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The So-Called ‘World’s Finest Car’ is Leaving America

A Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance “Best in Show” winner is heading back to the UK for the first time in 60 years.

The 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker “Boat Tail” will be featured at the 2018 Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace from August 31 to September 2. The car hasn’t been in the UK since 1958, when it was sold to new owners in the U.S. and underwent a makeover. While in America, the car was repainted a dark maroon shade and the rear of the car was converted to have an additional spare tire instead of the distinctive Boat Tail. Its most recent owner however, just completed a multi-year project to restore the car to its former glory.

Originally owned by racing enthusiast and British Racing Drivers’ Club co-founder Earl Howe, the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Boat Tail was fitted with a revolutionary body that incorporated a lightweight and aerodynamic shell with unique aircraft-inspired aluminum side pods, built by Barker. The majority of Howe’s unique specifications were all but lost until a series of photos revealed aspects of the original vehicle. Part of that discovery included Howe’s signature Peacock Blue paint, which has been recreated on the car.

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Visitors to the 2018 Concours of Elegance in the UK will also get to enjoy around 60 other extremely rare or unique vehicles in the Main Concours event.

“The Mercedes S-Type ‘Boat Tail’ is such a special car, and we’re incredibly privileged to have it at Concours of Elegance 2018. This car won’t have turned a wheel in the UK during many people’s lifetimes, so it’s an opportunity for our visitors to come and see a real piece of motoring history. Add that to the other 60 cars in our main concours, and nearly 1000 others across the weekend, and you’ll see why we’re so excited about this year’s event.”

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