville, Pennsylvania
2nd: 1934 Cadillac 452D Fleetwood Coupe, Donald Ghareeb, Vestavia Hills, Alabama
3rd: 1931 Packard 840 Custom Eight All Weather Town Landaulet, Mark & Vicki Smucker, Goshen, Indiana

Class D: Packard
1st: 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Phaeton, John D. Groendyke, Enid, Oklahoma
2nd: 1934 Packard 1106 Twelve LeBaron Runabout Speedster, William Lyon Family, Coto de Caza, California
3rd: 1933 Packard 1005 Twelve Convertible Victoria, Chuck Spielman, La Jolla, California

Class E-1: Figoni Centennial 1923-1937
1st: 1937 Talbot-Lago T150 C-SS Figoni et Falaschi Teardrop Coupé, Lee R. Anderson Sr., Naples, Florida
2nd: 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Figoni Coupé, David & Adele Cohen, West Vancouver, Canada
3rd: 1937 Delahaye 135 MS Figoni et Falaschi Special Roadster, Miles Collier Collection at Revs Institute, Naples, Florida

Class E-2: Figoni Centennial 1938 – 1948
1st: 1939 Delahaye 165 Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet, Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation, Oxnard, California
2nd: 1938 Talbot-Lago T150 C Figoni et Falaschi Coupé, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
3rd: 1947 Delahaye 135 MS Figoni et Falaschi Narval Cabriolet, Dana & Patti Mecum, Geneva Lake, Wisconsin

Class G: Duesenberg
1st: 1929 Duesenberg J Murphy Dual Cowl Phaeton, Rob & Jeannie Hilarides, Visalia, California
2nd: 1936 Duesenberg SJN Rollston Convertible Coupe, The Nethercutt Collection/Helen & Jack Nethercutt, Sylmar, California
3rd: 1929 Duesenberg J Murphy Convertible Sedan, Thomas Maoli, Mendham, New Jersey

Class H: Rolls-Royce Prewar
1st: 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Barker Torpedo Sports, Bradley Greene, San Carlos, California
2nd: 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall, Laura & Jack Boyd Smith Jr., Elkhart, Indiana
3rd: 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Vanden Plas Torpedo, John & Mary Campbell, Woodinville, Washington

Class I-1: Mercedes-Benz S
1st: 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Gläser Sports Tourer, John Bentley, Harrogate, United Kingdom
2nd: 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Murphy Speedster, John Rich, Gilberton, Pennsylvania
3rd: 1929 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Gangloff Tourer, Robert Kudela, Chropynĕ, Czech Republic

Class I-2: Mercedes-Benz SS & SSK
1st: 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Special Roadster, Auriga Collection, Germany
2nd: 1929 Mercedes-Benz 710 SSK Barker Roadster, Miles Collier Collection at Revs Institute, Naples, Florida
3rd: 1928 Mercedes-Benz 710 SSK Sport Two Seater, John Houlihan, Ireland

Class J-1: European Classic Sport
1st: 1932 Talbot AV105 Fox and Nicholl Vanden Plas Tourer, Richard Lisman, New York, New York
2nd: 1937 BMW 326 Erdmann & Rossi Cabriolet, Karra L. Canum, San Jose, California
3rd: 1937 Talbot BI 105 Darracq Airline Saloon, Charlie Elliott, Chelmsford, United Kingdom

Class J-2: European Classic Touring
1st: 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, Jim Patterson/The Patterson Collection, Louisville, Kentucky
2nd: 1936 Hispano-Suiza J-12 Saoutchik Cabriolet, The Keller Collection at the Pyramids, Petaluma, California
3rd: 1938 Horch 855 Special Roadster, PS-Speicher Einbeck, Einbeck, Germany

Class K: Bugatti Type 57
1st: 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante, The Pearl Collection/Fritz Burkard, Switzerland
2nd: 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Vanvooren Cabriolet, Bill Pope, Scottsdale, Arizona
3rd: 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante, William E. Connor Family, Hong Kong

Class L-1: Prewar Preservation
1st: 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Figoni Cabriolet, Care of Gregor Fisken, Private Collection, London, United Kingdom
2nd: 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Barker Tourer, Theodore Reimel, Wayne, Pennsylvania
3rd: 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Brewster Tourer, David & Dawn Gooding/Ahrens, Santa Monica, California

Class L-2: Postwar Preservation
1st: 1962 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, Ann M. Fagan, Briarcliff Manor, New York
2nd: 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet, The Anne Brockinton Lee/Robert M. Lee Automobile Collection, Sparks, Nevada
3rd: 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster, Peter Klutt, Halton Hills, Canada

Class M-1: Ferrari Grand Touring
1st: 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Coupe, Kim & Stephen Bruno, Boca Raton, Florida
2nd: 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Pininfarina Coupe Aerodinamico, Kevin Cogan/Cogan Collection, Louisville, Kentucky
3rd: 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC Pininfarina Coupe Speciale, Lee & Joan Herrington/The Herrington Collection, Bow, New Hampshire

Class M-2: Ferrari Competition
1st: 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Scaglietti Barchetta, Andrew Pisker, Principality of Monaco
2nd: 1952 Ferrari 225S Vignale Coupe, Arnold Meier, Zollikon, Switzerland
3rd: 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Scaglietti Berlinetta, Stu Carpenter, Needham, Massachusetts

Class N: Pegaso
1st: 1952 Pegaso Z-102 Tibidabo Touring Spyder, Daniel Sielecki, Punta del este, Uruguay
2nd: 1954 Pegaso Z-102 Touring Coupe, Robert Bishop, Palm Beach, Florida
3rd: 1953 Pegaso Z-102 Touring Coupe, Nicholas & Shelley Schorsch, Newport, Rhode Island

Class O-1: Postwar Sports Racing
1st: 1965 Ford GT40 Mk I, William H. & Cheryl K. Swanson, Pebble Beach, California
2nd: 1957 Maserati 200SI Fantuzzi Spyder, Jonathan & Wendy Segal, San Diego, California
3rd: 1955 Jaguar D-type, Bill Rooklidge, Laguna Beach, California

Class O-2: Postwar Touring
1st: 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Coupé, Alberto Gutierrez, Albuquerque, New Mexico
2nd: 1959 Maserati 3500 GT Bertone Coupé, Jim Utaski, Skillman, New Jersey
3rd: 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, Dr. C.R. Bonebrake & Hon. Rebecca Crotty, Topeka, Kansas

Class O-3: Postwar Luxury
1st: 1955 Imperial Convertible, David & Teresa Disiere, Southlake, Texas
2nd: 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet, McPherson College, McPherson, Kansas
3rd: 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet, Craig Kappel & Meg McCarthy, Chatham, Massachusetts

Class O-4: Postwar British Luxury
1st: 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I “Honeymoon Express” Freestone & Webb Drophead Coupé, The Anne Brockinton Lee/Robert M. Lee Automobile Collection, Sparks, Nevada
2nd: 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Park Ward Drophead Coupé, David Wilkie, Sydney, Australia
3rd: 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental H.J. Mulliner Fastback Saloon, Charles L. Marshall II, Dayton, Ohio

Class P: Lamborghini 60th Anniversary
1st: 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Bertone Coupé, Raphael Gabay, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2nd: 1971 Lamborghini Espada Series 2 Bertone Coupé, Steve Girard, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
3rd: 1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Coupé, Robert Cleary, Elmira, New York

Class R: McLaren 60th Anniversary
1st: 1967 McLaren M6A Can-Am Race Car, Richard Griot, Tacoma, Washington
2nd: 1988 McLaren MP4/4-2 Formula 1 Race Car, Mouse Motors, Chicago, Illinois
3rd: 1995 McLaren F1 Coupe, Chris & Ann Cox, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Class S: Porsche 75th Anniversary
1st: 1963 Porsche 901 Prototype “Quickblau” Karmann/Reutter Coupe, Alois Ruf, Pfaffenhausen, Germany
2nd: 1972 Porsche 916 Karmann Coupe, Todd Blue/LAPIS, Malibu, California
3rd: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring Coupe, Private Collector, Memphis, Tennessee

Class V: American Dream Cars of the 1950s
1st: 1953 Kurtis Sorrell SR-100 Roadster, Mark & Newie Brinker, Houston, Texas
2nd: 1954 Edwards America Convertible, Gary & Cathy Edwards, Spring Branch, Texas
3rd: 1952 Fageol Pataray Roadster, Mark & Newie Brinker, Houston, Texas 

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About Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
First conducted in 1950, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® (www.pebblebeachconcours.net) has grown to be the world’s premier celebration of the automobile. Only the most beautiful and historic cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links®, and connoisseurs of art and style gather to admire these masterpieces. Charitable donations raised by Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® now total over $37 million. Related events include Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex, Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum™ presented by Alliant Private Client, and Pebble Beach® Auctions presented by Gooding & Company. Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum™, and Pebble Beach® Automotive Week are trademarks, service marks and trade dress of Pebble Beach Company. All rights reserved. For more information, please call 831-622-1700 or visit pebblebeachconcours.net.

About Pebble Beach Company
Pebble Beach Company, headquartered in Pebble Beach, Calif., owns and operates the world-famous Pebble Beach Resorts®, including The Lodge at Pebble Beach™, The Inn at Spanish Bay™, and Casa Palmero®. The company also operates five renowned golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Spyglass Hill® Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay™, Del Monte™ Golf Course, and The Hay. Its other famed properties include scenic 17-Mile Drive®, The Spa at Pebble Beach™, Pebble Beach Golf Academy™, and Pebble Beach® Equestrian Center. It annually hosts premier events such as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational, and the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee. Future site of the 2027, 2032, 2038, and 2044 U.S. Open Championships and the 2035, 2040 and 2048 U.S. Women’s Opens, Pebble Beach Golf Links® has hosted six U.S. Opens, five U.S. Amateurs, one PGA Championship, one U.S. Women’s Open and numerous other tournaments. For reservations or more information, please call 800-654-9300 or visit pebblebeach.com.

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