The Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase presented a veritable automotive cornucopia of class, style and elegance.
The third annual Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase got off to a picture-perfect start on Saturday, September 28, 2019, as the weather dawned bright and clear over the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. An estimated 4,500 attendees wandered the club’s manicured fairways, oohing and aahing at 325 rare and exotic automobiles, new as well as best-of-the-best classics.
Stories from the Concours
The top three awardees (winners for Best of Show, Chairman’s Choice, and Salesmanship Club award) were not only memorable, historical, and stunning in their own right, but also came with their own intriguing backstories.
Best of Show: Mercedes Benz 500 K Special Roadster
First exhibited at the 1934 Berlin Motor Show, the powerful and opulent Mercedes Benz 500 K instantly became the “must-have” car for business titans, movie stars and royalty all over the world. They were among the few who could afford it – $14,000 when the average car went for $650. The 500 K featured a five-liter, inline 8-cylinder engine with forced induction (the “K” stands for “Kompressor,” German for supercharger) good for 160 hp and a top speed of 100 mph.
Approximately 30 of the now-iconic “long-tail” Special Roadsters (the second of three Special Roadster designs) were made from 1936 to 1937, spanning the switch from 500 K to 540 K engines. Fewer than 10 of the 500 K “long-tail” Special Roadsters were produced and of those, only two had the elegant covered spare design of this vehicle. Neither of those original 500 K bodies has survived, and only three of the six 540 K’s with this body style exist.
This show-stopping example was delivered new to the Netherlands but the cabriolet (convertible) body was destroyed and the chassis damaged during World War Two. A half-century later, a Danish baron partially restored the vehicle and displayed it as part of his collection for two decades. During 2012-2018, marque experts added new coachwork and fully restored the original chassis and engine to their authentic, exacting factory specifications, qualifying this ultra-rarity as a real-deal Mercedes-Benz 500 K.
Owner: Craig Hopkins
Chairman’s Choice: 1964 Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5 is a British luxury grand tourer (GT) designed by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superlegger and built in England (the “DB” designation is in honor of Sir David Brown, Aston Martin’s owner from 1947 to 1972).
The naturally-aspirated 4.0 liter all-aluminum inline 6-cylinder engine generates 286 hp, a top speed of 145 mph and reaches 0-60 in eight seconds.
A silver DB5 much like this example became world-famous as James Bond’s vehicle in the film “Goldfinger.” To promote the movie, two DB5s were showcased at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the model was quickly dubbed “the most famous car in the world.”
This concours-winning DB5 (lacking 007’s ejection seat and machine guns) was built with right-hand drive for the British home market. But as it spent 30 years in the U.S., it was converted to left-hand drive in 2014. It’s been displayed at the must-see event of Pebble Beach Car Week, “The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering,” and has won numerous regional “best-in-class” awards as well.
“One of the rewarding things about having a car like a DB5 is the privilege of showing it,” says owner Ray Larson. “When I show the car, my family is typically with me, so we’re able to share great moments together, and we often see friends and meet new people with a similar passion for beautiful cars.”
Owner: Raymond Larson
Salesman Ship Club Award: 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso (Italian for “luxury”) was manufactured by Italian automaker Ferrari from 1962 to 1964. Designed by the Turinese coachbuilder Pininfarina and bodied by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, the Lusso debuted at the 1962 Paris Motor Show and is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful and elegant Ferraris ever built.
The naturally aspirated 3.0-liter Ferrari/Colombo-designed V12 engine generated 240 hp, accelerated from 0-60 in seven seconds and reached a top speed of 150 mph, earning plaudits as the fastest passenger car of the time.
Although not intended to compete as a race car, the Lusso made several impressive appearances at motor sport events in 1964 and 1965, including the Targa Florio and Tour de France.
A 1987 Road & Track article stated, “All movement ceased (when a Lusso pulled on a concourse field) and everyone turned to stare. It was as though Sophia Loren in a bright red cocktail dress had just walked provocatively through a garden party of English schoolgirls.”
While in the U.K., owner Greg Brendel attended the Concours of Elegance at historic Stapleford Park with his family. He also toured on his own, noting, “It was interesting to maneuver a vintage left-hand drive car on the opposite side of the road while navigating with my iPhone in the roundabouts.”
The last of Ferrari’s legendary 250 GT road cars, only 350 were built.
Owner: Greg Brendel
Did you learn the story behind some of the entries on our Collector’s Concours? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org OR share a photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag @parkplacetexas and #supercarshowcase.