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Pebble Beach 2010: White Delage takes out black Bentley

Posted by Peter Bourassa  August 18, 2010 12:56 PM

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(All photos: Peter Bourassa for Boston.com)

Jim Patterson stands next to his "Best of Show" 1933 Delage.

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.—On a green baize dotted with 250 multihued cars and motorcycles from 14 countries, some thought she was too white. Some believed she was too delicate, too feminine to conquer the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. In the end, the color of virtue triumphed.

Seventy-seven years after she was delivered to a lady in Paris, The Patterson Collection of Louisville, Ky., brought the white 1933 Delage D8S to Pebble Beach and won the most important prize in the world of car collecting: Best of Show. Owner Jim Patterson has won with other cars at other concours, but said "this is the one that really matters."

"This car could do it all," said Pebble chairwoman Sandra Button. "It did 100 miles per hour in its day. It embodied style, speed, and comfort."

In 1930, the French Delage company added a shorter wheelbase "sports" model to their D8 offering and designated it the D8S. This particular car was shown at the prestigious Salon de Paris in 1933.

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There was a feeling on the field that swoopy showpieces in the French style had had their day. It was time for a change. The challenge came from a black 1929 Bentley with a body by Park Ward. Bentleys of this era are rarely white and seldom are they driven by women — they're considered the alfa male of any car meet. Where the Delage flowed, the Bentley, with its rugged looks and successful race history, didn't. It was once the dependable choice of English sportsmen.

Each car had won its respective class, but in choosing the White Queen over the Black Knight, the judges made a statement: When important cars are matched in provenance and quality, the elegant car remains their favorite.

Peter Bourassa runs MMRsite.com, a classic car enthusiast forum and marketplace.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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