Classic Packard, Talbot-Lago chosen Best of Show at St. John’s

1934 Packard and 1937 Talbot-Lago take Best of Show honors at St. John's | Kevin Wilson photos
1934 Packard and 1937 Talbot-Lago take Best of Show honors at St. John | Kevin A. Wilson photos

A pair of distinctive coupes, a 1934 Packard Twelve and a 1937 Talbot-Lago, won Best-in-Show honors Sunday at the Concours d’Elegance of America in Plymouth, Michigan. The 38th concours (previously known as Meadow Brook) on the grounds of The Inn at St. John has customarily named two Best in Show winners, one American-built and one European, and hews to tradition again in choosing cars built during the Classic era.

Cassinis' Packard judged best American entry
Cassinis’ Packard judged best American entry

Judges selected the Packard, owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini, III of West Orange, New Jersey, as the best American entry. It’s a 1934 Packard 1108-65 Convertible Victoria, a massively long and blocky two-door powered by the legendary V12 engine. Painted a subdued dark olive, it was less flashy than some other contenders but meticulously restored.

The European Best-in-Show award, by contrast, went to a svelte little teardrop in silver and red that posed a challenge to photographers as it moved under the bright afternoon sun. A 1937 Talbot-Lago T150 CSS owned by J.W. Marriot, Jr. of Bethesda, Maryland, it’s one of 14 such cars built and the only one with all-aluminum bodywork.

Marriot's Talbot-Lago only one of 14 with aluminum bodywork
Marriot’s Talbot-Lago only one of 14 with aluminum bodywork
Kevin A. Wilson is a freelance automotive editor, writer and historian working in the Detroit area. Currently a contributing editor to both Car and Driver and Popular Mechanics, he previously worked at AutoWeek magazine in various roles including Executive Editor, Senior Editor for Special Projects and as a columnist. He has served as a judge at many automotive art shows, car shows and concours, and is chief judge for the annual Ypsilanti Orphan Car Show. He lives in Waterford, MI with his wife Toni in the same home where they raised their three sons.