Just a week ago, Bruce R. McCaw’s 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer emerged from the restoration shop of Steve Babinsky in Lebanon, New Jersey. Today, having crossed the country, the boattailed beauty captured the top prize at the prestigious 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
“This Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer is a combination of speed, style and power,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “Somehow these three elements—along with those fantastic torpedo running boards—become the very definition of elegance.”
The car, a sporting tourer, was first delivered to a Captain Miller on behalf of Earl Howe, who founded the British Racing Drivers’ Club.
“We’ve had the car for several years,” said McCaw, of Bellevue, Washington. “The question was whether or not to restore it. I always hate to restore something that doesn’t need it. But we finally found enough pictures that we knew the car needed to be restored.”
The car retains its original Marchal lighting equipment and chrome-plated wheels; these are complemented by low-cut doors and unusual torpedo-style running boards containing tools and other ancillary equipment. The rich blue color was a dress inspired by a dress made of peacock feathers in the 1850s.
In the final circle, Bruce was up against his brother John McCaw who, with wife Gwen McCaw, competed for Best of Show with their 1957 Ferrari 315 S Scaglietti Spyder. Also in the Winner’s Circle was a 1932 Packard 906 Twin Six Dietrich Convertible Victoria owned by William E. (Chip) Connor of Reno, Nevada.