Aug 22 2017

Hemmings Daily: 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer Takes Best of Show at 2017 Pebble Beach Concours

A unique 1929 Mercedes owned by Bruce McCaw took Best in Show at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The automobile was restored by Steve Babinsky who restored the 1937 Chrysler's Chrysler, which took First in Class at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours.

Congrats to Steve and his Automotive Restorations team!


Howard Kroplick


Hemmings Daily
Boattail 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer takes Best of Show at 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Kurt Ernst on Aug 21st, 2017

And then there were three: Staged on the lawn at Pebble Beach, awaiting the announcement of Best of Show, a 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer owned by Bruce McCaw sat lined up with a 1957 Ferrari 315 S Scaglietti Spyder, owned by Bruce’s brother, John, and his wife, Gwen, and a 1932 Packard Twin Six Dietrich Convertible Victoria, owned by William E. “Chip” Connor. Only one could be Best of Show, and for 2017 the judges awarded the honor to the prewar Mercedes-Benz.

The 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer has been in McCaw’s collection for several years, but until recently the Pebble Beach regular held off restoring the car, delivered new to a Captain Miller, on behalf of Earl Howe, founder of the British Racing Driver’s Club. In McCaw’s own words, “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.”

1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer

That work, which included matching a shade of blue inspired by an 1850s dress crafted from peacock feathers, was entrusted to Steve Babinsky’s Lebanon, New Jersey, shop. As is often the case with top-flight restorations, completion of the project came down to the wire: The finished car was loaded on a trailer for its cross-country trip just last week.

The boattail sport tourer carries a few distinctive design touches, such as its cut-down “half doors” and its torpedo-shaped bulges beneath the doors, which serve as compartments for tools and spares. The car retains its original Marchal lighting and wire spoke wheels, and on its way to Best of Show also collected top honors in the Mercedes-Benz Prewar Class, the Gran Turismo Trophy, and the Jules Heumann Most Elegant Open Car award.

Bruce McCaw’s 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer. Photos by Kimball Studios, courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Steve Babinski had the honor of drving the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer to the awards ramp.

1957 Ferrari 315 S Scaglietti Spyder .

John and Gwen McCaw’s 1957 Ferrari 315 S Scaglietti Spyder.

Of the Runners-Up, the 1957 Ferrari 315 S Scaglietti Spyder earned top honors in the Ferrari Major Race Winners category, having won the final running of the Mille Miglia with driver Piero Taruffi behind the wheel. Chip Connor’s 1932 Packard Twin Six Dietrich Convertible Victoria also earned first place in the Packard category, along with the Elegance in Motion Trophy and the Gwen Graham Most Elegant Convertible award.

1932 Packard 906 Twin Six Dietrich Convertible Victoria

William E. “Chip” Connor’s 1932 Packard 906 Twin Six Dietrich Convertible Victoria.

Video of the 1929 Mercedes-Benz taking Best in Show.


Aug 27 2017 S. Berliner, III 2:42 PM

Sorry, but there ain’t no such beast as a 1929 6.8 litre (26/120/180) S-Modell and that car is definitely an S (low hood line down against the outside pipes).  I don’t know where Bruce McCaw got his date.  Die doppel zweifach Sterne an die K├╝hlerhaube are from BEFORE the Daimler and Benz merger in 1926.  Only a few very-early 7.1 litre (27/170/225) SS models, produced from 1928 on, were made with the two stars stamped in the radiator shell; but they had a higher hood hinge line, about 50mm above the pipes, to accommodate the bigger engine.  The later M-B combined laurel-leaf-and-star badge centered on the crease of the radiator shell adorned nearly all 1928-on SS but no 1927 S models.  Since all S (and SS) chassis were snapped right up, I rather doubt that the body took two years to complete if started when the car was new; other than the somewhat-unique cut of the driver’s door. the torpedo tubes, and the boat-tail, the body is a stock Sindelfingen Carrosserie product.  Incidentally, while I’m at it, in magnificent Master Nitpicker fashion, no “cut-down ‘half-doors’”; in fact, no half-doors at all.  The full-height passenger side door is stock Sindelfingen and the driver’s door is just notched slightly on a shallow diagonal.  Sindelfingen did produce both full doors and cut-down three-quarter doors as stock.  Some S and SS (especially SSK) sports bodies had half-height cut-outs but they were LeMans-style (jump over and in) with no door at all.  All this notwithstanding, great coverage as usual; thanks.  Sam, III

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