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A freshly restored 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta won Best of Show honors Sunday at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which once again honored a pre-war European automobile of superb style and advanced technology.
Owned by concours veterans David and Ginny Sydorick of Beverly Hills, California, the Alfa Romeo was chosen by the judges for the top prize from a strong field of exquisite automobiles in the 68th year of the world’s most-renowned concours d’elegance.
The deep-blue Alfa also was a consistent crowd favorite, with rampant speculation throughout the day that it was a solid candidate for Best of Show, especially after it won its class in the Italian Classic category.
The Pebble Beach Concours was the first showing for the Alfa since a complete restoration was completed by RX Autoworks in Vancouver, Canada. With an eye on perfect accuracy, the car was restored to how it first appeared at the 1937 Paris Auto Salon.
The 8C also received two other awards, the Charles A. Chayne Trophy and the J. B. & Dorothy Nethercutt Most Elegant Closed Car.
This was not the first Pebble Beach win for the car. After a 1990s restoration, it was declared Most Elegant Closed Car at the 2001 concours.
The 8C was a highly advanced performance car in its day, what now would be considered an exotic supercar. It is powered by a straight-8 grand-prix racing engine fed by a pair of superchargers, one charging the front four cylinders, the other for the rear four.
To improve handling and balance, the transmission is located at the rear axle, an early example of transaxle engineering, along with the motor-oil reservoir for the dry-sump engine. The suspension is all independent.
The coupe also has a huge, 35-gallon gas tank; the driver can compensate for the extra weight over the rear with an adjustment knob to stiffen a set of friction shock absorbers that complement another set of hydraulic dampers.
But when it all comes down, the Best of Show prize is about elegance, and this lovely Italian is clothed in a refined Superleggera (lightweight) body by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, and it attracted a steady stream of admirers throughout the day. The luxurious leather interior is done in saddle tan, with a right-hand driver position, with every switch and gauge brought back to its original specifications.
The two concours runners up were a 1948 Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupe, owned by Robert Kudela from the Czech Republic, and a 1929 Duesenberg J Murphy Town Limousine from the Lehrman Collection of Palm Beach, Florida.