Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

Amelia Island Concours d^Elegance March 2019
During the past two years, the main story surrounding the Amelia Island Concours was the weather and the need to move the event a day back to avoid the downpour. This year, the 24th edition of the annual event, the weather cooperated and the crowds turned out in record numbers.

The Amelia Island Concours is an automotive history lesson and this year's special classes included the Jaguar XK120, mid-engine sportscars, the Mercedes-Benz 500K and 540K, Horseless Carriage High Wheelers, Porsche 962, cars of POSIES, custom Volkswagen coachwork, NHRA Gainesville raceway history, Indy innovation, cars of rock stars, heads of state, and the Ferrari 250 SWB. Additionally, there was a special class for this year's honoree, Jacky Ickx.

The mid-engine category displayed memorable household names including the Lamborghini Miura, DeTomaso Mangusta, Ferrari Dino, and the Ferrari 365 GT4/BB. Also included was the Chevy Corvette XP-897GT, marking its first time on U.S. soil in 45 years. Its timing was very relevant considering Chevrolet is soon to unveil its first production mid-engine Corvette. Not only was the experimental XP-897GT a study in mid-engine design (one of two-mid-engined Corvette prototypes designed by GM Styling Division), it was a test bed for the high revving Wankel Rotary engine which was intended to power all GM passenger cars from 1976. In the end, the rotary Wankel engine proved to be both thirsty and polluting compared to the conventional piston-in-cylinder engine so the simultaneous gasoline shortage and strict Federal emission legislation sealed its fate.

Among the Jaguar XK120 class some well curated examples. The list included an alloy-bodied roadster, one of 242 examples produced. The earlier cars were constructed from aluminum; strong demand saw production switch to steel bodies, which could be built much faster and in greater numbers. Another examples on display was previously owned by Actor Clark Gable. There was a highly modified 'Special' with the work being performed decades ago. It was given a Porsche Speedster windscreen, the fenders were cut out to allow more air to the brakes, and a hood scoop was added along with louvers. The 3.4-liter Jaguar engine was modified and fitted with a McCullough supercharger.

Race cars are not traditionally part of a concours d'Elegance, but they are a part of The Amelia. Several race and sports car classes are among the reoccurring classes. Additional sports and racing car classes this year included the Cars of Ickx, Indy Innovation, Porsche 962, and Gainesville History.

This year, The Amelia celebrated the golden anniversary of the Gainesville Raceway (originally named Gainesville Dragway) which opened in 1969. Over the years it has earned the title of being one of America's greatest and fastest drag racing venues. It has held some of drag racing history's most memorable moments, and it has done so a quarter-mile at a time. A year after its opening, it was added to the NHRA's national event calendar - the Gatornationals. Many records have been set at the Gainesville track; attributed to the track being very straight, at sea level, and the surface is astonishingly grippy. The Amelia celebrated the Gainesville history by displaying dragsters, flip cars, and funny cars.

Racing improves the breed and many important lessons are learned through the successes and failures. Since 1911, many of those lessons have been taught at the Indianapolis 500. This year, The Amelia highlighted mechanical and design advancements that including the mid-engine layout, front-wheel drive, diesel power, and aerodynamics. Best in Class went to the 1934 Duesenberg Cummins Diesel, one of two Cummins powered Duesenbergs built by Clessie Cummins and the Cummins Engine Company for the 1934 Indianapolis 500. It served as a test bed in the origins of the battle between the two stroke diesel engines of General Motors/Detroit Diesel and the four stroke diesel engines Cummins would build. At Indianapolis the car was powered by a two stroke version of the Cummins four-cylinder Model H diesel engine as part of a competition within the company to help determine Cummins' future design architecture. Their other entry in 1934 was an identical Duesenberg powered by a four stroke version of the same engine. The car on display at Amelia qualified 29th and finished 12th with an average speed of 88.566 mph.

The Porsche 962 enjoyed an unprecedented two decade dominance of international prototype racing. Introduced in 1984, it was derived from the earlier-type 956 Coupe that was designed for Europe's World Sportscar Championship Group C. From 1984 through 1991, Porsche built 91 examples of the 962 - 75 of them were built as customer cars. Eleven examples were on display at The Amelia, with chassis number 962-002 being selected as Best in Class. It was a factory 'Werks' car and one of the most historically significant Porsche racing cars of all time. It is the second 962 constructed by the factory and competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship for the Rothmans Porsche factory 'Werks' team. Among its accomplishments was a victory at the 24 Hours of LeMans, driven by Hans Stuck, Derek Bell and Al Holbert.

Recently, Hot Rods have been given prominent real estate at concours events, particularly those created in period. The Amelia continued the Hot Rod Customization trend by showcasing the work of Ken Fenical of Hummelstown, PA, better known as 'POSIES' - his family owned a florist business, and he spelled his nickname in CAPS. Seven examples were on display, each displaying unique creativity, skill and craftsmanship. There were four pre-War Ford Hot Rods, a two-door 1955 Ford Station Wagon, and a pre-War Studebaker. Called the Extremeliner, the Studebaker has an Art Deco style appearance apparently influenced by the mid-1930's Cord 810/812 and Lincoln Zephyr. Additional influence came from Andre Dubonnet's 'Xenia' coupe of 1937. Development work began in 1994 and it took five years to complete. Built around the same time, the Ford Station Wagon was purchased in 1997 as a stock 1955 Ford Ranch Wagon. It was soon transformed into a POSIES Statement named Orange Krisp. The name came from the custom paint mixed by PPG at their labs. Major changes to the wagon include a roof skin from a 1958 Edsel Station Wagon, double Ford Crown Vic side moldings, relocated gas filler door and license plate surrounded and extended headlight brows. POSIES SuperSlide Rear Springs and a Mustang II Fatman Front Stub Kit were used to lower the wagon. A Roush 5.0 RSC Supercharged Coyote engine supplies 600 horsepower to the Ford 9' Rear Axle. The engine is cooled by a Custom Walker Radiator while the passengers are cooled by Vintage Air.

Continuing the idea of 'doing the same thing was boring', The Amelia showcased coachbuilt Volkswagens. Unique and coachbuilt cars are often the staples of the Concours d'Elegance. However, in this context, Volkswagen seems the polar opposite. They were utilitarian and economical people movers, built in high numbers, and were designed to accommodate function - rather than fashion. Creative and enterprising individuals took notice, and over the years have transformed the air-cooled VW chassis into custom cars and creations - more than any other vehicle in the world. The list of craftsman include Rometsch, Dannenhauer & Stauss, Frua, and Hebmuller. The Amelia celebrated their work and creativity by displaying a dozen unique and special vehicles. The list included an enlarged Beetle Taxi, a wrought iron bodied Wedding Beetle, and a mid-engine Karmann-Ghia Type 1 Concept by Ghia. Best in Class went to the Rometsch Beeskow Coupe, the 76th car produced in 1954. In 2017, it was discovered disassembled in Sweden. Since then, the car has been recommissioned, preserved unrestored with the original cosmetics, engine, transmission and interior. The headliner and carpets were the only pieces replaced because they were stored on the concrete floor and rendered unusable.

The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier of the Keller Collection was selected as Best of Show. Just one look at the exquisite and voluptuous lines designed by the brilliant visionary coachbuilders at Sindelfingen and it immediately becomes clear why the 540K Autobahn Kurier was BoS. It is elegant and graceful; rich and simple; styling perfection. It is an excellent example of the use of aerodynamics during the 1930s and 1940s. The name 'Autobahn-Kurier' means 'Streamline Limousine'. These body styles were produced in limited numbers with less than ten examples being constructed.

Galleries
1966 Ford GT40  
1968 Brabham BT26  
1968 Ferrari 312F  
1968 Ford GT40  
1971 Ferrari 312PB  
1975 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33  
1977 Chevrolet IROC Camaro  
1977 Lola T333  
1977 Porsche 936  
1983 Mercedes-Benz 280 GE Rally  
1984 Porsche 962  
1985 Porsche 962  
1985 Porsche 962C  
1986 Porsche 962  
1989 Porsche 962  
1990 Porsche 962C  
1993 Porsche Schuppan 962 CR  
1994 Porsche Dauer 962  
1950 Volkswagen Beetle 1100 Deluxe  
1951 Rometsch Beeskow  
1951 Tempo Matador  
1953 Dannenhauer & Stauss Cabriolet  
1953 Volkswagen Rometsch Taxi  
1954 Dannenhauer & Stauss Cabriolet  
1954 Rometsch Beeskow  
1956 Volkswagen Beetle  
1957 Rometsch Lawrence  
1960 Rometsch Lawrence  
1965 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia Type 1 Concept  
1969 Volkswagen Beetle 1500  
1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K  
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K  
1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K  
1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K  
1929 Ford Hot Rod  
1932 Ford Hot Rod  
1936 Ford Hot Rod  
1937 Ford Hot Rod  
1937 Studebaker Custom  
1955 Ford Station Wagon  
1913 Peugeot L45  
1926 Miller Model 91  
1934 Duesenberg Cummins Diesel  
1946 Kurtis Novi Indy Racer  
1952 Kurtis 500A  
1961 Cooper Kimberly T54  
1963 Watson Indy Roadster  
1965 Lotus Type 38  
1968 Lotus Type 56  
1980 Chaparral Pennzoil 2K-02  
1982 Gurney AAR Eagle Indy Car  
1969 DeTomaso Mangusta  
1969 Lamborghini Miura P400  
1973 Chevrolet Corvette XP-897GT  
1973 Ferrari 246 Dino  
1974 Ferrari 365 GT4/BB  
1959 Ferrari 250 GT Interim  
1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB  
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB  
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB  
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competition  
1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB  
1932 American Austin RatTrap  
1937 Fiat 500 Topolino DragRacer  
1967 Buick Gran Sport Funny Car  
1968 Dunn & Reath Dragster  
1969 Swamp Rat XIII  
1970 Sizzler Dragster  
1973 Dodge Challenger Flip Top Funny Car  
1934 Packard 1104 Super Eight  
1938 Cadillac Series 90  
1941 Cadillac Custom Limousine  
1956 Cadillac Series 75  
1960 Cadillac Series 6700 Fleetwood Seventy-Five  
1998 Cadillac DeVille  
1928 Bentley 4.5 Litre  
1959 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Racer  
1959 MG MGA  
1960 Porsche 356B  
1965 Porsche 356C  
2000 Porsche 911 GT3  
1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy  
1951 Jaguar XK120  
1952 Jaguar XK 120  
1953 Jaguar XK120  
1954 Jaguar XK-120  
1927 Duesenberg Model Y  
1931 Duesenberg Model J Murphy  
1935 Duesenberg Model J  
1935 Duesenberg Model SJ  
1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A  
1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A  
1932 Maybach Zeppelin DS 8  
1933 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A  
1937 Bugatti Type 57SC  
1928 Minerva AF Transformable  
1936 Bugatti Type 57  
1938 Bugatti Type 57C  
1947 Delahaye Type 175 S  
1948 Delahaye 135 M  
1949 Delahaye 135M  
1951 Ferrari 212 Export  
1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT  
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Speciale  
1958 Ferrari 250 GT  
1959 Ferrari 250 GT  
1903 Holsman Type 3  
1907 Success Model B  
1908 International Model 1-E  
1908 Sears Model J  
1909 International Harvester Model A  
1910 Palmer 6-60  
1910 Thomas Flyer K6-70  
1911 Packard Model 30  
1911 Stanley Steamer  
1912 Fiat Type 55  
1913 Locomobile Model M 48  
1913 Stevens Duryea Model C  
1914 Benz 18/45  
1924 Delage GL  
1929 AC Acedes-Magna  
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre  
1930 Bentley Speed Six  
1932 Lancia Artena  
1934 Bentley 3.5-Liter  
1934 Lancia Belna Eclipse  
1938 Mercedes-Benz 170VS  
1938 Peugeot 402 Darlmat Pourtout  
1917 Locomobile Model 48  
1918 Locomobile Model 38  
1921 Kissel Model 6-45  
1927 Pierce Arrow Model 80  
1929 Pierce Arrow Model 125  
1929 Stearns Model H8-90  
1930 Cadillac Series 452A V16  
1930 Cord L-29  
1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight  
1931 Cord L-29  
1931 Auburn Model 8-98 A  
1931 Cadillac 452A V-16  
1931 Packard Model 840 DeLuxe Eight  
1932 Packard Model 904 DeLuxe Eight  
1933 Cadillac 452C V16  
1935 Packard 1204 Super Eight  
1935 Pierce Arrow Model 840  
1936 Cadillac Series 90  
1936 Packard Model 1401 Eight  
1937 Chrysler Imperial Series C-14  
1937 Cord 812  
1938 Lincoln Model K  
1938 Packard 1604 Super Eight  
1939 Packard 1703 Super Eight  
1940 Packard Super 8 160  
1941 Cadillac Series 62  
1942 Packard Super-8 One-Sixty  
1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 220a Series  
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing  
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL  
1966 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL  
1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE  
1948 Chevrolet Fleetline  
1948 Tucker 48  
1949 Cadillac Series 62  
1953 Buick Series 70 Roadmaster  
1956 Continental Mark II  
1957 Cadillac Series 62  
1957 Continental Mark II  
1957 DeSoto Fireflite  
1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car  
1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham  
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz  
1959 Pontiac Bonneville  
1963 Studebaker Avanti  
1925 Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6  
1927 Amilcar Model CGSS  
1929 Bentley 6½-Liter  
1929 Mercedes-Benz SS  
1930 Bentley Speed Six  
1937 BMW 328  
1938 Bugatti Type 57  
1948 Simca Gordini T15 Grand Prix  
1951 Porsche 356  
1952 Allard J2  
1952 Nash Healey LeMans Lightweight  
1954 Osca MT4  
1954 Stanguellini 750 Sport Internazionale