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Mercedes-Benz 540K named Best in Show at 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

A prewar Mercedes-Benz roadster that was first owned by the Shah of Afghanistan—one of just three similar cars surviving in the world today—was awarded the top prize at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

This year, 216 cars from 18 countries and 30 states pulled onto the competition field of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and the car named Best of Show was a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster presented by Jim Patterson of the Patterson Collection in Louisville, Kentucky.

“This 540K balances strength with sweeping lines and style, and its history is unique,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “In talking with Jim about this car, I was impressed by the time and thought invested in this restoration. Every piece of this beautiful Mercedes-Benz was researched so carefully to honor its history.”

Prior to this win, the marques of Bugatti and Mercedes-Benz were tied with the most Best of Show wins at Pebble Beach. This win puts Mercedes-Benz in the lead, with 10 wins in total.

“In Kentucky, you know, we talk about winning the Derby. Well, there’s such a thing as winning the Triple Crown,” said Jim Patterson. “And so I’ve won this Concours twice before today. This is a Triple Crown for me.”

This year’s race for Best of Show featured other strong contenders, including the Auriga Collection’s 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Special Roadster, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Figoni Cabriolet shown care of Gregor Fisken, and the 1939 Delahaye 165 Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet owned by the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.

The competition got underway on Thursday when the majority of Concours entries participated in the 25th Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, which traces about 70 miles of scenic coastal roads. Entries that complete the Tour have the advantage if they tie in the Concours class competition.

The Pebble Beach Concours raised more than $2.68 million for charity this year, bringing the event’s total charitable donations to over $37 million to date. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the primary charitable partner of the Concours, these funds will benefit more than 90 local charities, impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children annually in Monterey County.

Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, hosted its 19th sale at the venue, presenting its largest catalog to date and grossing over $92 million in sales.

The 73rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 18, 2024, and will celebrate the marques of Packard and Maserati as well as the creations of Italian coachbuilder Pietro Frua—with more features to be announced in the early fall. For more information on the Pebble Beach Concours, click HERE.

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