1937 Horch ‘Best of Show’ at Pebble Beach

Crowds at Pebble Beach applaud Robert M. Lee and his 1937
Horsch 853 Voll & Ruhrbeck Sport Cabriolet after taking
Best of Show on Aug.16.

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – A 1937 Horch 853 Voll & Ruhrbeck Sport Cabriolet, owned by Robert M. Lee of Sparks, Nev., was named “Best of Show” at the 59th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held Sunday along the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Proceeds from raffles, auctions, sponsorships and gate receipts helped contribute more than $1 million to charity for the fourth consecutive year.

“The Horch has wonderful lines, a great proven chassis and all the beauty that make it the whole package,” said Lee, who also won best of show at Pebble Beach in 2006. “Pebble Beach is the greatest car show in the world and winning here is indescribable. It’s been a wonderful day for us here and I have the best team to thank for making it happen.”

Competitors from 30 states and 19 countries brought their prized automotive possessions to the California’s Monterey Peninsula for judging in 28 classes.

“This Horch is an incredibly beautiful open car with stunning styling,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “It’s very Teutonic, but also almost French. It’s fantastic. Bob certainly knows how to prepare cars for competition.

“The Pebble Beach Concours is an annual glimpse of history’s most illustrious and significant automobiles. It’s absolutely thrilling to see more than 100 years of automobiles lining the 18th fairway – coming to Pebble Beach from places as far as Hong Kong, Argentina and Australia – while knowing that all proceeds are adding to the more than $13 million we’ve raised for our charities through the years.”

In 1935, the Horch Company, founded by August Horch in 1899, introduced a new model with a 5-liter, straight-eight engine called the Horch 850. The shorter wheelbase 853 model, which won Best of Show today, was very popular among Germany’s rich and famous, offering luxury at a very competitive price. The last Horch was built in 1958.

Bentley, a featured marque at the 2009 Concours, had the largest presence on the Pebble Beach show field. The Concours also celebrated the centennials of Bugatti, Audi and Morgan, and highlighted the styling of Zagato. Motorcycles were displayed for the first time in a class of British bikes built through 1959. In all, more than 200 cars and motorcycles were present, encompassing more than 100 years of the automobile.

Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno brought his 1928 Bugatti Type 37A 2 Seat Sports to Pebble Beach and was a guest auctioneer. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also participated on stage, auctioning his signed bomber jacket, which raised $30,000 for charity. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld was a Concours participant, collecting second place in the Porsche class with his 1970 Porsche 908/03 Spyder.

The Pebble Beach Concours occurs every year on the third Sunday in August. Among the featured marques for the 60th Pebble Beach Concours, slated for Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010, will be Alfa Romeo and Pierce-Arrow. The event will also welcome Hot Rods back to the show field, as well as the second annual motorcycle class showcasing American bikes. Other features will be announced in coming months.

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