The 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is in the record books, and, as you can see throughout today’s Drive section, it was a grand weekend for car enthusiasts. Also, be sure to check out a video tour of some of the special cars at youtu.be/Y3afIS0QrcI.

 

The world came to Amelia Island last weekend to see the concours. We thought it would be fun, before showing you how the Florida Times-Union covered it, to see how some other folks did:


See Also


— Here’s what Autoweek did as far as one story and lots of images.

— There was a huge Porsche Club of America show at the Omni Plantation, and here’s how Autoweek covered that.

— AUTOMOBILE Magazine did something it had never done before - introduced its 2017 Automobile All-Stars at the concours. Here’s the winners and the magazine’s story.

There were multiple classic car auctions on Amelia Island all last weekend, and Pod Rods visited many of them.

The Amelia Concours’ partner for most of its time has been the RM Sotheby’s auction, held right in the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Here’s a video tour of some of the huge highlights ofn that 2-day auction.

Down the road was the Bonham’s auction at Fernandina Beach’s muncipal golf course, and some major metal was moved there. Here’s the video review of some of its star cars.

Our friends at Hagerty’s Classic Car Insurance also went to all five island auctions, and here’s just some of what they learned from the results.

Togetherm there were $121.3 million in sales at the five auctions. Among this year’s winners were:

1. Cars valued below $100K. The strong market for cars valued below $100K, including both entry-level (cars valued below $50K) and lower-middle market (cars valued between $50K-$100K), continued this weekend with nearly 55% selling above condition-specific Hagerty Price Guide (HPG) values.

2. Prewar cars. Sell-through rates were strong at the three major auctions for prewar cars, the top selling car for the week was a 1937 Bugatti 57S Cabriolet from RM Sotheby’s ($7.7M), and a stunning 1929 Stutz Model M coupe sold for a record $1.705M, also at RM Sotheby’s. Overall, the median price for prewar cars at the biggest sales rose by 18% compared to last year.

3. BMWs. All five of the BMWs Hagerty reviewed this weekend bid at or above HPG values. A 1987 BMW M6 at Bonhams and a 1995 M3 lightweight at Gooding & Company both sold very well for their condition.

4. Porsche: The 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion that sold at Gooding for $5.665M. In total, Porsche’s valued above $250K had a rough time at Amelia Island this weekend. This GT1 was a notable exception as it set a new world record for a GT1 at public auction.

Then came the big show itself, moved from Sunday to Saturday due to weather. If you couldn’t make the concours on its changed date, here’s just a bit of what we saw and heard:

— As Shirley Bassey’s theme to 1965’s “Goldfinger” sounded, secret agent James Bond’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5 drove to the awards stand at the 22nd Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance as its driver triggered hidden machine guns and the bulletproof shield.

Soon, the yellow and black six-cylinder Marmon Wasp that won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 with Ray Harroun at the helm, complete with the first rearview mirror, snarled into view.

These historic motorcars were just a few of the 330-plus aluminum-, steel- and fiberglass-rolling sculptures decorating the sun-dappled 10th and 18th fairways of the Golf Club of Amelia Island last Saturday after Mother Nature forced “The Amelia” to be held a day early for the first time.

The rescheduled event also gave visitors a view of 400 more car club members’ show vehicles at the annual Cars & Coffee at the Concours cruise-in next door. (Catch a video tour of some of the star cars at bit.ly/2nvtJC0.)

Then at day’s end, Amelia granted its Best of Show — one to a race car, the other to a road car.

Jacksonville resident Dan Davis said he was “almost shocked” to win Concours de’Sport with his 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider, its dual-supercharged 180-horsepower straight eight under its long black bonnet, its curvaceous Superleggera bodywork crafted by Carrozzeria Touring. Bought in August at RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction from the Sam Mann collection, it is one of 12 made and won races in Brazil.

“Simply, I think it is the prettiest car ever made and plus, it performs very well and it is a wonderful driving car,” Davis said. “I just think the history of Alfa is pretty wonderful and these were very, very special cars in the day.”

Terence E. Adderley’s 1935 Duesenberg SJ-582 Torpedo Phaeton, its 420 cubic-inch straight eight quiet as its Gordon Buehrig-designed shape rolled up nose-to-nose with Davis’ Alfa to secure its Concours d’Elegance award. Adderly and his wife praised the concours and the Indiana-made car they won with.

“This is an outstanding show, and it continues to get better every single year,” he said. “Duesenbergs have always been my favorite and I have been fortunate to have several wonderful cars.”

“Good things come to those who wait,” his wife, Jennifer Adderly, added.

Concours d’Elegance means “parade of elegance” in French, but Amelia founder and chairman Bill Warner puts his own spin on the annual event that caps off a weekend of automotive and lifestyle events centered around the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Warner loves race cars, so the automotive charity event annually honors a famous racer and his cars. But it also showcases rare classic marques, antiques and muscle cars as well as motorcycles to crowds numbering about 20,000 for the 2-day event.

This year, predictions of bad weather on Sunday forced a reschedule to Saturday — the same day as the Concours’ annual Cars & Coffee cruise-in. Concours officials said moving Cars & Coffee from the main show field to the second fairway of the golf course was “seamless,” and actually enhanced the main concours event. And Warner said he made the right decision as sunny weather graced the show, adding the final choices for Best of Show were superb.

“The decision was easy to make; the execution was difficult to make. I have a great team that made it happen,” Warner said. “The two best in shows are fabulous cars, how can you say not? The Duesenberg Dual Cowl Phaeton is fabulous. The 2.9 Alfa is a car — if I could only have one car in my life, it would be a 2.9 Alfa. That’s pretty cool.”

Race car classes of all kinds dotted the show field, beginning with those of four-time Indy 500 winner and Amelia Concours honoree Al Unser Sr. The open-wheel racers he took to checkered flags at that Memorial Day classic were displayed, including his 1970 and 1971 PJ Colt IndyCar, 1974 Eagle IndyCar and Porsche 962 prototype that he won the 1985 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“It’s really an honor and something that makes me very happy and I am proud to be here for the people and especially to have all four of my winning cars plus some others,” Unser said. “They are all favorites. … It’s just something you love doing and we [the Unser family] were very fortunate to be able to win nine Indys — my son, my brother and myself — so it’s really an honor to be able to do that.”

Fans of modern Japanese muscle cars flocked to the Japanese Race Car display to see their past, like the sleek red mid-engine 1965 Prince R380, the 200-horsepower race car that won its first Japanese Grand Prix. It’s now owned by Infiniti.

“It was arguably the first purpose-built Japanese race car,” said Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore. “It came in first and second and completely beat the Porsche 906s that were racing that year.”

The display included late actor/racer Paul Newman’s 1991 Bob Sharp Racing Nissan 300ZX and black and silver 1972 Datsun 510. Peter Brock’s 1969 Datsun BRE 2000 Roadster and 1971 510 BRE No. 46 were winning championships over Italian and German competitors.

“It was really the beginning of the Japanese import market being accepted by the Americans. Prior to that point, people always thought of Japanese stuff as being junk,” said Brock, who also designed the 1965 Cobra Daytona Coupe. “It was very, very good engineering, but the perception remained. My job was to prove the cars were better than the Europeans, which is why we went off and ran against the Alfas and BMWs and beat them.”

Also spotlighted was the Action Express Racing No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R that took sixth place at the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Across the show field was the granddaddy of all Indycars — the 1911 Marmon Wasp that won the first Indianapolis 500, driven by Ray Harroun solo in a time when every race car carried driver and on-board engineer.

Lex Pornovets of Callahan was looking over the yellow and black race car from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, but said his heart beat for a row of other race cars.

“The Japanese cars over there because they are Japanese cars, although I love all the cars,” the 26-year-old said. “That’s what I grew up with and they are the best. But it’s awesome with all the rare cars.”

Pam Shewan came from New Smyrna Beach despite the concours being moved up a day, and was glad to be there.

“It was a great idea to move it to Saturday and they did a really good job letting everybody know,” she said. “The cars are unbelievable.”

The 60th anniversary of Jaguar’s victory at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race was celebrated with sleek D-Types that won in 1956 and 1957 as well as a dapper 96-year-old Norman Dewis, chief test driver and development engineer for the company from 1952 to 1985. As he rested his hand on the No. 3 Ecurie Ecosse D-Type that won the 1957 Le Mans, he said it was “incredible” that Warner brought back the winners with all the others.

“It’s nice and brings back memories,” Dewis said. “To think I drove it out of the factory when it was brand new, tested it and got it ready for Le Mans and we won. And here we are today looking at the car all these years later. It’s been looked after pretty good.”

In the middle of a display called “Porsche 4-Cylinder Giant Killers,” named for the German company’s fast and race-winning four-cam-powered cars of the 1950’s and 1960s, was a petite French Blue 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder with a rudimentary cloth top over its twin bucket seats.

“What you see is original,” owner Don Murray said. “It was the 1955 Paris show car, hence French Racing Blue. … It did Le Mans in 1956 and came in first in class at the 12 Hours of Rheims.”

Another row of racing Porsches was next door from Jacksonville’s iconic Brumos Racing team. Once headquartered behind the Brumos auto dealerships, it closed when Fields Auto Group bought them out a year ago. Now the race cars were shown to remember the championships they began winning with dealer founder Herbert Brundage in the 1950s, and continued with five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood.

“It is wonderful to see that brand still so important is so many people’s minds. Brumos is such an iconic brand in the Porsche family that it is nice to see all these cars,” Haywood said. “It is also nice to look at where it started and where it ended, a cool display of the technologies of racing.”

Other race cars included Tedd Zamjohn’s petite light blue 1926 Bugatti Type 37. The gracefully sleek 1,500-pound car is powered by a supercharged 1.5-liter four with 90 horsepower.

Geoffrey Hacker, known for collecting forgotten fiberglass sports cars from the 1950s and 1960s with late friend Rick D’Louhy, had a wild-looking red 1956 Bangert Manta Ray roadster premiering after restoration. The wing-like front fenders look just like the Buick Wildcat concept car of the day.

Bond’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from “Goldfinger” was surrounded by fans all day as they shot photos of it with a woman in gold paint.

“For a few moments, you couldn’t even see the car with people packed around it taking pictures,” said John Carefoot, curator for the Yeaggy Collection. “It’s fun to get out and drive it. That’s one of the neat things about the original movie was that it fooled people. It looked like a stock DB5, then boom, James Bond would pull out all the gadgets and show the world.”

Some cars were over the top in design, like Sam and Emily Mann’s curvaceously sexy 1937 Delahaye 145. Named People’s Choice, polished stainless steel ribs wrapped around its curved grille with a V-12 Grand Prix race car underneath. This body’s teardrop-shaped coachwork was then added in 1946 by Franay, and it’s first customer may have been Monaco’s Prince Rainier.

“It’s an extremely powerful car and boasts 250-hp, enormous for the time, although the Germans who raced against these cars had 500-hp and better,” Mann said. “… The car is quite low and the designers of this car really achieved lines that others had not done.”

Silent film star Fatty Arbuckle’s massive purple 1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 66 A-4 Tourer was there, owned by Bob Jepson and surrounded by fans shooting photos of its liquor cabinet … and something else.

“More importantly, it’s got a place where they hid hootch during Prohibition and it’s the footrest in the back seat, which is also very clever,” Jepson said.

Harris Snodgrass brought a piece of family history — the 1948 MG TC owned by his late father, Brumos Racing’s president, Bob Snodgrass.

“He really cherished this car, more than pretty much anything he ever owned,” he said. “It really ignited his passion for motorsports and cars. The fact that he can’t be here and the car can is very special to me.”

Highly designed motor scooters from America and Italy were parked center field, including John Wiser’s 1947 Salsbury 85. With its swoopy Buck Rogers spaceship design and its orange color, people stopped and stared at his scooter, in the family for 47 years.

“I got married on it. There’s the picture,” Wiser said. “I’ve shown this only a couple of times. … This is is art.”

The 50th anniversary of the Chevrolet Camaro was feted with Camaro No. One, a gold 1967 coupe with VIN No. 10001, found by then 14-year-old Patrick Ryan of Asheville, N.C. The golden anniversary class was also joined by a 1968 and ’69 Yenko Camaro, a 1969 Indy 500 RS/SS Pace Car and a 1973 Baldwin Motion Camaro. Then there was Jacksonville resident Steve Boyle’s 1980 Hugger Camaro, No. 41 of 90 produced. Born in Jacksonville when local dealer Tom Nehl wanted some way to fund his 24 Hour of Daytona Camaro racing team, Boyle actually helped modify them to look like Nehl’s No. 28 Camaro race car.

“It’s the only one built with a 4-speed, and was found abandoned in a warehouse with 830 miles on it,” Boyle said.

The rarest Corvette ever built was being admired by Ed Welburn, just-retired General Motors VP of design and a judge. John Baldwin’s 1957 Corvette Super Sport prototype was premiered at GM’s Motorama show at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria, with twin bubble windshield and hand-applied satin silver paint in the side scoops.

“It’s important to General Motors and to me. I own a ’57 Corvette, which I though was very rare until I saw this car,” Welburn said. “… As you walk around the car there are subtle and not so subtle differences throughout and I just love it.”

Paul Wilson was having fun running the oldest car at the concours - an 1899 Marot-Gardon with some amazingly modern features for a 118-year-old car.

“Some of the early cars were crzy conglomerations - motor tricycles, motorized contraptions or you drove from the back seat,” Wilson said after shutting it down. “To have something with a steering wheel, spark plug and a hood in front is a very modern, even for 1901 or 1902.”

Another stunning Alfa Romeo on the field was Leo Shigiel’s deep blue 1949 6C 2500 SS Cabriolet, one of only 2300 made with a 115-hp in-line six-cylinder engine and body by Pininfarina. The interior leather is exact, its restorer matching it to an original piece found during restoration

“I bought it four years ago in boxes and we had it restored in Italy, its mother country, in the exact spec it came in,” he said.

It was near Axel and L. Hanko Rosenblad’s 1951 Allard K-2, a two-seat British street and race car with a 330-cubic-inch Cadillac V-8 that they drive all the time in Yulee.

“It’s one of the early ’50s cars with big engines and it’s a nice hot rod of its era,” Axel Rosenblad said. “It was the race car in 1949 to 1951.”

Fans of Wayne Carini’s “Chasing Classic Cars” show on Velocity saw the “barn find” 1930 Minerva Convertible Sedan with rare Hibbard and Darrin bodywork a few days ago on TV. But it was on the field last weekend — a huge car shared with collector Ralph Marano bearing some surface rust from years in storage in upstate New York, but still beautiful and imposing.

“It’s the only body on a Minerva chassis that they made. A lot ended up on Rolls-Royces and Hispano-Suizes,” Carini said. “From the front and from the back, there’s not a bad angle on this car.”

Another Italian also carried American horsepower from birth — Wellington Morton’s red 1965 Iso Rivolta with a 5.4-liter Corvette V-8 - just restored by Wes Brown. One of two he bought after a long search, it was in worse shape but was also a rare wire wheel version.

“I like the wire wheels and I liked the color,” the Saint Johns resident said. “I’ve been looking for these cars. They have been in Jacksonville for the last 40 years. I finally found them a year ago.”

And fresh from his first drive in it on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway was Jacksonville collector John Campion and his 1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo, which raced at the track in period. He said it was a bear to drive slowly on the concours grass.

“This car makes about 50 hp until it gets to 4,000 rpm, then it comes on with 400 hp,” he said. “First gear is very, very long, so driving throigh here, it’s just gas and clutch, gas and clutch. But it’s an absolute pleasure to be here. It’s fabulous.”

Classic car expert McKeel Hagerty, who runs a classic car insurance company, called the array of race and street cars from the past century “a sea of greatness.” And advancing it due to rain didn’t seem to hurt, nor did combining it with Cars & Coffee.

“It was very fortuitous that the two events combined to create one,” he said. “They pull together not only the world-class coachbuilt unique stuff every year that you’d love to see at a major concours, as well as the race cars that get your blood going. And there’s all this stuff that creates that little twinkle in the eye moment that you least expect.”^

Anyone with questions about prepaid tickets who could not attend the re-scheduled Concours are asked to email the staff at ameliaconcours.org/contact-us.aspx.

Here’s a look at some of the other concours events:

— Along with the dozens of awards handed out at the end of the concours, there was another set handed out at last weekend’s Amelia Concours, and it done by a group of young men and women taking part in the annual Hagerty Youth Judging Program.

Hagerty insures classic cars and boats, and began holding its youth judging programs in 2007 at major concours. Youth ages 8 to 14 are guided through a selection of classics at a concours, then score them based on design and other factors.

When last Saturday’s judging was over, the young judges chose a 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II for first place, followed by a 1931 Cadillac Phaeton and 1956 Austin-Healey 100M. The Aston Martin was owned by McKeel Hagerty, head of the company, the first time this had occurred in the program’s history. So McKeel Hagerty gave the award to concours founder and chairmn Bill Warner’s oldest granddaughter, Lindsey Webber, who has participated in the youth judging program for seven years.

— After the concours, founding sponsor Mercedes-Benz held the annual dinner with about 700 guests, including guest of honor Al Unser Sr. and dozens of other famous race car drivers.

Unser was interviewed by Indy 500 racer Lyn St. James in front of the Borg Warner trophy. But first, Mercedes-Benz’s communications director Rob Moran awarded its annual “What Drives You” award to a volunteer who goes above and beyond.

The concours has a small paid staff, but during the show weekend, about 750 volunteers help arrange the cars, work with the thousands of guests, hang the banners and direct the classic cars on the field. This year, Fernandina Beach resident and retired U.S. Navy Capt. Steve Duba received the award after his 10 years of volunteering.

—From its museum in Stuttgart, Mercedes-Benz brought a rare car for display on the show field and at dinner — the 1955 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut” Coupe, a road-legal version of its famous 300 SLR race car. Daimler-Benz developed it for the 1956 season, but it never raced since the company halted motorsport activities. But the aerodynamic 302-horsepower 300 SLR coupe, with exhaust pipes thrusting out its fender vents, was used by Test Department chief Rudolf Uhlenhaut as a company car.

Moran called it a “badass” car, stating that since it moved to the museum, it has been guarded and never touched. Then he showed a photo of a teenage Bill Warner sitting in it when it came through the Jacksonville port decades ago, asking the concours chairman if he’d like to repeat the pose.

— The concours foundation has awarded more than $3 million to area charities since it began in 2016, funds going to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and Nassau County charities like Shop for Cops and Micah’s Place. Some is raised with a silent auction at the concours as well as a live auction during the Saturday night gala.

The first item up for auction was a 1:18-scale Amalgam model of the 1957 Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-Type race car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans; it sold for $10,000, the funds going to Spina Bifida.

Then came Dennis Brown’s original painting of Indy 500 winner and concours honoree Al Unser Sr., which is the event’s main poster art. It also sold for $10,000.

Then came a trip for two with Bill Warner and his wife, Jane, to tour Cuba, the island and its cars. Warner collaborated with Tom Cotter on a recent book, “Cuba’s Car Culture: Celebrating the Island’s Automotive Love Affair.”

Spirited bidding saw two people each bid $23,000 for the guided tour. Warner made them both winners, meaning a total $46,000 raised from the trip.

The Amelia Concours may be over, but there’s still lots of car events left to see this weekend and soon:

Car events:

n The Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix — Saturday and Sunday on a 2.1-mile circuit at the Fernandina Beach Airport, with qualifying and racing beginning at about 8 a.m. both days. Tickets range from $15 to $45, depending on the number of days at the event. Information: svra.com/events/2017-amelia-island-vintage-gran-prix.

n MDA Benefit Show — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store, located at 1700 Blanding Blvd. in Middleburg. Free for spectators and $10 per show vehicle, proceeds to benefit MDA.

n Fifth annual Crestwood Car Show — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Crestwood Nursing Center, 501 S. Palm Ave. in Palatka.

n Runabout in the Royal District — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on South Lee Street/U.S. 17 in historic downtown Kingsland, Ga. Free to spectators and $25 per show vehicle day of show.

n Rumble at the River — 15th annual regional Mustang and Ford show, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Jacksonville Landing, located at 2 Independent Drive. Free to spectators and $25 per show vehicle — Fords only.

n Second annual San Jose Car & Truck Show — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 1, at Dupont Station shopping center, located at 6271 St. Augustine Road. Free to spectators and $20 per show vehicle. Presenting sponsor is Key Auto Company, which will have 2017 Buick, GMC, Hyundai and Genesis models on display. Krispy Kreme doughnuts, refreshments, prize drawings and DJ planned. Proceeds support the Bishop John J. Snyder Community Center at San Jose Apartments for seniors. For more information, call (904) 616-8095.

Cruise-ins:

n Informal cruise-in — 7 to 9 a.m. every Saturday at Krispy Kreme, 11117 San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin.

n Amelia Cruisers — 5 to 8 p.m. each third and fifth Saturday at Dick’s Wings And Grill, 474313 Florida A1A in Yulee.

n Callahan Cruisers — 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Kmart, 1501 Normandy Village Parkway.

n Clay County Cruzers — 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday (new hours) at Taps Bar & Grill, 1605 County Road 220, No. 145, in Fleming Island. Fulll monthly schedule at Claycountycruzers.com.

n St. Augustine Cruisers — 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Hobby Lobby, 200 Florida 312 in St. Augustine.

n Historic Springfield Main Street Cruise — 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Historic Springfield Krystal, located at 2023 N. Main St.

n Cars & Coffee Indoors — 8 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 26, at Vaughn Motorgroup, 11350 San Jose Blvd.

Send information on automotive and motorcycle events to dan.scanlan@jacksonville.com or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville FL 32202.