The rules for picking Best in Show at Pebble Beach are simple. The car needs to be long, open-top (usually), European (preferably French), more than 60 years old, rare, fast, and gray, blue or black. And it needs to be restored to within an inch of its million-dollar life.
Jim Patterson’s beautiful 1933 Delage D8S De Villars Roadster was just about the last car to roll onto the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday morning, and it was the last one to leave. As Best of Show winner, it had to stick around for photos. The 1933 Delage D8S was named the top car out of the 250 collector cars from 14 countries that were showcased on the Pebble Beach Golf Course this past weekend.
A prewar vehicle once used for transporting hotel guests of the Gran Hotel Velasquez in Madrid, Spain, the 1933 Delage also made an appearance at the 1933 Salon de Paris. After being shown at the Salon de Paris, the Coupe Roadster was sent to the Delage showrooms on Champs Elysees. The first owner was Sr. Aurelio Lerroux, the son of Sr. Alejandro Lerroux the Prime Minister of Spain. The second owner was Sr. Rico, a friend of Aurelio Lerroux and the brother of the major of Madrid. Under his care, the car was brought to Spain in April of 1935.
From there the car would pass to the Gran hotel Velasquez in Madrid where it served as a hotel shuttle for the important hotel guests. It was later put into storage where it would remain for around 40 years. When it was brought out of storage it had a red paint scheme and still retained all of its originality, including engine, transmission, body, chassis, and mechanical components. It was completely original and had only three owners since new. The car was treated to a body-off restoration during the care of its current owner. It was completed several years ago but still shows well in modern times.
Patterson acquired the 1933 Delage D8S at the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it was one of the stars of the event. The RM Auctions was the first time in 50 years that the car has been shown in public. Its history, originality, rarity, and pedigree was highly sought after at the auction, with bidders driving the final selling price to $3,740,000 including buyer’s premium.
This Delage has a short wheelbase that makes it look more rakish, but it still has a long and elegant look, said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. It did 110 miles-per-hour in its day; it could race and was stunningly beautiful. This car could do it all; it embodied style, speed and comfort.
The other nominees were another Delage, the 1939 Delage D8 120 Henri Chapron Cabriolet, a 1930 Duesenberg J Graber Cabriolet and 1929 Bentley Speed Six Park Ward Open Two Seater.