“This Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer is a combination of speed, style and power,” said Pebble Beach Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “Somehow these three elements—along with those fantastic torpedo running boards—become the very definition of elegance.”
Just a week before Pebble Beach, Bruce R. McCaw’s 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer emerged from the restoration shop of Steve Babinsky in Lebanon, New Jersey. Then, after crossing the country, the boattailed beauty captured the top prize at the prestigious 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The car, a sporting tourer, was first delivered to a Captain Miller on behalf of the 5th Earl Howe, otherwise known as Francis Curzon, or the Viscount Curzon of Mayfair. Curzon had begun his racing career in 1928, entering the Irish TT with a Bugatti Type 43. He went on to be a repeat entrant at Le Mans and other international venues, and the President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club. Curzon’s racing colours were pale blue and silver.
“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 hue inspired by a dress made of peacockfeathers in the 1850s.