1934 Packard Dietrich & 1937 Talbot-Lago teardrop coupe share 'Best of Show' honors
Seeing as Detroit is America's automotive hub, and America is responsible for building a giant percentage of the world's automobiles, it only makes sense that the Motor City would host a premier show of automobiles. After all, some of the world's most premier automobiles have Detroit roots.
Indeed, the greater Detroit area hosts one of the world's top-ranking concours d'elegance events. 38 years ago, Don Summer and others began hosting a concours at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Mich. Several years, that concours begun by Summer became the Concours d'Elegannce of America when it moved to The Inn at St. John's In Plymouth, Mich., a fitting venue near Detroit for the worldly vehicles that compete for Best of Show each July.
The Concours d'Elegance of America crowns two Best of Show winners each year, and on July 31, 2016, the 1934 Packard 1108 convertible victoria by Dietrich owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini from West Orange, N.J., took American Best of Show honors. And why wouldn't it? This car received a confetti shower in August 2015 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance when it deservedly took Best of Show there. It had debuted at Pebble Beach with the magic combination that concours events seek when bestowing Best of Show honors: it was a racy, one-off design; it had not been seen by the vast majority of the hobby in decades (in fact, few people knew this pontoon-fendered Dietrich had even been built); and it sported a stunning restoration by a respected restoration facility (in this case, RM Restorations). So wonderful is the car, it deserved another round of accolades.
Back at the Concours d'Elegance of America, the European Best in Show award went to the 1937 Talbot-Lago Type 150CSS roadster by Figoni et Falaschi owned by J.W. Marriott From Bethesda, Md. The description is a bit of a misnomer, as this Figoni et Falaschi design is actually what we Yanks consider to be a teardrop coupe, a design that always pleases the concours crowd and any other connoisseur of automobile design with a pulse.
“The two Best in Show recipients reflect the overall quality and one-of-a-kind vehicles that were on display at the 2016 Concours d’Elegance of America,” said Larry Moss, Chairman. “An estimated crowd of almost 15,000 had the opportunity to see close to 300 rare and outstanding vehicles that they may never have the opportunity to see again.”
We were on the field to help judge the Jet-Age Travel Truck category, but also snapped other contenders and share them here with you: