Best no longer means perfect according to The Elegance at Hershey, a concours d’elegance display of world class cars last Sunday in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In a “huge departure from norm,” the Best of Show honors went to an unrestored 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Spider, the fastest production car of its day. This was by no means a dusty Jed Clampett car, but one with character and patina that – in the eyes of the judges – clearly stood out above the nearby Packards, Duesenbergs, Bugattis and Rolls Royces.

This award will likely cause repercussions among classic car owners and restorers who obsess over eliminating every pimple in the paint and varicose vein in the seat leather.

The event organizers, which include officials from the Antique Automobile Club of America, emphasize that many old cars are indeed drivable and not merely trailer queens. (See Jalopnik post about the rare Bugatti that was driven to Hershey by the owner’s grandson.) The weekend of events, including a revival of the Hershey Hill Climb for vintage cars, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Juvenile Diabetes Research and AACA educational projects.

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