Amelia Island From a Young Mans Perspective
With green grass under my feet, sunglasses on top of my head and 80-degree weather surrounding me, I was escaping the snow of New England and trading it for one of the best car shows in the country. I certainly will not be getting homesick any time soon. In the close distance, I saw a rather large RM auction sign, but that is not what I was turning my attention to just yet. I saw a good friend of mine, Stacy Puckett, and wanted to say hello. After a quick chat, my father and I headed into the auction just in time to catch a glimpse of a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500/540 K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen rolling across the block for just over 3 million dollars. We didn’t stay for too long after the Mercedes, but there is one car I would like to shed light upon. It’s the emerald green 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina. Slowly but surely the price rose, 4 million, 5 million, is that six I hear? Just like that, the previous owner walked out 6.38 million dollars richer. Wow, he must have woken up on the right side of the bed today!
The next morning, I awoke to the sound of palm trees swaying in the breeze. Today marked the 20th Anniversary of Amelia Island. The best part about Amelia is that this is one of the few shows that not only celebrates the craftsmanship of the cars, but also celebrates the men and women who have made the auto industry what it is today. This year the show was honoring the man who won Italy’s thousand-mile Mille Miglia road race. The man who’s record of 1000 miles in 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds still stands tall and proud today. The same legend won 212 of the 529 races he entered during his 14 year racing ca- reer. Who else could it be besides Sir Stirling Moss himself? Twenty-six of the cars Stirling drove to victory were displayed in their own class, “Cars of Stirling Moss”.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived on the show field was the number of people! I never knew a golf course could hold that many people. Aside from the thousands of people, the various classes of cars made this show an eye opener. There were classes for things people never knew existed like...Orphan Concept Cars of the 1950s and early sixties, entire classes for Stutz, Ferrari, Benz, Bentley, Duesenberg, Forgotten Fiberglass, Hot Rods, even a class for Cars of the Cowboy! Amelia is absolutely amazing. In front of the Ritz-Carlton was another unique feature of the show. You could test drive a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Alfa Romero, or a Mercedes Benz. There were so many to drive, I could not remember them all. We walked around the field in utter awe, gazing at all the unique prototypes and gorgeous automobiles from the 20th century. As we were wandering through a row of bright colored Stutzs. I noticed a familiar face. It was Barry Meguiar, president/CEO of Meguiar wax and host of Car Crazy. I walked up to him and introduced myself, but then I realized he was judging and I should probably let him continue. He went about judging and I went about gazing at the Stutzs. Before I knew it, it was time for the awards so we found a spot and watched car after car roll by.
With the automobile attendance just tipping the scale slightly over 315 cars and motorcycles, I cannot imagine trying to pick a best in show, or even a favorite for that matter. The judges found a way though and the announcement came. The Best in Show Concours d’Elegance was presented to the flawless 1930 Cord L29 Brooks Stevens Speedster. This car was perfect. It had headlights that I have never seen before and it screamed sexy. The Best in Show Concours de Sport went to a pristine 1932 Alfa Romero 8C 2300 Zagato Spider. Its dark maroon finish left the judges and I drooling.
As we left the show, eleven bright-colored 2015 Lamborghinis passed us in the opposite direction. I described them as a pack of skittles rolling down the street. This car show was the epitome of any car show in the world. I loved it and I surely hope to make it a tradition to come to the Ritz-Carlton every March!
Click A Photo To View It Full Size
About The Author
When I was just seven years old I started judging at the world-renowned Greenwich Concours d’Elegance. Since then I have become a regular contributing author to the Classic Car Club of America New England Region magazine and I have been published nationally on multiple occasions. I am now fifteen and on the board of advisors for the Classic Car Club of America NER. From Amelia Island to the Boston Cup I have attended many car shows, tours and events along with helping in the process of planning the Classic New England CARavan for this coming September. I look forward to one day owning my very own classic and I hope to enter my vehicle in one of the various events I have attended throughout my childhood. E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org