Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2013

1963 Porsche 901 Prototype Coupe

1963 Porsche 901 Prototype Coupe

This 1963 Porsche 901 Prototype Coupe is the only one known to exist.

Speaking to Form Trends, owner Don Meluzio described his visit to Porsche in Stuttgart, Germany, to verify its authenticity. After adamant denials by Dr. Porsche’s engineers, it was eventually verified as the only surviving 911 prototype, a car was first seen at the 1963 Frankfurt motor show.

At first glance, the car does not appear to be not radically different from the first 911 production models, but its uniqueness is revealed in the details: the bodyside is flatter, the window shapes are not the same and many engineering details were far from resolved, such as closure mechanisms.

The interior also features a unique one-off instrument panel, consisting of two large round dials from a BMW 503 in contrast to the five dials in a production 911, and a steering wheel from the sports car company’s then current 356.

1957 BMW 507 Lowey Pichon et Parat Coupe

1957 BMW 507 Lowey Pichon et Parat Coupe

Albrecht von Goertz, designer of the BMW production 507, was a student of Raymond Lowey and the two respected each other’s work.

This futuristic concept was built near Paris by Pichon et Parat, a specialist coachbuilding firm that was famous for creating one-off bodies for various manufacturers in the mid-1950s. Many of the design features of the 1962 Studebaker Avanti can be easily recognized in this early design study.

Lowey shipped this car to New York from France and drove it regularly in New York before he donated it the Los Angeles Natural History Museum in 1962. It is part of the museum’s 70-strong collection.

1960 Alfa Romeo Superflow IV Pinin Farina Coupe

1960 Alfa Romeo Superflow IV Pinin Farina Coupe

This postwar touring Alfa Romeo has a history of many iterations, starting as a race car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1953 Mille Miglia. Afterwards, the chassis served as a mule for four more Pinin Farina design studies created between 1956 and 1959, and was shown at the Turin and Paris auto salons as well as other venues.

This is the final version of the car that was shown at the Geneva auto show in 1960 as the Coupe Super Sport Speziale, which demarcates how designers of the mid- though late 1950s were frequently inspired by the military jet aircraft canopies of the period.

We caught with Mercedes-Benz Design Director Gorden Wagner admiring its clean surfaces, tapered boat tail and glass roof structure. “I really love the rear of the car, the surfacing, the boattail and the side section which eventually made it to the production Spiders,” said Wagener. “The roof solution, completely out of glass and chrome is a very special solution that makes the car look like a convertible even thought it’s closed. It’s one of the strongest cars here.”


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