1954 Maserati A6GCS:53 Berlinetta by Pinin Farina
1954 Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta by Pinin Farina at Villa D’Este winning Best in Show.

Last night during Monterey Car Week, The Peninsula Classic Best of the Best Award was won by the Monaco-based Destriero Collection for their 1954 Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta by Pinin Farina. Only four Berlinetta-bodied sports cars from Pinin Farina were ever produced, and when comparing to the other four, this is the only one that retains its original chassis and body. The restoration’s attention to detail and dedication to bringing it to its original form helped it to win Best in Show at last year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, which ultimately brought it into contention for The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award this year.

The award brings together eight of the world’s finest cars – the winners of the World’s eight top international concours events – to compete for the title of the most exceptional car in the world. Sponsored by The Peninsula Hotels, Graff Diamonds, and Rolex, this is truly an event that celebrates the best of the best.

The Maserati is an “exceptional vehicle”, said Michael Kadoorie, chairman of Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, which owns and operates Peninsula Hotels. A keen participant in Hong Kong’s classic car community, Kadoorie cofounded the Best of the Best award with fellow collectors Christian Philippsen, William Connor and Bruce Meyer “to celebrate the best of what defines the automotive world”.

Each gentleman has a tremendous passion for motoring and they hand picked the brightest and best from the automotive and racing worlds to judge the show. The winner was selected after being reviewed by 24 experts, designers and notable celebrities in the motoring world, including:

  • Anne Asensio, best known for her work as former Executive Design Director at General Motors
  • Chris Bangle, best known for his work as Chief of Design for the BMW Group
  • Singh Manvendra Barwani, well known auto enthusiast and curator of the Indian Cartier Style et Luxe
  • Peter Brock, best known for his work on the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe and Corvette Sting Ray
  • Ian Callum, Director of Design for Jaguar Cars
  • Ian Cameron, Brand Ambassador and former Chief Designer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
  • Miles Collier, who spearheaded the design behind the world-class Collier Collection
  • Luc Donckerwolke, designer for Hyundai’s Genesis premium brand
  • Fabio Filippini, Design Director of Pininfarina
  • Henry Ford III, the great-great grandson of Ford Motor founder Henry Ford
  • The Earl of March, Founder of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and President of the British Automobile Racing Club
  • Ralph Lauren, global fashion tycoon
  • Jay Leno, who is currently launching the second season of Jay Leno’s Garage on NBC
  • Flavio Manzoni, automobile designer best known for his work  at Ferrari, Lancia and Volkswagen
  • Nick Mason, former Pink Floyd drummer and classic car enthusiast
  • François Melcion, Director of Rétromobile chez Comexposium
  • Gordon Murray, best known for his work as a designer of Formula One race cars and the McLaren F1 road car
  • Shiro Nakamura, the Japanese car designer currently serves as Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
  • Ken Okuyama, is widely known for his work with Pininfarina, where he designed and supervised projects such as the Enzo Ferrari and Ferrari P4/5
  • Adolfo Orsi Jr.,well known auto historian and grandson and son of Adolfo and Omer Orsi, owners of Maserati between 1937 and 1967
  • Frank Stephenson, McLaren’s Automotive Design Director
  • Jean Todt, after a career as a rally co-driver he worked in motor sport management, first with Peugeot Talbot Sport, then with Scuderia Ferrari, before being appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ferrari before assuming his current role as President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile
  • Gorden Wagener, Chief Designer of Mercedes-Benz
  • Edward T. Welburn, former Vice President of Global Design at General Motors who retired in July 2016 after 44 years at GM

The Best of the Best formerly existed through the enthusiasm of automotive consultant and journalist Christian Philipsen, and with generous support from Louis Vuitton – the awards recognized the best winners in the best concours in the world, ending up each year with a single car, the best of the best. The award was given from 2005 to 2013.

But with the passing of Louis Vuitton chairman Yves Carcelle and the cancellation of the Parque Bagatelle Concours in Paris, presentation of that award ceased. Then, at last year’s The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering, an elite committee of car collectors and enthusiasts announced a new form of the award, The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award.

2017 Cavallino-winning 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Superfast II #2207 SA. Photo by Simon Aldridge.

Runner ups for The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award include a 1952 Pegaso Z-102 Berlineta Cúpula, 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupé Superfast II by Pinin Farina, 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta by Touring, 1938 Dubonnet Xenia Coupé by Saoutchik, 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Coupé by Bertone, 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet Tipo Bocca by Pinin Farina, and a 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider by Pinin Farina.


Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Only in its second year, the award has already become a popular social highlight of Monterey Car Week.


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