The polar vortex is over and the Amelia Island Concours is coming!
Here on the upper East Coast we are rather sick of that whole winter thing. Polar Vortex and ice and snow and sleet and school closings are hopefully on the wain. Its time to look forward to sunny skies and beautiful cars for the automotive enthusiasts among us.
So that brings us to the 2014 edition of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. This concours is held on the luscious grounds of the Ritz Carlton. 300 of the world's finest automobiles, motorcycles and race cars will grace the greens of the impecable golf course, a virtual feast for the eyes.
Every year Bill Warner and his vast crew of volunteers and veterans have chosen some of the most incredible pieces of transportation. You'll find everything from $50 million dollar Ferraris to incredible Duesenburgs and grand classics to cars that you never knew existed.
Some of the featured classes and cars from this year are: General Lyon's Duesenberg which is a 1930 Model J Speedster featuring a dissapearing convetible top. Ralph Marano is a highly regarded Packard collector and he is bringing all ten of his Packard concept cars from the 50's. You'll be able to see the re-debut of the Chrylser La Contesse Concept car. The Stirling Moss 450S Le Mans Coupe will be one of the featured cars helping to celebrate the Maserati centenary. A set of BMW "Batmobiles" will be on the greens, representing the German's 180mph winged monsters from the 70's. The BMW's represent one of the unique features of the Amelia Island Concours, that is Bill Warner's love of race cars.
So as a teaser, let's take a look at some previous entrants to the Amelia Island Concours.
2008 saw the greatest gathering of Thomas Flyers that anyone in the last 50 years could remember. Above we see the actual Thomas Flyer that won in the famous 1908 New York to Paris race.
The National Automobile Museum in Reno Nevada, loaned the world famous Thomas Flyer for the 100th anniversary of its epic 22,000 mile race. George Schuster, the only member of the US team to drive the entire route, assisted Bill Harrah restore the car to its original trim as it entered Paris 26 days in front of the next competitor.
The Lamborghini Muira Roadster in a rare appearance at the Amelia Island Concours last year. Photo courtesy of Brett Lemoine.
This is the only Roadster created and built by the factory, making it very special indeed. It was named the ZN75.
Here is Malcolm Pray and his beloved 1939 Delahaye Type 135 M next to the predecessor to the Ferrari GTO. Its the 1962 Ferrari 250 Experimental chassis 2643GT.
Unfortunately we lost Malcolm Pray in 2013. He was a main stay at so many concours events. He will be missed. This years judges sheets (which I designed) are a tribute to his many contributions to the field.
A great place to hang out is right in front of the Ritz, especially during Saturday. All sorts of cars are loading up and tooling around. Then you walk in and see the RM Auction as well as some of the great seminars and take advantage of the exotic test drives.
Yes, the Amelia Island Concours should be on every car lovers bucket list. Come for the weather and stay for the cars!