58th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance names

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A 1938 Alfa Romeo owned by Jon and Mary Shirley of Medina, Washington, was named “Best of Show” at the 58th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held in August along the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Proceeds from raffles, auctions, sponsorships and gate receipts helped contribute more than $1.3 million to charity for the third consecutive year.

Jon Shirley, the former president and chief operating officer of Microsoft who resides in Medina, Washington, purchased his 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta four years ago. The 8C 2900B was Alfa Romeo’s most prestigious grand touring car of the 1930s. Only 33 examples were ever built for road use, and most were bodied by Carrozzeria Touring. The body on this car is unique; one of six privately commissioned Berlinettas, it was used in several advertisements by Alfa Romeo.

“This car has an intriguing history,” says Shirley. “It won the first race at Watkins Glen in 1948, and though the car’s been driven quite a bit, it’s never been wrecked. I’ve always been an Alfa fan, so winning at Pebble Beach just doesn’t get much better. I can’t wait to take it back on the road real soon.”

Competitors from 27 states and 12 countries brought their prized automotive possessions to California’s Monterey Peninsula for judging in 24 classes. The Fiat Group was well represented with rare examples from the stables of Lancia and Ferrari.

“It takes an amazing level of elegance for a closed car like this Alfa to win here,” says Concours Chairman Sandra Kasky Button. “It requires the ultimate in style, grace and proportion. This car has all of that. It has exquisite lines, balance and all of the excitement that only an 8C Alfa can provide.”

(With Alfa Romeo poised to make its re-entry into the North American market within the next year, this victory is a very good omen indeed.)

The Pebble Beach Concours has truly become ‘the world’s concours.’ In addition to enthusiasts, sponsors and media from around the globe, this year exotic, historic vehicles were welcomed from as far away as Hong Kong, Monaco, Germany and Brazil.

The Pebble Beach Concours happens every year on the third Sunday in August, blending automotive design, craftsmanship and history,” says Kasky. “And the best news of all, with the $1 million-plus we raised for our charities this year, the Pebble Beach Concours has now contributed well over $11 million during the event’s history.”

First conducted in 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has grown to become the world’s premier celebration of the automobile. Only the most beautiful and rare cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links, and connoisseurs of art and style flock to see these masterpieces.

The 59th Pebble Beach Concours is slated for Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009.