The Amelia: Classy Classic Cars

The storied Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, in its 29th year, drew some 27,000 car enthusiasts for a four-day celebration of automotive artistry and ingenuity called “The Amelia.” Staged on the lovely grounds of the Golf Club of Amelia Island and the Ritz-Carlton hotel, it culminated in the Sunday display of 275 historically significant vehicles on March . A rain shower partway through the event did not discourage the crowds.

Top honors this year went to a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO and a 1947 Delahaye 135MS Narval Cabriolet. The sleek Ferrari is distinguished by an enormous hood to cover its lengthy V-12 engine. Ferraris, like this one, were built in Northern Italy and exemplify the fine craftsmanship said to date back to medieval armorers. 

These classy road cars were fast, made beautiful noises and are generally thought to have had no performance equal on road or track in their day. As for the Delahaye, it was a “wow” in the ’47 Paris Auto show and remains a “wow” 75 years later. The styling features on its two-toned body exemplify the skill and artistry that distinguish its automotive craftsmen.

Indeed, there was an impressive range of automotive excellence on the field. It ranged from Ford Model Ts to automotive legends built during the thirties. One such late ’30s legend was a red-and-black Bugatti ’57 (denoting engine size). While beautiful to look at, these expensive cars were bought for their mechanics rather than their comfort, and they were sometimes raced.

At the entrance, modern super cars drew appreciative crowds. These low-to-the-ground cars are sleek and visually stunning. They are high-performance cars capable of 200-mph speeds yet designed to be driven on the street. All-out race cars retired from competition were another attraction – thanks to 2024 honoree 

Rick Hendrick, a 14-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion who displayed cars in his collection and cars raced under his banner.

Among the other features of the four-day extravaganza was a “Cars & Community” event held on the show field on Saturday showcasing local car clubs who displayed their automotive best. The four-day show, operated by Hagerty, is a significant fund-raiser for local nonprofits.

The writer and her “car guy” companion have attended the event for many years.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *