The Amelia Island Concours, dubbed as one of the most breath-taking events in the US attracted an estimated crowd of 20,000 with a line-up of 300 classic cars. This incredible show at the northeast end of Florida that entered its 17th annual show had upped a notch since last year, making it a strong contender to the already established Pebble Beach Concours. The event showcased classics like the Shelby Cobra, the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO, custom coachwork Cadillacs, experimental Corvettes as well as cars that won the 24 hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.
Amelia Island Concours is more generous in dishing out awards in comparison to its Pebble Beach counterpart, presenting two main trophies instead of just one. The Bugatti Type 57 (one of just three in the world) took the Concours d’Elegance award; while a 1962 Ferrari 330 LM claimed the Concours de Sport award.
JACKSONVILLE, FL (March 13, 2012) – The 1938 Bugatti Type 57 and the 1962 Ferrari 330 LM took home the Best In Show honors on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at the 17th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, which attracted about 23,000 spectators and 295 vehicles.
The coveted Concours d’Elegance award went to the stunning 1938 Bugatti Type 57, owned by the Off Brothers Collection from Richland, Mich. One of only three surviving Aravis Drophead Coupes bodied by Gangloff, this green Type 57 arrived in the U.S. in 1961 and was fully restored in 2009. Bugatti produced the Type 57 between 1934 and 1939, ceasing production of the world’s fastest stock production car shortly after the beginning of WWII.
The rare 1962 Ferrari 330 LM, or “3765” GTO, owned by Jim Jaeger from Indian Hill, Ohio took home the Concours de Sport award. The 330 GTOs were Ferrari’s in-house hot rods: prototype Grand Touring cars with four-liter V-12 engines instead of the GTO’s traditional 3-liter V-12. Just two were built – a cross between a pure prototype and a road-going Grand Touring car. Assigned to Ferrari Engineer and racer Mike Parkes and factory F1 and sports car ace Lorenzo Bandini, Jim Jaeger’s 4-liter GTO appears as it did on June 23, 1962 when gridded seventh at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The very best in classic car pageantry displays also included the 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe that helped unseat Ferrari as World GT Champion and the sleek 1929 Duesenberg J-108 Convertible Coupe that played a role in the classic move The Gay Divorcee. Several other star cars were seen, including Rita Hayworth’s Ghia-bodied Cadillac, a Duesenberg once owned by Ginger Rogers, Natalie Wood’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster and Tom Mix’s custom Cord 812 roadster.
“Every year I’m amazed at the extraordinary vehicles I see grace the field, and this year was no different,” said Dick Messer, former Director of The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. “Both winners are perfect examples of style and sport and are very deserving of their awards. I congratulate the judges on their stunning choices.”
Cars that graced the covers of Road & Track were on display, as were a selection of cars that won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
This year’s Concours also celebrated the momentous 50th Anniversary of the Ferrari GTO, which was marked by a gathering of twelve impressive vehicles on the show field.
Rally and road racing champion “Quick” Vic Elford served as the 2012 honoree, greeting attendees throughout the weekend. He also took part in the Great Endurance Drivers Seminar alongside other legendary drivers such as Sam Posey, Hurley Haywood, Brian Redman, Jim Hall, Gerard Larrousse, Joe Buzzetta, David Hobbs, Vic Elford, and Derek Bell.
Ferrari and Cobra fans were also treated to the unprecedented Cobra vs. Ferrari: the Battle for the World Championship for Sports Cars seminar on Friday, where Ferrari racing engineer Mauro Forghieri, Shelby Cobra Championship driver, Bob Bondurant, and Cobra Daytona Coupe designer Peter Brock, discussed one of motorsports’ most bitter rivalries.
Some of the world’s most prominent corporate, public and private collections had displays at the event, including Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. BMW also held the North American Debut of its new 6 Series Gran Coupe four-door coupe during the weekend.
Plans for the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance are already underway and the event is scheduled to be held on March 8-10, 2013 10th and the 18th Fairways of the Golf Club Amelia Island at Summer Beach adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.