This year Historic Vehicle Association awards were a feature at four events during Monterey week. Three cars received the coveted HVA National Automotive Heritage Award for a vehicle eligible for the National Historic Vehicle Register. At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance the FIVA/HVA Awards were presented for the most well preserved pre-war and post-war cars on the field.
All-out assault on drag racing
In the 1960s, Ford set out to dominate the world in just about every form of auto racing. Ground pounding superstock drag racing was not ignored by FoMoCo and they produced a number of low-production number special order racers. Notable were the “Thunderbolt” Fairlanes famous for their fiberglass teardrop hoods that accommodated the specially installed 427 “High Riser” big block FE engines. At this year’s Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue the HVA presented our National Automotive Heritage Award to one of these special drag cars – a 1964 Fairlane Thunderbolt, one of just 59 originally equipped with an auto trans.
This one off-roadster with an awesome story was one of our favorites from this year’s the Quail A Motorsports Gathering. Built in 1958 by Ed Williams of Fithian, IL, it was raced until 1961 with an Oldsmobile engine and achieved 148mph on the beach in Daytona, FL. By the 1960s, Williams outfitted his creation with a 1963 427 big-block Ford to race at Bonneville but passed away shortly before he could make a record attempt. Owned by the Williams family until 2009, the car has remained how Williams left it—ready for racing—ever since.
1958 Porsche Speedster
This 1958 Porsche Speedster took home the HVA/FIVA Preservation Award at this year’s Quail. Records indicate the car has had only three owners, with the second purchasing it in 1962 and lovingly caring for it until recent years. Although it spent most of its life in New Orleans, this special Speedster retains mostly all of its original paint, brightwork, and interior. Over the years, most of the well preserved examples were the first to be restored. Thankfully this example remains as a testament to Porsche build quality and as a standard bearer for other restorations.
Scarab MK 1
Imagine this: It’s 1958. You’re 21-years old, want to build a racecar and have all the money in the world. What kind of car would it be? For Lance Reventlow, the Scarab was the product of this very scenario. The Scarab MK 1 #001, along with two other similar cars built by a legendary crew, dominated sports-car racing in the U.S. in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Equipped with a highly warmed over, small-block Chevy (490hp, 7000rpm redline!) and weighing just shy of 2000lbs, it’s easy to see why the Scarab won on the track. Still raced today, #001 was out on the track this past weekend at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion with David Swig behind the wheel. The HVA awarded the car with our National Automotive Heritage Award for its impact on American history.
1916 Locomobile Model 38 Collapsible Cabriolet
This 1916 Locomobile Model 38 Collapsible Cabriolet was hidden away for over 80 years and is in remarkable unrestored condition. Originally owned by Mary Ridgely Brown—the daughter of Maryland Governor Frank Brown (1846-1920)—it took home the Prewar FIVA/HVA Preservation award at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The Collapsible Cabriolet top was a craftsman’s marvel. It had at least three different configurations. With the windows down the hinged wood frames can be folded down and neatly tuck away on the inside of the door panels. None of the judges had ever seen anything like it. The woodwork, paint, interior and engine were remarkably well preserved. A true time capsule.
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon
A professional golfer bought this H.J. Mulliner bodied 1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon new and sold it to Stanley Hailwood, the father of “Mike the Bike” Hailwood, in 1955. Stanley showed the Bentley at the Cannes Concours d’Elegance and toured with it in the south of France. The car took home the FIVA/HVA Preservation trophy in the postwar class at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
1907 Renault AI 35/45 HP “Vanderbilt Racer”
The supercar of its day, this 1907 Renault AI 35/45 HP “Vanderbilt Racer” cost a staggering $8,500 new (approximately $225K today), featured a massive 7.4 liter 4-cylinder engine and could run up to 90mph with no front brakes. After a 13-litre Renault won the first race to ever be called a Grand Prix in Sarthe, France just outside of Le Mans, it’s believed that these smaller Renaults (roughly around 10) were built specifically for William K. Vanderbilt and his friends in the U.S. This example is one of only a handful that remain. It was was recently donated to the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum by the family that owned the racer since 1928. Learn more here: Simeone Museum Receives A Landmark Gift
1964 Ferrari 250 LM
This 1964 Ferrari 250 LM marked the end of a legacy. In 1965 ,it took home a win at Le Mans making it the last Ferrari to win the famed endurance race. Racing for Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (NART), the mid-engine Ferrari was piloted by American Masten Gregory and German Jochen Rindt. The car continued racing for another five years after its historic win. Today, it’s in remarkable unrestored condition, and when it is not at concours it can be found on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. This special Ferrari took home the HVA’s Preservation when it was on display at last year’s Quail show.
1962 Studebaker Sceptre Sibona-Basano Concept
The swinging-Sixties weren’t so stellar for Studebaker. In one of many moves to help turn the tide, the Indiana company reached out to famed Brooks Stevens to pen a few concept cars to explore future production options for 1966. Of these designs the Sceptre was built by coach builder Sibona-Basano of Turin, Italy. The car clearly never made it to production and when Studebaker closed its doors, the Sceptre went to Brook Stevens who displayed it in his museum until 1995 when he passed away. The car became part of the Studebaker National Museum in 1997 and has never been restored. It was one of ten spectacular automobiles featured in the special “American Dream Cars of the 1960s” class at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
1963 Mantaray Dean Jeffries Custom
If you are a master customizer looking to make a name for yourself in Southern California in the 1960s, what do you build after working on the first ever Shelby Cobra? How about a single seater, bubble top, Ford powered, 4-speed show car using a prewar Maserati Grand Prix chassis and handformed aluminum body. Jeffries built the Mantaray to compete for the Tournament of Fame grand prize at the Oakland Roadster Show in 1964 that he won and took home $10,000. It accompanied the other spectacular 1960s “Dream Cars” at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours. It remains in the family and was shown by Jeffries son, Kevin Dean Jeffries.