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1931 dupont Model H Sport Phaeton

2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Highlights

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on August 16, 2015, at the spectacular southwestern side of the Monterey Peninsula, located 120-miles south of San Francisco, CA. Today we have a preview of the featured marques that will make up a large part of the 65th annual edition of the Concours and a video.

The duPont, built by E. Paul duPont in Wilmington, Delaware (1922-’25 in Moore, PA) is the featured classic car this year. During the eleven years the company was in operation, spanning from 1919 to 1931, only about 537 cars were produced by the luxury car automaker. Some 30 remain in existence, and many of the cars are owned by duPont family members.

Perhaps one of the most well-known and attractive duPonts was owned by the late Richard Riegel Jr. He bought the 1931 Model H Sport Phaeton with exceptional coachwork by Merrimac, which is on view here in 1962. Later after driving and enjoying it for over 30 years he had it restored and entered it in the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It went on to win a First in Class award and received the prestigious Most Elegant Open Car trophy.

His son Dicky Riegel is bringing the Sport Phaeton back this year, and other duPont family members have entered six more of the cars.

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  •                                                      1931 duPont Model H Sport Phaeton by Merrimac.

Concours Chairman Sandra Button announced earlier in the year that the featured marque will be the Ferrari. Last year Jon Shirley’s 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe, was awarded the Best of Show award at the event, the first postwar car to do so in nearly 50 years.

A number of the various Ferrari classes in 2015 focus on preserved and unrestored cars along with racing cars that participated in the Pebble Beach Road Races in the early 1950s. A special part of the event will feature Ferrari’s running exhibition laps on the original road race course on Friday.

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  •                  Jim Kimberly’s 1949 Ferrari 166 Mille Miglia Sterling Edwards in one of the Road Races.

Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta

  •              The Kimberly 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta at the Concours d’Elegance in 1999.

                         1904 Pope-Toledo Type VI Rear Entrance Tonneau

  •                             1904 Pope-Toledo Type VI Rear Entrance Tonneau at the Concours in 1997.

For early car fans, the vehicles produced by the Pope Manufacturing Company will be the subject of a feature class. Colonel Albert Augustus Pope first built electric and then gasoline-powered automobiles and motorcycles between the years of 1897 and 1915. The Colonel’s empire built the Pope-Waverley, Pope-Toledo, Pope-Tribune and the Pope-Hartford during that period. A representative cross-section of the cars will be on display.

  1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta Speciale

   1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta Speciale the 2008 Pebble Beach Best In Show winner.

A fourth special class will feature the designs of Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring. The noted coachbuilder was first established in 1928 and has remained in business until today. The firm has long been known for producing elegant and innovative coachwork.

In addition the following will be also featured: The postwar Cunningham C3 sports cars by Briggs Cunningham and his postwar racing cars, historic Mercury custom cars from the late 1940s to early 1950s, British prewar sports cars, the 75th anniversary of the Lincoln Continental will be observed and the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350 Mustang will also be celebrated.

Learn more at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance website. Below you can view an overview courtesy of eGarage showing activities through the day at the 2014 running of the event.

4 responses to “2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Highlights

  1. I was in Monterey for over a year, but missed out on this great car fest. Guess the US Army did not pay enough at the time for me to splurge, something I will always regret..

  2. Strictly speaking when talking about the genealogy of the Pope Manufacturing Company it should be divided into two halves; firstly from 1877 until 1895 where Colonel Albert Pope made his fortune by building up his company to became the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer in Hartford, Connecticut. The second half, from 1895 when the Company established a Motor Carriage Department and diversified into making automobiles, like what was at first its biggest seller, electric powered carriages–the Columbia, a steam powered carriage–the Toledo and limited production of a gasoline powered vehicle designed by Percy Maxim.

    By 1899 competition meant the bicycle operations were bleeding cash and a $5m capitalization incorporating William Whitney’s Electric Vehicle Co, Whitney’s cash and Pope’s Columbia Bicycle company’s Capitol Avenue plant saved the day. From 1900 to 1903 the new motor manufacturing conglomerate struggled to make profits due to its initial concentration on low volume, high quality vehicles for the wealthy, made almost totally in house. Pope missed the start of the rapidly advancing mass market sales of cheaply produced gasoline powered vehicles. Between August 1900 and July 1903, for instance, the Toledo steamer production in Toledo, Ohio made only 325 vehicles with 450 employees in a 250,000 sq ft plant.

    Consolidations, name changes and new capitalizations saw the Pope company reorganize in late 1903 to produce new models that not only incorporated Pope’s name but were each aimed at different segments of the market, much as manufacturers do today. The Pope-Toledo luxury car, the medium priced Pope-Harford, the cheaper and simpler Pope Hartford and also the Waverley electric. Production of the Pope-Hartford lasted until 1914 but the others only between four and six years.

    Colonel Albert Pope died in 1909, just before the Pope Manufacturing Company went into its first receivership–it was finally dissolved in 1914. At Pebble Beach this year we will see some beautiful examples produced in the short few years that his conglomerate existed. It is also interesting to note that on My12th 1996 New York Times reporter Rita Reif wrote an article on bicycles in which she quoted another author, Pryor Dodge, as saying ” Henry Ford worked as a bicycle mechanic in Hartford in the 1890’s “. David Lewis, Henry Ford’s biographer, says that it is undeniable that during the last years of the nineteenth century, Ford drew upon Pope’s achievements in developing bicycle wheels, gears, axles and tires to evolve his own production of automobiles. And, Lewis, says Ford was not the sort of industrialist who went out of his way to give credit to others for their ideas. Perhaps Colonel Pope should be given more credit for his innovative techniques in developing the first production line, albeit whilst building his plants to become the world’s largest manufacturer of bicycles.

    Note: much of my information has been taken from the excellently researched book, “Colonel Albert Pope and his American Dream Machines” by Stephen B Goddard.

  3. David, There’s been a dozen, not six, duPonts automobiles invited to show up for this year’s Pebble Beach Concours – a very good representation of the 30 plus classic machines that exist. Wrote for their program the text on the duPont car and now been asked to be a judge come mid-August.
    Nice to see that duPont is there along with the Briggs Cunningham machines since there is some interconnection of the two companies with their all-American racing attempts at the Le Mans 24 Hour events.
    STAN

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