The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance celebrates its 19th anniversary on the weekend of March 7 to 9, 2014.
Since its humble beginnings in 1996 on the fairways of the Golf Club of Amelia Island, The Amelia has grown to become one of the world’s premier automotive events. In 2013 The International Historic Motoring Awards presented The Amelia the prestigious Motoring Event of the Year during a ceremony at London’s St. Pancras Hotel.
The 18th anniversary Amelia honored American racer, designer, author and broadcaster Sam Posey, and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Le Mans-winning Ford GT40, Porsche’s iconic 911 and Chevrolet’s revolutionary Corvette Sting Ray. The elegant jewel-like creations of Harry Miller were featured and brought Amelia Island a world class collection of the cars and engines that ruled the Indianapolis 500 and America’s high speed board tracks in the 20s and 30s.
The Amelia’s “50th Anniversary Celebration of the Porsche 911 Seminar,” “The Design Analysis of the Revolutionary Corvette Sting Ray Seminar” and the “Celebration of Ford’s GT40 Seminar” played to standing room only audiences. Giants of the sport and industry Hurley Haywood and Peter Schutz (Porsche 911), Peter Brock (Sting Ray designer) and GM design chief Ed Welburn, along with championship racers Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant, Brian Redman and David Hobbs (Gulf Racing GT40) stayed busy signing autographs long after the conclusion of all three seminars.
New to the Amelia Concours weekend was the Saturday morning car club Cars and Coffee at the Concours custom, collector and exotic car show. The no-admission companion event to the Amelia Island Concours drew a huge crowd to see over 175 cars from local car clubs, manufacturers and individual enthusiasts.
It is an Amelia tradition that significant cars from road and track are honored by Best of Show Awards. In 2013 the Rocky Mountain Auto Collection’s Ford GT40 earned Concours de Sport top honors. Provenance is the component that even the most accurate and faithful restoration cannot bestow. Ford GT40, chassis number 1075, is the most successful example of Ford’s groundbreaking Le Mans racer winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice (1968 and 1969) plus six World Championship endurance races wearing the famous blue and orange of Gulf Research Racing.
The Nethercutt Collection’s 1936 Supercharged Convertible Coupe is the apogee of the Duesenberg Brothers art. The massive and potent DOHC 420 cubic inch supercharged straight-eight engine propels the svelte Rollston-bodied luxury sports car to over 120 mph. A depression-era price tag of $18,000 kept Duesenbergs out of the hands of all but a few wealthy owners. Even today, the Duesenberg name implies exclusivity, taste, refinement and power. The Nethercutt’s exquisite 1936 SNJ is The Amelia’s 2013 stand out, even in a class of stunning Duesenbergs.
The best news of all from the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance came last summer, after the cups, trophies and ribbons were awarded when contributions to local charities topped $2.25 million