Twenty years ago, Bill Warner started a small gathering of automobiles on a sleepy Florida barrier island. Since then, it has grown into a full week of events that rivals Pebble Beach in prominence and attendance. Amelia Island is the northernmost island on Florida’s east coast and is home to several high end resorts. Once a year they open their ballrooms and fairways to create a unique experience in the automotive world.
Since we have been a driving force at the Amelia Island Concours since its inception, we pulled out all the stops to create an unprecedented experience for our fans. Friday night was the Aeroport Reception at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. Two private hangars were filled to the brim with historic cars and great food. Our friend Bill Riddell of Racelink brought out his race-prepped Porsche Caymans from the Stuttgart Cup along with a one-owner 1965 Corvette. Starwood Motors brought a trail ready Wrangler wearing their bespoke black Kevlar coating. Airstream arrived with a plush Interstate Sprinter loaded with every amenity they offer. Entertainment in the main hangar was handled by MBL Audio and a talented acrobat hanging from the ceiling. The second hangar had local musicians and a twirling angel atop a twenty foot bamboo tree.
Provident Jewelry brought an amazing display of fashionable accessories. If you’re in the market for the most extravagant books ever published, Opus Media Group showcased their hand bound masterpieces. Time seemed to stand still in this party atmosphere, but thankfully we had fine swiss watches from Hublot that held us to our schedule. Those fine timepieces were flanked by a host of new Ferraris from Ferrari Central Florida. A top down California T made an entrance across the runway as the turbines wailed an eerie shriek across the tarmac.
Always ready for adventure, Argo stationed their rolling stereo between the hangars. This custom 8×8 amphibious audio machine has 3,000 watts of reference quality marine audio with VHF and USB inputs. Sentient Jet was next door to explain the benefits of their Jet Card and how it can be a great alternative to the headaches of commercial flying. Friday night we outdid ourselves by any measure, so rest assured that our next hangar party will be awe-inspiring. Also on hand was Autobahn Adventures, who deals with travelling on the ground in the most luxurious and exciting road trip across the Autobahn.
Saturday morning was Cars & Coffee, with what seemed like the entire island in attendance. With the show growing larger each year, more space was needed. Summer Beach Resort opened their front fairway, which lies across the road from the Concours show field. This “Motor Expo” saw many unique cars and a host of vendors. Our booth was across from the ticket booth and MBL Audio joined us again to provide an elegant soundtrack for the golf course. Fii Roadsters had the eye candy with a brushed aluminum bodied masterpiece that packed a Windsor-based 427 V8 and a rear mounted transaxle.
Sunday morning saw the best weather to ever coincide with the Amelia Concours d’Elegance. Our Hospitality Tent was stocked with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and six foot red roses and overlooked the show field. If you weren’t on the list, the crowded field was packed with every make and model. Some of the special classes this year were dedicated to the 1932 Ford, Pre-War BMW, Vintage Racing Corvettes, Forgotten Fiberglass, Orphaned Concept Cars and vintage motorcycles. The show stopper was the largest collection of cars owned and raced by Sir Stirling Moss. Our favorite of his was the stunning 1962 Ferrari GTO, which is the closest to completely original left, as it was never raced. Having sold for a record $35 million, it was given a pristine location looking out over the field.
As this show evolves to new heights, we will continue to expand our presence in order to give back to our faithful fans. Normally we suggest that you try to make it to Amelia, but if you like any form of cars or motorsport, this show is mandatory. Our plans for next year are already in the works, and we hope to see you there.