The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best was started in 2015 by The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Chairman Sir Michael Kadoorie. This award aims to celebrate what best defines the automotive world over the years. Sir Michael Kadoorie and co-founders William “Chip” Connor, Bruce Meyer and Christian Philippsen share a passion and appreciation for stylish cars, as well as their immaculate preservation and restoration projects. The award, sponsored by The Peninsula Hotels, brings together elite Concours 'Best of Show' winners from around the world.
The Peninsula has announced the eight finalists for its prestigious award, The Peninsula Classics 2022 Best of the Best Award. This award identifies the most exceptional classic car from a select group of cars that won the highest prizes in the main competitions of the previous year. This year it will take place for the second consecutive year at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club along the California coast, the ceremony will take place on August 13, 2023. The list below shows the eight finalist classic cars.
1932 - Duesenberg Model J Sports Torpedo
The first car shown is the 1932 Duesenberg Model J Sports Torpedo which won the magnificent Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show 2022 award. Its beautiful and elegant bodywork was completed by the venerable French carriage builder Joseph Figoni. The Model J was the most powerful and luxurious American car of its time.
1934 - Duesenberg J Walker LaGrande Convertible Coupe
A second Duesenberg Model J exclusive selected as a finalist is the 1934 J-531 LaGrande Convertible Coupé, which won Best of Show 2022 at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. This was one of the last Duesenbergs produced, this particular one could reach 115 mph and was originally owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post, the founder of the General Foods Corporation, and the richest woman in the world.
1937 - Bugatti 57S Cabriolet
Another finalist is a 1937 Bugatti 57S Cabriolet, the first of only four known Bugatti Type 57S cars with Vanvooren bodywork as convertibles, which won Best of Show at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. A 1938 Delage Type D8-120S Cabriolet, winner of the Best of Show award at the Hampton Court Palace Concours of Elegance, is another finalist for the prestigious Best of the Best award.
1938 - Delage Type D8-120S Cabriolet
The Delage Type D8-120S Cabriolet was considered one of the finest examples to emerge from the celebrated Delage brand and embodied by De Villars, it is a unique two-seater special vehicle. The extravagantly styled model, with its sporty tapered bodywork, was first shown at the Concours de l'Auto de Printemps in 1938.
1938 - Hispano Dubonnet Xenia Coupé
The 1938 Hispano Dubonnet Xenia Coupé is a rarity among selected finalists, it won Best of Show at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. The Xenia, which was powered by a Hispano Suiza H6B engine, is a unique vehicle designed by André Dubonnet, a World War I inventor, racing driver and fighter pilot. Its aerodynamic design, together with Dubonnet's exclusive hyperflex suspension technology, provides smooth handling and the feeling of flying when driving this elegant car.
1956 - Ferrari 250 GT Coupé
Also part of the selection are two iconic Ferraris, the first, the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé, which was crowned Best of Show at the Salon Privé, was one of five long-chassis Ferrari 250 GT designed by Zagato. The lightweight V12-powered model has a sleek body with Zagato's trademark double bubble roof. Also coming from the famous carriage builder of Maranello.
1966 - Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale “Tre Posti”
And the second, the 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale “Tre Posti” won Best of Show at the prestigious Cavallino Classic 2022. Its most unusual feature is the triple seats, where the driver is in the center and the other two seats on each side and a little behind.
1956 - Jaguar D-Type Sports Racer
Last but not least is the 1956 Jaguar D-Type Sports Racer, winner of Best of Show at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. The D-Type was specifically designed to win the Le Mans 24 Hour race and shared the XK 6 inline engine with its predecessor C Type. Its structure was different, with innovative monocoque construction and slick lines designed by in-house stylist and aerodynamic engineer Malcolm Sayer who integrated aviation technology.
William “Chip” Connor, co-founder of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best, said: “This year's vehicles exemplify the very best in automotive design and excellence. The precision of restorations is becoming more precise and exquisite every year, which makes it difficult to select just one.”