Remembering Jules Heumann 1924-2017

Carmel, CA — The co-chair of the Pebble Beach Concours from 1972 to 1998, Jules Heumann, died Dec. 16 at the age of 93. 
Lorin Tryon, left, and Jules Heumann, event saving co-chairmen of the Pebble Beach Concours.

Heumann and co-chair Lorin Tryon are credited with not only saving the event, but also with elevating it to its premier status.

Prior to his role with the concours, Heumann’s success at various rallyes, tours and concours led to his ongoing official involvement at many such events, including organizing — with Tryon — the Peacock Gap Concours d’Elegance, later called the Silverado Concours d’Elegance. Heumann also helped found The Candy Store, a car club in Burlingame, Calif., and served as its first president. In 1963, he purchased his first Hispano-Suiza — the marque he later preferred above all others — and served for decades as president of the society that honors it.

He had firsthand experience with the Pebble Beach Concours: his 1948 Jaguar Mark IV Drophead won First in Class at the 1958 event; he won Best of Show in 1972 with his 1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Labourdette Skiff/Torpedo; and in 1978, his 1933 Hispano-Suiza J12 Van Vooren Faux Cabriolet was named Most Elegant Car.

From the start, Heumann and Tryon were determined to seek out and invite only the very best cars to Pebble Beach, and they set out to establish a judging system that was beyond reproach. To accomplish the former, they mined their growing network of automotive contacts. For the latter, they set up separate panels of class and honorary judges, and they invited only the most knowledgeable experts to serve on these panels.

In 1998 Heumann and Tryon agreed to host the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, the driving event that now precedes the concours each year.

The concours will continue to bestow the Jules Heumann Trophy for Most Elegant Open Car, won this year by Bruce McCaw’s 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer that also went on to win Best of Show.