A stunning 1959 Aston Martin DB 2/4 MKIII has been named ‘Best in Show’ at the 2019 Australian International Concours d’Elegance at Motorclassica.
Owned by Anna Purcell, the Aston Martin was judged the ‘best of the best’ from 140 vehicles in the hotly-contested Concours competition, which headlined Motorclassica, Australia’s premier annual collector car and motorcycle exhibition.
“Anna Purcell’s rare primrose yellow Aston Martin DB 2/4 MKIII is a stunning vehicle and a very worthy winner,” Motorclassica, Event Director, Paul Mathers said.
“Each year our panel of judges are forced to make judgements on the most minute of details, as the standard of entries continue to exceed our expectations, this year has been no exception.”
“This is the second time in Motorclassica’s ten year history that an Aston Martin has won the prestigious Best in Show, such recognition speaks volumes to the collectability of the early David Brown Aston Martins and to the standards at which they are restored.”
The highly sought after MK III was one of just 551 produced and one of just two in the World delivered in the primrose yellow.
The vehicle enjoyed several owners in the UK and in Melbourne, Australia, before coming into the ownership of Ms. Purcell.
In 2015, the car underwent an extensive, nut and bolt restoration under the guidance of Alan How of Creative Custom Cars. Over the course of the project, there was not a single component or panel that remained untouched.
The biggest challenge confronted by the restoration team was the volume of conflicting information about many details of the vehicle, which ranged from chrome moulds, to material textures, to component positions, every resource telling a different tale.
So determined to restore the vehicle to keep with its original, hand built heritage, the restoration team poured over thousands of local and abroad photographs, and spent thousands upon thousands of hours researching the details.
Across the three days, visitors to Motorclassica were also asked to vote for their favourite vehicle, the winner being awarded People’s Choice. This year, the show-stopping 1971 Toyota GT Celica Coupe owned by Nick Grakini took out the honours. The vehicle also winning the Japanese Sports Car class.
Other vehicles recognised, included, Ross Morgan’s 1924 Hispano Suiza H6B which was presented with the Chief Judge’s Spirit of Motorclassica Award.
‘Restoration of the Year’ was won by Wayne Fitzgerald’s stunning 1924 Bentley Speed model 3-Litre Vanden-Plas Tourer which underwent a full refurbishment led by Simon Elliott from Derby Works.
Geoffrey Mitton’s 1904 De Dion Bouton V won Pre-War Open, with Chris Meany’s 1931 Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental Sorts Saloon taking out the Pre-War Class Closed. The 1928 Bentley 6.5 Litre Vanden Plas Tourer of Gary McMillan was awarded the Pre-War Bentley.
Post-War Classic Closed went to John Grieve’s 1955 Citroen Big GH Sedan and Post-War Classic Open to Paul Lethouras’ 1956 Mercedes Benz 190 SL Roadster.
The Modern Classic Closed was awarded to the 1965 Bentley S3 Continental Flying Spur Saloon owned by Graham Lawrence, while the Modern Classic Open was presented to Peter Fox for his 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe. For the Modern Classic GT class, the 1969 Ford Falcon XW GTHO Phase 1 owned by John Walters was recognised.
In the Modern Classic Sports & Performance Under 3 Litre the 1965 Alfa Romeo 105 GTA Stradale from Richard East took the title while Spiro Mitropoulos’ 1967 Ford GT500 Shelby Mustang won for over 3 Litres.
In the Motorcycles class, Jonathan Munn was the winner with his 1922 Brough Superior MKI 90.
In the Preservation classes, Brian Trevan’s 1965 Toyota Crown S won for the award Cars, while the 1959 Ariel Square Four motorcycle of Phillip Caldwell was awarded Preservation Class Motorcycles.
This year, Motorclassica celebrated the centenaries of Bentley, Alvis and Citroen with awards presented for the best on display within each. Sam Patten’s 1928 Bentley 3 Litre Speed Red Label 4 Seater Open Tourer, Ven Den Pla was awarded the Best of the Bentleys, while within the Alvis display Bob Northey’s 1933 Alvis SA Speed 20 Saloon took the honours. Citroen CEO, Linda Jackson was a special guest at the Show and presented Robert Little the award for his 1961 Citroen ID 19 Sedan.
In the tribute to Abarth’s 70 years, the award was given to the 1974 Fiat Abarth 124 Rally Stradale Spider with Hard Top of David Judd.
60 Years of Mini was represented on the gallery level of the Exhibition building, the 1961 Morris Mini 850 Sedan of Arthur Crosthwaite named the winner.
Following the successful 10th edition of Motorclassica, organisers have confirmed that Motorclassica will again be staged at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building in 2020 on 9 – 11 October.
Editor's note: I enjoyed a wander around Motorclassica and have included some pictures I took there.