Collector nabs Best in Show at 2019 Cobble Beach concours second year in a row

Collector nabs Best in Show at 2019 Cobble Beach concours second year in a row
A one-off 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K commissioned when new by a Swedish Olympian swimmer earned top honours at Canada’s most prestigious classic car event this past weekend, the 2019 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Owen Sound, Ontario.

The Best in Show win is the second in a row for owner Robert Jepson Jr. of Savannah, Georgia, who last year took the award home with a French coachbuilt 1938 Delahaye .

Jepson’s Mercedes-Benz was deemed the most elegant of the field of roughly 113 cars, and also won the People’s Choice award. The event included a variety of pre-war cars, microcars, muscle cars, hot rods and Porsches from Ontario, Quebec and roughly a dozen American states.

The car’s body was built by Norrmalm in Stockholm for Max Gumpel, who won two medals swimming for Sweden in the 1912 and 1920 Olympics. Among the 6,300-lb car’s many notable features are a siren; a hood mascot molded after the Roman goddess Diana; and a special split front bench seat widened so he could ride with two women. (Greta Garbo, in fact, was frequently seen with Gumpel in the car.)

Gumpel put his significant influence to use protecting the car from harm and government conscription during the Second World War, but sold it in 1955. The car traded hands and was restored and re-restored numerous times before being bought up by Jepson in 2017. He also subjected the car to an extensive restoration, which helps explain its win at Cobble Beach.

The three winners of the 2019 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance Cobble Beach Concours d Elegance

Walter Eisenstark’s 1954 Siata 200CS, one of 11 made and seven remaining, was perhaps the closest rival for the Best in Show title; the South Carolina-based enthusiast took home the award for most outstanding post-war with the Fiat-powered race car.

Outstanding pre-war went to a 1917 Locomobile 48 Type M owned by John and Mary McAlpin of Naples, New York.

The concours was hosted by Porsche Canada, which showed off dozens of gorgeous old and new Porsche sport cars across two classes and around the Cobble Beach resort; and raised money for the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation, among other charities.

The fundraising efforts included the sale of a guitar by astronaut and car enthusiast Chris Hadfield , who performed a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on the instrument directly before its auction, for $6,000, Saturday evening.
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