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8 Classic Cars Compete for the Peninsula’s Classics Best of the Best Award – Robb Report

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A

There is good. There is better. And then there’s the best. But what about the best of the best? This is something we know a lot about at Robb Report. Embodying the tippy top of the winning winners is a tough business, a task the Peninsula Hotels take seriously by naming the pinnacle of classic cars from the world’s best competitions at Monterey Car Week each year from their Quail Lodge & Golf Club real estate in the pastoral Carmel Valley, California.

This time around, the roster is predictably epic, spanning an eclectic array of exceptional vehicles. See the eight elite finalists below.

1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione

1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione

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This beauty won the Best of Show prize at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. This dashing rapscallion is one of nine built and took part in the Mille Miglia just five days after delivery.

1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France

1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France

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Another silver fox from Maranello, the 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France was originally owned by racer Pierre Noblet. Despite – or more likely because of – its extensive racing history between 1958 and 1960, the car was bought in 1975 for a whopping $1,500. A full restoration (and many years later) the Ferrari won Best in Show at the Cavallino Classic.

1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

Amy Shore

On the even merrier side is the 1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale, one of only 500 road cars built for World Rally Championship homologation. Restored by Carrozzeria Dino Cognolato, this HF took the top prize at the Goodwood Cartier Style and Luxury Concours d’Eleganceand is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest examples.

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Autobahn-Kurier

Mercedes-Benz 540 K Autobahn-KurierMercedes-Benz 540 K Autobahn-Kurier

Three of this year’s finalists are the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 Ks, reflecting the model’s vaunted status in the competition’s microcosm. The high-speed tuned Mercedes-Benz 540 K Autobahn-Kurier is the only one of its kind in the world and won the 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special RoadsterMercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster

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The Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster has a disappearing top and suicide doors (not to mention the Best of Show award at The Quail, a motorsport meeting).

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Convertible A

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Convertible A1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Convertible A

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A.

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Rounding out the embarrassment of Mercedes-Benz’s wealth is the 540 K Cabriolet A, whose supercharged inline-8 engine gave it an impressive three-digit top speed, raising its chances of winning Best in Show at the Salon Private Competition.

1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Convertible

1926 Suiza H6B Convertible1926 Suiza H6B Convertible

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Coming from the Amelia Island CompetitionTop spot is a stately 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet, whose wildly varied ownership history includes the king of Tunisia, the founder of 12 Hours of Sebring, and a Long Island mail carrier.

1934 Avions Voison Type C27 Aerosport Coupe

1934 Avions Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe1934 Avions Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe

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Last, and certainly not least, is the 1934 Avions Voison Type C27 Aérosport Coupe, one of only two C27s built. Miraculously, this example was saved from being sold for scrap and restored in 2004 by Dominique Tessier, who Hampton Court Palace Competition winner of only three reference photos of the original.

Which of these exquisite vehicle specimens will top this impossibly elegant canine stack of classics? Tune in on Sunday, August 14 to find out which of these most outstanding finalists deserves the Best of the Best award.

Click here to see all the photos of the Peninsula Classics finalists.

Peninsula Classics FinalistsPeninsula Classics Finalists

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