1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo Wins Best of Show at 71st Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
By D. Brian Smith
Monterey Car Week's first exposure to the Best of Show winning automobile was at approximately 6:45 am. Under murky, misty Monterey Pebble Beach Golf Resort Links skies, the 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo motored onto the 18th fairway just in time for this Dawn Patrol veteran and hustling photographer to snap a 3/4 front and a 3/4 rear photo, before the magnificent automobile could whisk away and take its place on the fairway. As the car passed by, I thought to myself, "That may well be the overall winner of this 71st edition of the greatest Concours d'Elegance." And I was correct.
Photography: D. Brian Smith
For all the years that MontereyCarWeek.net has covered The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, our luck has always been the best, when we're able to get to the Golf Resort before the sun rises. Being a part of the Dawn Patrol and shooting some photos of these magnificent machines drive into place, is magical indeed. This year, we were staying in Gilroy, CA, which is the Garlic Capitol of the U.S.A. and some 45 minutes to an hour way from the Pebble Beach Golf Links. What with how popular this event is, the Pebble Beach Concours Media Team doesn't dole out any parking passes for automotive media for this show. So it's simply a matter of providence and luck as to whether a close parking spot is found. Perhaps we made our own luck this year, as we hustled down Highway 1 at 5:30 am on show Sunday and arrived at our fourth parking lot by 6:15 am. Three other possible parking possibilities even closer to the show were blocked by Pebble Beach Concours volunteers. No worries. We managed to park some 200 yards away from the Pebble Beach Concours Media Center at the top of the hill. All in on Sunday Monterey Car Week shot some 700 photos and walked more than 10 miles.
In years past at the Dawn Patrol hour, we've seen luminaries like Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. We didn't know that Aaron Paul is an automotive aficionado, but it's good to see that he is. As the protagonist in Need for Speed, Aaron piloted a custom Shelby Mustang GT500 for much of the movie, until the baddies in the flick took the Shelby out of action. He finished the race in first place driving some sort of fictitious super car. However, with the bulk of the action, his hand built Shelby Mustang galloped without competition, as Aaron had a late start and was playing catch up in the multi-state competition.
The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is always in earnest a multi-day event. The Tour d'Elegance takes place on Thursday morning of Monterey Car Week. Vintage autos that are part of the Concours begin lining up at the famous golf resort at 7 am and will then depart the golf links for a 60-mile drive at 9 am. Show vehicles that participate in this drive earn extra points for when they're professionally judged on show Sunday. Should there be ties in the Class categories or indeed in the Best of Show competition, the cars that cruised on the 60-mile drive will break the tie and be awarded the victory over the vehicles that didn't participate.
For 2022, The Pebble Beach Concours raised more than $2.67 million, which benefits more than 95 local children's charities and positively impacts more than 10,000 kids in Monterey County. Overall, more than $35 million in charitable donations have been made to date, thanks to this fantastic yearly mid-August event.
Show goers who appreciate and collect automotive art and automobilia always enjoy visiting the Retro Auto tent during the Concours. There were a good number of paintings, sculpture, and restored automobile signs (neon and painted), as well as renewed vintage fuel pumps that visitors could purchase to add to their collection of automotive finery.
As you might have guessed, the 71st edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance was a stunning spectacle of automotive excellence from the past as well as the present and future. Next year's Concours, the 72nd affair, will be held on Sunday, August 20. Several marques will be honored, including McLaren, Alvis, Dream Cars of the 1950s, Mercedes Benz S / SS / SSK, Invicta, with additional marques and special features to be announced in the early fall. Famous coachbuilders Pegaso and Joseph Figoni will also be celebrated. For additional information about next year's Pebble Beach Concours, visit www.pebblebeachconcours.net. Until then, please enjoy some more photos and brief descriptions of the cars that made the field for 2022. We hope to see you next year at the greatest Concours on earth!