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Pebble Beach Concours D’Élegance 2022: Eye-Catching Drop-Tops

Old, new and conceptual roadsters at the exhilarating automotive event

It’s impossible to spend a handful of days staring at automobiles—new, old, restored, conceptual—and not be impressed by them. But when the one-of-one, light blue and black 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo claimed best of show at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Élegance, a long weekend’s worth of car musings clicked: the roadster is roaring back. Perhaps it’s an appreciation of fresh air and the open road, the type of carefree existence long associated with drop-tops or the mere fact that a surprising number of new-to-market cars are all concept-to-production or straight-to-production vehicles, but roadsters unequivocally caught our attention this past weekend. Here are just some presented at this year’s Concours d’Élegance that piqued our interest.

Courtesy of Rolex/Tom O’Neal

1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo

A motor vehicle doesn’t survive 90 years without a few stories to tell. This familiar 420-cubic-inch straight eight, with its long hood and boat-tail rear, is the work of French coach-builder Figoni et Falaschi. Its first owner was Peruvian sugar heir (and Bugatti fan) Antonio Chopitea. Prior to Chopitea taking delivery, the Model J competed in the 1932 Paris-Nice Rally. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the vehicle made it to America, albeit with the body separated from the chassis. Three years ago they were finally reunited, with a restoration that lasted just as long. The nameplate is a familiar one on the lawn: Duesenberg has long been the most successful American marque at Pebble Beach, with six prior wins; this victory brings its total to seven.

Courtesy of Aston Martin

Aston Martin DBR22

Honed by the carmaker’s in-house bespoke division, Q by Aston Martin (which turns 10 this year), the DBR22 features a 5.2-liter V12-engine two-seater coach-built design concept, what the brand is calling “a true celebration of our extraordinary bloodline of open-cockpit sports racers.” A unique carbon fiber design fills the new front grille space in place of the usual veins seen on series production Aston Martins. Culled directly from the DBR1 and DB3S, it’s a classic example of refreshed heritage. Twin nacelles carve airflow behind the driver and passenger’s heads, showcasing a completely new body form.

Courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

1951 Talbot-Lago Type 26

The Mullin Automotive Museum’s 1951 Talbot-Lago Type 26 Grand Sports Stabilimenti Farina Cabriolet was awarded the “Best in Class” prize and competed as a finalist for “Best in Show.” Another one-off, this Talbot-Lago is the only one to feature Italian-built coachwork. As the story goes, the car’s original owner demanded the wooden model used in manufacturing be destroyed so that nobody could have anything similar. When it finally arrived with its original owner in Portugal, it was chased down by another individual who fell in love with the car, successfully purchased it from the original owner and held the car for over 50 years.

Courtesy of Polestar

Polestar 6

Expected to launch in 2026, the bonded unibody Polestar 6 is already available for pre-order by way of the LA Concept edition. The first 500 production cars will include custom-designed 21-inch alloy wheels, the Sky exterior, special bodyside graphics and a distinctive, animal welfare-traced leather interior. While Polestar is deeply invested in making cars, the brand is equally interested in recycling them. An embarrassingly small share of the aluminum used in cars is recycled back to its original quality, while the rest is downcycled. Polestar O₂ (the company’s 2+2 electric roadster concept) tackles this issue with a simple solution: labeled aluminum grades which retain certain material properties despite several reuses.

Courtesy of Maserati

Maserati MC20 Cielo Spyder

Maserati calls the MC20 Cielo Spyder their “super sports car.” It’s been 21 years since Maserati produced its own power. MC20’s 621hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 Nettuno engine is created and assembled in-house. A rear-wheel-drive supercar, it was designed, as executives note, to “enable convertible versions and for full electric power.” MC20 Cielo Spyder is the second iteration of the MC20’s monocoque chassis and features a two-piece electrochromic folding glass roof as well as a polycarbonate engine cover with cutouts in the shape of a trident.

Hero image courtesy of Aston Martin 


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