(Above: The “Pinehurst Foursome”)
A 1928 Isotta Fraschini 8ASS owned by Peter Boyle of Oil City, Pa., captured the Best in Show at the 2016 Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance — Boyle’s second victory at Pinehurst Resort in the first four years of the classic car showcase.
Boyle, whose car was shown in the Pre-War European (open & closed until 1942) class, also won Best in Show at the inaugural 2013 competition with a rare 1938 Steyr Roadster, which returned Saturday with the three previous winners as display cars.
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“This has just been a terrific run for me since I first came to Pinehurst, and this just caps off that run. I’m very humbled they chose me,” said Boyle, whose black and black cherry car has now won a dozen Best in Shows across the country. “It’s a wonderful car and weighs about 3 ½ tons. It’s just beautiful on the road.”
“It’s one thing to put on a good event, but great events are ones that people want to return to and that’s how you are measured,” said Pinehurst Concours president Jay Howard.
The chassis for Boyle’s car was built in Italy in 1928 and then delivered to LeBaron in the United States. LeBaron produced the convertible coupe boattail with a single rumble seat. The car is equipped with an 8ASS engine, and a super eight with a 160HP, although standard horsepower at the time was 120HP. With only 22,000 original miles, the first time the vehicle was seen in public since the 1930’s was in 2007.
Boyle purchased the car — which has ostrich interior — in 2005 from Jim Thomas, who was a judge at the 2016 Pinehurst Concours.
It’s ironic that Boyle almost didn’t enter the winning car. It blew a head gasket as his crew was loading it onto the trailer for the trip South to Pinehurst, but his team of mechanics, led by Roger James of D&D Classic Automobile Restoration, worked through the night to fix the problem.
“We pulled the car out on Tuesday and all of the sudden this big cloud of white steam came rolling out of the tailpipe and then anti-freeze was coming out of the tailpipe and we knew we were in serious trouble,” James said. “All of our guys desperately wanted this car to come so five of them volunteered to stay overnight and pull it off. What are the odds we had an extra head gasket? But I can tell you I’ve ordered two more now.”
“I left it up to Roger whether he felt we could go or not. But we got it together, we were here and we won,” Boyle said.
Boyle won Best in Show from around 100 cars staged in 12 classes, representing 16 states and Mexico.
When asked what he felt the 1928 Isotta Fraschini is worth, Boyle replied: “I really don’t know but I can tell you it’s priceless to me.”
All four of the Best in Show winners were staged in front of the Carolina Hotel following Boyle’s victory in what will forever be known as the Pinehurst Concours Foursome at iconic Pinehurst Resort.
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Photography by Guy Smith & Matthew Emmer