Ocean Backdrop for Some Great Cars
No Surprise Here
The “French Curves” class is a Southern California specialty, with significant exhibits in the Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar and the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard which is devoted almost exclusively to French Cars. Both have a record of Best in Shows at Pebble Beach. So it was no surprise at all when the Nethercutt’s 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Coupe with coachwork by Dubos that won its class, also took the top honor as Best in Show at Palos Verdes.
Lots of Fun Classes
There was a special class for “American Fins” celebrating that 1950s era when cars seemed poised to take flight. This 1957 Lincoln Premier did not place but what an example of the exuberance of the times!
A popular class with those who were just getting their licenses in the mid-60s was the Pony Cars, this year won by a car other than a Mustang – this 1969 Camaro Z-28. In 1968 Chevrolet offered a Regular Production Option RPO Z28, which included many of the modifications needed to make the cars competitive in the Trans-Am Sedan Championship Series. The first year, cars carried no external indication of the package, instead merely sporting a “302” badge on each cheek. Their racing success led to the word getting out that this was the package for the serious driver, and marketing quickly replaced it with the Z-28 badge seen here.
The middle model of the numbered XK Series Jaguars was the XK-140, so named for its projected top speed potential. This is a Roadster, distinguished from a “Drop-head Coupe” by the door cutouts and absence of wind-up windows. Talk about seductive! This car went on to win its class.
A stalwart staple of collectors, the Model A Ford got a couple of classes to itself at the Concours. This Tudor Coupe won its class.
I don’t know if the wood on the Ford Model A trucks (this one technically a Model AA) looked this good from the factory, but it’s pretty enough to give this one a second in class.
In the other “Utility Vehicle” class, this intricately painted 1911 Maxwell Fire Chief’s car won its class, and delighted the crowd.
Flamboyant Figoni et Falaschi coachwork helped this 1937 Delahaye 135m A win a special Dutch Darrin Automotive Excellence award. It’s from the Mullin Collection.
I suppose it was too much to expect two red Jaguars to win their classes. This stunning 1965 E-Type 4.2 FHC took second in class to an earlier 3.8 OTS in opalescent blue, like Dad’s 4.2.
In March, 1964, Car and Driver published a “Comparison Test” of the Pontiac and Ferrari GTOs. This is the car they tested, a Royal “Bobcat” GTO that had been clandestinely built with a Super Duty 421 cubic inch V8 in place of the stock 389 of the song. Jim Wanger, marketing manager and the man behind the Pontiac push for performance back then, is in the passenger seat.
Royal Pontiac in Royal Oak, Michigan was Pontiac’s performance dealership, producing “Bobcat” tune-up kits and acting as intermediary for the car magazines. That’s how the 421 cubic inch Tri-power V8 (above) was snuck into the test. It’s visually identical to the stock 389.
Leaving the event, you get one of the benefits of local participation. Many of the cars belong to nearby residents. Here the Porsche 911 Class-winning Carrera RS and a couple of rumble-seat occupants lead the way out of the Trump National Golf Club onto Palos Verdes Drive South.
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