Amelia at Sunrise: Automotive Sensory Overload
By Kenneth Visser
Saturday at the Amelia Island Concours was chock full of fantastical vehicles emerging from their trailered cocoons. You hear the sudden bursts of an ancient 11 liter thumping in the distance or the sudden wail of the new McClaren MP4-12C coming from the test drive area. All this makes for automotive sensory overload. That leads to staying up well past midnight to process photos and write my blog.
So all that coupled with the time change made for a challenging early Sunday morning. I managed to rustle up the team but sunlight was burning. We made a decent breakfast which would get us through most of the day. When there are 300 cars to see, there isn't any time to waste on nourishment!
We got on the road right at the break of dawn and were greeted with a huge amount of activity as the loading of the field was in full flow. My video guy and I jumped out at the back gate and were immediately consumed by the 1953 Ferrari 375 Mille Miglia Spyder. We will revisit that car in a future post.
Next the 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe tooled on by. Then the 1949 Ferrari 166 Touring Barchetta came rolling on the greens. This car is celebrated in the 1981 song" Red Barchetta" by the Canadian group, Rush. But I had to ignore it - the island of GTO's was singing its siren song.
Oh, and here is Judge North's 33 Duesenberg SJ-478, and there's Jim Taylor's barn find 37 Horch 853 Cabriolet and there's ... You get the idea. It's difficult to stay focused when you are in such a target rich environment.
So ignoring the insanely awesome Cobras on my left, I work my way over to the GTO's.
The sun rises over the greens of the Ritz Carlton to slowly reveal the details of the exotic machinery housed there on.
This is Tom Price's 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO chassis number 4757GT. The car was raced and crashed hard at Le Mans back in 63 and went on to a successful racing career. For many years the car was housed in a Dutch collection but was caught up in a financial maelstrom which resulted in its sale in January of 2010. With only 36 models to choose from, it is big news when a GTO changes hands.
IMHO the Ferrari GTO is the most beautiful car ever designed. It is also the last of breed in which you could drive up to LeMans, race your car then drive it home. With today's cars you couldn't get out of the parking lot.
This is the 1962 ferrari 250 GTO chassis #4091. It was returned to the Ferrari factory in 1963 and refitted with a 250 GTO/64 body which was styled by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti.
The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Sperimental chassis #2643GT was the direct prototype for the GTO. It was raced in period by Scuderia Bear who sold it to purchase the first GTO, chassis 3223.
The Best in Show sporting marquee.
This is my favorite shot of the weekend and its of the Best in Show 1962/63 Ferrari 330 LM owned by the Jaeger collection in Ohio. It is the only GTO to have the larger 4 liter motor installed by the factory, pushing out about 400 hp.
Next up, the Shelbys!
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kenneth Visser