After nearly 30 years of attendance, the Pebble Beach Concours never grows old even though it is the granddaddy of all classic car shows, the best of the best. And every year it never ceases to amaze the attendees with fabulous classic automobiles and new concept cars and productions cars, such as the Acura NSX, Lamborghini Veneno and the Laraki Epitome Concept, many of these cars making their world or North American debut.
Making their debut at showing a car this year were Bob and Barbara Acquistapace of Shingle Springs with their 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Henney Limousine. This year one of the featured marques was Lincoln, and classic and historical Lincolns were there in spades, with cars from the various Ford museums.
The Acquistapace car has a unique history with just three total owners, the first being Ford Motor Co. for four years, then a funeral home for another eight years when it was acquired by Bob Acquistapace for $650 while still in high school in the Bay Area. It has been in his possession for the last 51 years and has never been restored. The Lincoln had 58,698 miles on it when Acquistapace bought it and now it has 80,000 miles. Bob and Barbara Acquistapace used the Lincoln in their marriage ceremony and brought both of their children home from the hospital in it. When the Acquistapaces retired from teaching in the Bay Area, they moved to Shingle Springs some six years ago.
The Lincoln was one of the few Ford products ever to use a four-speed hydramatic transmission and it is powered by a 337 cubic-inch (5.5 liter) flathead V-8 of 152 hp. Wheelbase is 145 inches. Acquistapace was invited to the Concours when someone who knew about the car and was connected to Pebble Beach heard about the car when Acquistapace was looking for a tail light on eBay for a 1928 Lincoln he is currently restoring. He has owned the 1928 Lincoln since 1975. Maybe that will get invited to Pebble as well someday.
Best of Show this year was captured by Joseph and Margie Cassini, III of West Orange, N.J., with his 1934 Packard 1108 12-cylinder convertible with a Dietrich body. It was fitting that a 1932 Lincoln KB Murphy Roadster V-12 owned by John and Heather Mozart of Palo Alto was a runner-up.
The show was full of interesting cars like a 1934 Brewster Town car (Brewster built the early WWII fighter called the Brewster Buffalo) or from the Ford Museum, the Presidential Lincoln Convertible Limousine built for Harry Truman and also used by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, or the first production Duesenberg ever built, a 1921 model A (not to be confused with a Ford). It had many firsts, with the first straight-8 with an overhead cam engine and the first car in the U.S. with hydraulic brakes. It also was the first American car to win the French Grand Prix. It was bought new by the current owner’s grandfather. While the car spent many years in Hawaii, it now resides in Monterey.
Just from the restoration shop where it spent two and a half years, this Alfa Romeo Superflow IV Pinin Farina Coupe started life in 1953 as a race car and was driven by Juan Manual Fangio to a second place finish in the 1953 Mille Miglia. Between 1953 and 1960 it received four different concept bodies, the last being a Coupe Super Sport Speziale. It had a 3.0L six-cylinder inline double overhead cam engine that had six Weber carburetors and cranks out 365 hp on the dyno. But one look tells the admirer that this concept was the precursor to the most recognized of all Alfas, the Duetto Spider, which was the car Dustin Hoffman drove in the movie “The Graduate.”