PEBBLE BEACH, California — It was like going backstage on opening night. The lot adjacent to the Gooding & Company auction tent was filled with enormous transports carrying many of the stars which will dazzle visitors to Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach.
And the cars were emerging into the bright August 14 afternoon sunlight for continued detailing, tweaking and prepping for the August 16 concours.
In spite of their padded accommodations, many were not, strictly speaking, “trailer queens.” The 1934 Packard Twelve and neighboring 1934 Duesenberg Model J both had participated in the week’s annual 80-mile tour a day earlier – something of a risk for these perfect and rare vehicles which will undergo scrutiny by experts in their quests for ribbons on Sunday.
Specialists like Chris Charlton of Maine Classic Car Services in Oxford, Maine, travel with and supervise the pre-show preparations of cars they have worked on and know intimately. Charlton said the ’34 Packard Twelve – a rare Dietrich-bodied coupe purchased few months ago by Florida resident Sam Lehrman – is one of only four. He said it is the car that is invited to Pebble Beach, not the owner. Thus the recent change of hands did not interfere.
The Indianapolis-built 1934 Duesenberg featured a Walker LeGrande body which Charlton said was of very high quality. The car once was owned by cereal heiress Marjorie Post and now is the property of Harry Yeaggy of Cincinnati, Ohio.
A crouching blue-black 1946 Delahaye with factory sunroof is one of only three produced, according to Michael Jameson of Stone Barn Restorations in Vienna, N.J. It had an inline six with electromagnetic transmission and paddle shifters.
A 1938 Jaguar with body by Graber of Bern, Switzerland was attended to by Tommy Caruso, a metal specialist who works with the Stone Barn operation as needed. The Jaguar’s earlier blue exterior had been painted silver at the request of its owner, a resident of Long Island whose parents purchased the British car in 1978 but did not have it restored.