Sunny North Florida was not so sunny as the 19th Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend of car events began. The Amelia weekend essentially begins the year’s classic and collector car show season and is arguably the second most prestigious U.S. event of its kind behind the Pebble Beach showcase each August.
The weather steadily improved over the course of four Florida days of activities and events, however, culminating in near perfect conditions for the concours on Sunday.
We refer to the Amelia “weekend” because in addition to the elegant concours, activities being Thursday indulging in three collector car auctions, a couple other less formal shows, a few rallies, endless social events and high-end lifestyle marketing pitches filling every available space at the Ritz Carlton resort — and beyond.
Since the Ritz is swarming with people of means who love cars, the premium marques (McLaren, Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari, Bentley — you get the drift) are here hosting test drives and plying their wares.
The resort golf course’s 18th fairway makes a perfect venue for a display of more than 300 cars with a good share of them race cars of historic significance. Concours founder and chairman Bill Warner was a motorsports photographer, among other vocations, and brings tremendous knowledge and seemingly endless connections to make this show one of the best.
As we strode onto the grassy show field just before sunrise, the smell of old car engines running a bit rich mixed with the sharp aroma of spent racing fuel hinted at the flavors of the day. Drifting around as the cars moved into position and getting our photos we speculated on which cars might be in the running for best of show honors, but there were so many we had to give up.
The pass in review takes more than four hours and is narrated skillfully by Ed Lucas, who MCs many of the most important shows around the country. So many beautiful, historically important and unusual cars pass that our interest was piqued the entire time. Finally, the two best in show winners come forward.
The Concours d’Elegance winner is the stunning, silver 1937 Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet with Voll & Ruhbeck coachwork. The car is owned by Bob and Anne Brockinton Lee of Sparks, Nev. This long, large, sleek open German luxury car is certainly one of the most elegant of its day. This is the car that won best in show at Pebble Beach in 2009.
Lee was quoted then as saying his car has “73,000 acres of chrome.”
The Concours d’Sport winner is the 1958 Scarab race car owned by the Revs Institute for Automotive Research, part of the well-known Collier Collection of Naples, Fl.
The Scarab race cars emerged out of an obsession of Woolworth heir Lance Reventlow, who decided he could produce race cars the equal of those he saw in Europe. Famous racing driver Augie Pabst won many races in the Scarab and Road & Track featured it on the magazine cover in 1959 calling it “America’s Finest Sports Car.”
Best in show winners at the 2014 Amelia Island concours:
- Ritz-Carlton Best in Show – Concours de Sport 1958 Scarab (The Revs Institute for Automotive Research, Naples FL)
- Ritz-Carlton Best in Show – Concours d’Elegance 1937 Horch 853 (Bob and Anne Brockinton Lee, Sparks NV)
Class winners at the 2014 Amelia Island concours:
- 100th Anniversary of Maserati (Race) -1955 Maserati 250F (Linda and Bill Pope, Paradise Valley AZ)
- 100th Anniversary of Maserati (Street) – 1955 Maserati A6G/54 (Lawrence Auriana Collection, Greenwich CT)
- 50th Anniversary of McLaren – 1972 McLaren M20 (Don and Joasia Devine, Inverness IL)
- American Classic (1931 – 1935) – 1935 Pierce-Arrow 1245 Convertible Coupe (Sam Lehrman, Palm Beach FL)
- American Classic (1936 – 1948) – 1937 Packard Convertible Sedan (St.Clair Family, Tulare, SD)
- American Classic (Pre-1930) -1929 Willys Knight 66B Plaidside Roadster (Richard and Shirley Hamilton, Wauseon OH)
- American Powered European Coachwork – 1938 Buick 44 Drop Head Coupe (Chris and Jack Beebe, Osprey FL)
- American Production – 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 (David Kinney and Stella Koch, Great Falls VA)
- Beach Cars -1948 Ford “Dunesmobile” Super Deluxe Convertible (The Hagerty Family Collection, Traverse City MI)
- Best in Class – Bentley -1936 Bentley 4-¼ Litre Pillarless Coupe (Andrew W.J. Davidson, Bolton, Ontario, Canada
- BMW 3.0/3.5 CSL -1975 BMW 3.0 CSL Group 4 (BMW, NA Classic Collection, Woodcliff Lake NJ)
- Bugatti – 1937 Bugatti Atalante Coupe (North Collection, St. Michaels MD)
- Cars of Jochen Mass -1985 Porsche 962C (Bruce Canepa, Scotts Valley CA)
- Cars of Zagato Design – 1957 Ferrari 250GT Tour de France (The Herrington Collection, Bow NH)
- Chrysler Concepts – 1952 Chrysler d’Elegance (Sam and Emily Mann, Englewood, NJ)
- Corvettes (Rare Solid Axle) – 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Sebring Racer (Irwin Kroiz, Ambler PA)
- Duesenberg – 1935 Duesenberg SJ509 Roadster (Harry Yeaggy, Cincinnati, OH)
- European Custom Coachwork - 1937 Horch 853 (Bob and Anne Brockinton Lee, Sparks NV)
- Ferrari (Racing) – 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Competition (Michael and Katharina Leventhal, Los Angeles CA)
- Ferrari Production (1950 – 1964) – 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica (Bob and Anne Brockinton Lee, Sparks NV)
- Ferrari Production (1965 – 1972) – 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Alloy (Gary and Sandy Schaevitz, Bedford Corners NYHorseless Carriage (1895 – 1915) – 1911 Maxwell EA (Robert C. Farris, Canton GA)
- Horseless Carriage (40+ Horsepower) – 1906 Columbia Mark XLVII (Bill and Barbara Parfet, Hickory Corners MI)
- Mercedes-Benz (1927 – 1946) – 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster (Richard E. Workman, Windermere FL)
- Mercedes-Benz (1947 – 1972) – 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (Lynn and Michael Harling, Dallas TX)
- Motorcycles – 1905 Erie (Paul Ousey, Huntington NY)
- Offenhauser Power – 1972 Eagle OFFY (Craig and Susan McCaw, Santa Barbara CA)
- Porsche 904 – 962 – 1964 Porsche 904 (Joe Buzzetta Motor Sports, St. James NY)
- Race Cars (1965 – 1975) – 1965 Shelby GT350 (SFM5R002) (John Atzbach, Redmond WA)
- Race Cars (Post War – 1964) – 1957 Porsche 550A-RS (Alegra Collection, Tampa FL)
- Race Cars (Pre-War) – 1925 Duesenberg Eight Speedway Car (Terence Adderley, Bloomfield Hills MI)
- Rolls-Royce – 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith LWB (Guy A. Lewis, Pinecrest FL)
- Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost – 1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Playboy Roadster (Jon and Ellen Leimkuehler, Pittsburgh PA)
- Special Display – 1934 Packard Runabout Speedster (Craig A. Kappel, Chatham, MA)
- Sports and GT Cars (1950 – 1954) – 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200-C (William H. Borrusch, Hudson FL)
- Sports and GT Cars (1955 – 1962) – 1955 Siata 208S Spyder (Jim and Nancy Utaski, Skillman NJ)
- Sports and GT Cars (1963 – 1974) – 1968 Lamborghini Islero (Andy Manganero, Xenia OH)
- Sports Cars (Pre-War – 1949) – 1936 MG PB (Reed and Jan Tarwater, Greenfield IN)
- Underslung – 1910 American Underslung Traveler (JWR Auto Museum, Michael and Joannie Rich, Frackville PA)