The Peninsula whose global brand has epitomized glamour and luxury for nearly a century, has announced eight finalists for its prestigious honor, The Peninsula Classics 2022 Best of the Best Award. The prestigious accolade identifies the world’s most exceptional classic car from a select group of vehicles that have won the highest awards at the previous year’s major concours events. Returning for the second year in a row to the beautiful grounds of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club along the California coast, the awards celebration will take place on Sunday, August 13, 2023.
Included among the group of finalists is a 1932 Duesenberg Model J Sports Torpedo that won the coveted 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best of Show award. The Duesenberg’s breathtaking bodywork was completed by venerable French coachbuilder Joseph Figoni. The Model J was the most powerful and most luxurious American car of its era. A second unique Duesenberg Model J selected as a finalist is the 1934 J-531 LaGrande Convertible Coupé, which won Best of Show 2022 at The Amelia. One of the last Duesenbergs produced, this LaGrande Convertible Coupe could top 115 mph and was originally kept by Marjorie Merriweather Post, the founder of General Mills, Inc. and wealthiest woman of the world, at her Long Island summer home.
Another finalist is a 1937 Bugatti 57S Cabriolet, the first of just four known Bugatti Type 57S automobiles bodied by Vanvooren as convertibles, which won Best of Show at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. A 1938 Delage Type D8-120S Cabriolet, the winner of the Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace Best of Show award, is also a finalist for the prestigious Best of the Best award. Considered to be one of the finest examples to emerge from the storied Delage brand and bodied by De Villars, the Type D8-120S is a special one-off two-seater. The extravagantly styled model, with its tapering sport body coachwork and riveted fenders, was first shown at the Concours de l’Auto de Printemps in 1938.
A rarity among the selected finalists, the 1938 Dubonnet Xenia Coupé won Best of Show at Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. The Xenia, fitted with a Hispano Suiza H6B engine, is a one-of-one vehicle designed by André Dubonnet, an inventor, racecar driver and World War I fighter pilot. Its aerodynamic design coupled with Dubonnet’s signature hyperflex suspension technology give smooth handling and the sensation of flying while driving the vehicle, evocative of the pre-war fascination with machines of flight.
Two iconic Ferraris are also included on the list. The first, a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé which was crowned Best of Show at Salon Privé, was one of just five Ferrari 250 GT long-wheelbase chassis cars designed by Zagato. The V12-powered lightweight model has an elegant coach-built body with Zagato’s trademark double-bubble roof. Also hailing from the storied Maranello coachbuilder, the 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale “Tre Posti” won Best of Show at the prestigious 2022 Cavallino Classic and was one of Sergio Pininfarina’s first designs. Its most unusual feature is its triple seating, with the driver in the center and the other two seats on each side and slightly behind.
The last but not least contender this year is the 1956 Jaguar D-Type Sports Racer, Best of Show winner at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. The D-Type was designed specifically to win the Le Mans 24-hour race and shared the straight-6 XK engine with its C Type predecessor. Its structure was different, with innovative monocoque construction and slippery lines drawn by in-house stylist and aerodynamicist engineer Malcolm Sayer that integrated aviation technology.
“The vehicles this year exemplify the very best in automotive excellence and design,” said William “Chip” Connor, co-founder of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award. “The accuracy of restorations are becoming more precise and exquisite each year, making it difficult to select just one.”
The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award selects finalists from an elite group of iconic classic cars that have won major awards at the previous year’s foremost concours events. Created in 2015 by The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, William E. Connor, Bruce Meyer, and Christian Philippsen, the coveted Best of the Best Award is only bestowed to the finest and rarest classic cars after a rigorous appraisal by an esteemed panel of judges.
Judges for The Peninsula Classics 2022 Best of the Best Award include fashion and culture icon Ralph Lauren, comedian and acclaimed late-night television host Jay Leno, Ford Motor Company Board of Directors member Henry Ford III, Dassault Systèmes Vice President of Design Experience Anne Asensio, previous Chief Of Design at BMW Chris Bangle, legendary car designer Fabio Filippini, the Chief Creative Officer for Hyundai Group including the Genesis brand Luc Donckerwolke, former Design Director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ian Cameron, and a host of others.