Here is a great selection of the British cars from the best car show in the world, the 2017 Pebble Beach d’Elegance.
We start with my VLOG of the event which has several of the sights and sounds from PB.
1954 Jaguar XK120 SE Pinin Farina Coupé
This unique coachbuilt Jaguar XK120 was shown at the 1955 Turin Motor Show before being sent to Max Hoffman in New York who had ordered it for an important client. Hoffman was the importer of many luxury European automobiles during the 1950s. He inspired the production of two significant vehicles, namely the MercedesBenz 300SL Roadster and the BMW 507. He also brought the first ever XK120 into the United States, and he personally worked with Battista Farina on this unique design to reinterpret the groundbreaking Jaguar. Only one of these cars was built by Pinin Farina although several other Jaguar XKs were bodied by other Italian carrozzerie. The early history of this car is not known, but it resided in Germany between 1979 and 2015, when its current owner acquired it and began to restore it.
1957 Jaguar XK140 Zagato Coupé
The Jaguar XK140 was introduced at the 1954 Earl’s Court Motor Show in London. For the XK140, slight modifications were made to the original XK120, including more substantial front and rear bumpers with overriders and flashing turn signals. As with the XK120, a few of the coachbuilders of the day designed their own coachwork on the XK140. Guido Modiano commissioned Zagato to build this coupé body for his Jaguar XK140 after the car’s original body was badly damaged in an accident. Upon its completion, Zagato showed the car on its stand at the 1957 Paris Auto Salon. Plans were made for Zagato to body several more Jaguars, but it is believed that he only completed one more, on an XK150 chassis.
1965 Aston Martin DB5 Saloon
Built for Prince Abdul Ilah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, this Aston Martin DB5 (chassis 2270/L) was the sixth from last DB5 chassis to be built at the Aston factory in Newport Pagnell and was probably the last to be delivered. The car was equipped with every factory accessory available, including air conditioning, Marchal fog lamps, a heated rear screen, three-eared hubcaps and the rare Continental touring kit. Coming at the end of DB5 production, many of its additional features became standard equipment on its replacement, the Aston
Martin DB6, launched a few months after this car was completed.
1949 Healey Silverstone
Healey sold 105 Silverstones over 1950 and this car was the third to be built. It was delivered to Francis Robinson of Newport, Rhode Island. He is listed as entering this car in the 1950 SCCA Watkins Glen Grand Prix alongside Briggs Cunningham, who drove his own Silverstone. This is thought to be the most original Healey Silverstone in the world; most of the others have been upgraded and modified for racing.
1909 Austin Model 60 Touring
Walter Austin founded the Austin Automobile Company in 1903 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, two years before Herbert Austin founded what came to be the better known Austin Motor Company in England. Walter Austin’s first vehicle was a big twin-cylinder motorcar on a 90-inch wheelbase, and his cars became more powerful every year. His company produced a total of 575 cars from 1903 to 1920, and owners included William Randolph Hearst and the boxer Jack Johnson. This Model 60 was first displayed at the 1909 Chicago Auto Show and was sold for $5,000 to Charles Herbst of Lima, Ohio. The Herbst family sold the car in 1946 to Barney Pollard, a vintage car collector. It was later displayed at the Crawford Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, for 30 years. Never completely dismantled, this very original Brass Era car was restored in 2003.
1952 Jaguar XK120 Barris Roadster
Clarke Gable bought this particular XK120 roadster (chassis 67623) in 1952 and decided to revise it to his own design. He sent it to George and Sam Barris, the original Hollywood “Kings of Kustoms,” for a few tasteful modifications, blending the front fenders and headlights
and smoothing the boot line by removing the recessed license plate holder. The car was then finished in Barris Gold Bronze Lacquer and a special Carson-type padded top was fitted in order to give Gable more headroom. The current owners found it in 2009 and had it restored in 2014.
1931 Bentley Speed Six Vanden Plas Open Four Seater Sports
Bentley built this car for Sir Egbert Cadbury, a member of the Cadbury chocolate family who had served as a pilot in World War I and shot down two Zeppelins on their way to bomb London. He kept the car until 1954, but after a time, he had its original Mulliner saloon body replaced with this Vanden Plas “bobtail” coachwork from another Speed Six. Only four of these distinctive bodies were made by Vanden Plas and three survive. The first was built on a 4½ Litre chassis for the Le Mans Bentley Boy, Bertie Kensington Moir, and was used as a demonstrator at his Bentley dealership. This special Bentley has recently been restored with “new” Rexine fabric made to the exact specification of the original Vanden Plas body.
1930 Bentley Speed Six Gurney Nutting Sports Saloon
This 1930 Bentley Speed Six (chassis NH2741) bodied by Gurney Nutting was sold to its first owner through the Bentley dealership of Kensington Moir & Straker Ltd. of London. Gurney Nutting bodied 46 Speed Six chassis in total, almost a quarter of the 182 Speed Six that were built by Bentley Motors, but only four Speed Sixes exist today with their original Weymann sports saloon bodies and this is the only Speed Six that retains its original Gurney Nutting coachwork.
1951 Parkinson Jaguar Special
The Parkinson Jaguar was originally an aluminum-bodied Jaguar XK120 Roadster, one of the first of the new Jaguar sports cars to arrive in California. Don Parkinson drove the XK120 to Pebble Beach for the 1950 Concours and raced it in the inaugural Pebble Beach Road Races, finishing second in the Pebble Beach Cup. Returning to the forest in May 1951, he lost control on Turn 1 and rolled the car, and the remains of the wrecked Roadster became this Special, which was built by Joe Thrall, Parkinson, and Phil Hill (Parkinson’s brotherin-law) at odger Barlow’s International Motors in Los Angeles. The aluminum body was sketched by teenager Robert Cumberford, who later became a General Motors designer and styling critic, and it was built by Marvin Faw. Richie Ginther tuned the XK engine and increased its capacity to 3.8 liters. Parkinson raced his Special at Pebble Beach and elsewhere in 1951 and 1952 with excellent results, and it was also raced here by Chuck Daigh in 1954 and 1955.
1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental James Young Tourer
This 1931 Rolls-Royce PII Continental Drophead Coupé (chassis 20MS) is one of just two Phantom IIs bodied by James Young. It is thought to have been built for Marion “Joe” Carstairs, who inherited a fortune from her mother. She had a passion for speed; she not only became
a successful powerboat racer, she was also involved in helping Sir Malcolm Campbell and John Cobb establish world land speed records. This rare Rolls-Royce was later owned by another record holder and collector, Briggs Cunningham.
1954 Jaguar XK120 Open Two Seater
This Jaguar XK120 was imported by Max Hoffman at the beginning of 1954 and was sold to Bernard Yurt, a U.S. Air Force sergeant from Boston who later founded the New England XK Association. Yurt took fastidious care of his XK120, driving it only on special occasions and displaying it occasionally at regional car shows. When the current owner bought the car from Mr. Yurt’s family in 2014, it had just 54,000 miles on the odometer. It has never been damaged, modified, painted or restored.
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III “Copper Kettle”
This chassis was first ordered on March 19th, 1937 by George Heath, LTD who commissioned W.C. Atcherly of Birmingham, England to construct the original Limousine body. The car was then sold to a J.M. Nicholson of Birmingham, England. Like many other cars in the U.K., it was laid up during the war, but in 1945 the car was resurrected to have a second life. New owner John Gaul had a penchant for spectacular cars, several of which were bodied by Saoutchik. In early 1946 he commissioned Freestone & Webb to build him a body for this chassis. He instructed Freestone & Webb to build him a car that would win at any Concours d?Elegance. The car was delivered to Mr. & Mrs. Gaul in August of 1946 which was the very first Freestone & Webb car delivered after the war. It was used extensively for Concours d?Elegance in Deauville, Monte Carlo and Cannes which the car won the Grand Prix. The car was sold in 1954 to a Mr. L. Zimbler of the U.K. and factory records show that the car was owned in South Africa in 1957, then the Netherlands in 1957, then back to the U.K. in 1964. In 1966, the car was shipped to the United States. The car was then owned by a Richard Sinicki of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania where the car remained unseen for many years. Its current owner, Don Williams purchased the car in 2000. The car known as the ?Copper Kettle? has gone through an extensive 6 year restoration by Mike Fennel Restorations and was finished in August of 2008 which resulted in a 1st in Class and Lucius Beebe Trophy at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d?Elegance.