When The Elegance at Hershey announced this strikingingly beautiful 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Spider as Best of Show winner on June 16, it became the first unrestored automobile to take to take top honors at a prominent concours d’elegance. Character and charm erased any visible blemishes in the eyes of the judges as they examined an exceptional group of 65 invited vehicles. It was as if Miss Congeniality won the beauty pageant.
Steve Moscowitz, Executive Director of the Antique Automobile Club of America and member of the Elegance at Hershey Board of Directors, had this to say in the AACA Discussion Forums:
In a huge departure from the norm, an unrestored car won best of show! One of the more amazing Alfa Romeo’s you will ever see, a 1938 8C took home the Governor’s Trophy. It was especially noteworthy as the collection of Duesenberg’s, Delage and other truly incredible classic cars adorned the showfield and all had spectacular restorations.
Owners of the car are Robert and Sandra Bahre of Alton, NH. They have one of the country’s finest collection of cars, situated in Paris Hill, ME, many of which are in superb unrestored condition. Bob is known for creating New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH and bringing top level racing to New England. Now under new ownership, the track is known as New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Bahre Collection includes 75 cars, about 65 of which are on display when the collection is open to the public for one day each summer — Founder’s Day — to raise funds for the nearby Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum. This coming July 20 will mark the 35th year that the Bahres have graciously provided this opportunity.
At the Pebble Beach Concours in 2002, the Alfa Romeo won the F.I.V.A. Award for the most significant unrestored automobile. Pebble Beach had introduced a preservaton class the previous year. Many concours events have since created one or more preservation classes, where the vehicles are judged by a modified set of standards. However, at Hershey all of the vehicles were eligible for the best of show title.
There will be many discussions and articles about this potentially controversal new judging concept. Check back often for the latest concours news and possible repercussions.
Click image to enlarge for slideshow.
In the following video, Jeff Orwig — curator of the collection of cars owned by Bob Bahre — explains features of the Alfa Romeo to Bob Mennett, host of the Cruisin New England television series. One item of note is that in 1938 this Alfa model was the fastest car on the market. This clip, filmed in 2010, was excerpted from Season 3, Episode 11, part 2. See below.
Bahre Car Collection
These two half-hour shows are very well done and go into great detail. See for yourself!