Taking home the grand prize at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster. The “Best of Show” winner is one of three surviving examples, specifically a “long-tail” version “with covered spare tire.”
The car is owned by Jim Patterson and is part of a larger collection in Louisville, Ky. But it’s only been in the U.S. since 1953. Its original owner, according to the Pebble Beach Concours organization, was the Shah of Afghanistan King Mohammed Zahir. It stayed in his family, and rode out World War II at Afghanistan’s embassy in France before eventually going to the King’s son-in-law.
All the finalists this year were Pre-War (before World War II) vehicles. It beat out a 1930 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Special Roadster, a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C23 Figoni Cabriolet and a 1939 Delahaye 165 Figoni et Falaschi Cabriolet. This also marks the third straight year of 1930s Mercedes models winning “Best of Show.”