“Cars are the glue that holds us together!” says Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Concours, which this year celebrated its Silver Anniversary. The event has grown since its foundation and is now a four-day car show packed with events: ritzy auctions, the extremely enjoyable “Cars and Coffee” gathering, informative exhibitions of historical collections and exciting rallies, as well as, of course, the major highlight on the Sunday – the Concours itself. The Amelia Island Concours has already been twice named Octane Magazine’s “Motoring Event of the Year”. Well deserved! This year held on 8th March, as usual next to the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, the concours is always extremely well attended, even this year despite widespread anxiety over the current global health issues. The beautiful weather on the coast of northeast Florida, together with the green grass of the courses and the fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island, slightly misty due to the Atlantic Ocean breeze, are all ingredients that make this show a favorite destination for classic car enthusiasts from all over the world. Each year there is an honoree, who is selected to represent the concours. This year it was Roger Penske, aka “The Captain”. Penske, famed racer, successful entrepreneur, and founder of one of the greatest racing teams of all time, was honored by the presence of numerous charismatic vehicles spread across four different classes: Cars of Roger Penske, Penske Indy Winners, Team Penske, and Team Penske Sunoco.
More than 300 vintage cars from museums and private collections were exhibited to mark two other important anniversaries: Sergio Scaglietti’s 100th birthday, honored by two classes featuring the work of Italian designers, and the 50th anniversary of the first of Porsche’s nineteen victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Special mentions should also be made of the Mid-Engine Corvette class, which saw the first appearance of the one-off experimental 1964 Grand Sport IIB, as well as the exclusive class of Loziers. The Lozier is the most expensive American automobile of the “brass era” and one of the rarest collectible cars of our time. The Rolling Bones class, honoring the origins and the early glamor of American hot rodding, also deserves a mention, as does, of course, that of the Silver Arrows of Mercedes-Benz, which as the marque history reveals, were not always silver.
The judges, a team of renowned vintage car experts and automotive historians led by the chief judge David Schultz, faced a great challenge: besides the various Best in Class awards, there are traditionally two Best in Show Prizes to be awarded. “Il dado è tratto, the die is cast”: the Best in Show, Concours de Sport was awarded to the 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder owned by Rob Kauffman from Charlotte, North Carolina, while the Best in Show, Concours d’Elegance trophy went to the 1929 Duesenberg J-218 Town Limousine owned by the Lehrman Collection from Palm Beach, Florida.
“Effort equals results” is a famous remark by Robert Penske, and it seems particularly apt in this case. The Amelia Concours d’Elegance deserves its reputation as one of the most fascinating vintage car shows worldwide, extremely worth visiting and impossible to forget, above all because of the unique atmosphere created by inspiring car enthusiasts – both participants and visitors – during the show days. The next edition of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is already scheduled for 4th – 7th of March, 2021 and the spectators are already waiting to be surprised by the new classes and the entertaining show program of the 26 th Concours d’Elegance on the beautiful Atlantic coast.