Amazing Amelia

The Amelia Island Concours is far more than a one-day car show. It involves a tour, vendor expositions, seminars with masters of motorsports, a massive informal Cars & Coffee, new car test drives, a handful of auctions, one of the most engaging banquets the old car world has ever known and, new for 2016, vintage racing. The 21st edition of the Jacksonville area concours founded by photographer, vintage racer and retired businessman Bill Warner, was held from March 11-13, 2016.

Many of the usual Concours d’Elegance offerings from the great American and European marques—from Auburn to Voisin populated the gently rolling greens of the Ritz Carlton Golf Course. One of the marque classes for Porsche even accommodated the recently sold psychedelic Janis Joplin 356SC Cabriolet. There were classes for brass, sports cars, several eras of racecars and marque groupings, too.

But the unusual classes are what make the event so special. For 2016, there was a class for the wild Corvette racers fielded by John Greenwood in the 1970s and 1980s. Another class celebrated the career of German endurance great and rain master Hans-Joachim Stuck, while a third marked 100 years of BMW. Yet another incredibly creative grouping included concepts like the Paxton Phoenix and the Studebaker Manta Ray, which were created outside the traditional auto industry.

Yet for many, the most exiting class consisted of 14 wildly exotic Pegasos perched along the edge of the show field. They drew fascinated crowds and considering that only 84 were made and three of the four coachbuilders were represented, it was quite an accomplishment.

For 2016 the weather forecast was threatening. Although the prospect improved with each passing hour, Warner and his team moved up the entire schedule for the concours by several hours. The Cars were on the field early, judges were judging before 8:00am, and with the exception of a few sprinkles, all the cars were safely in their trailers by the time the rain came more than an hour after the 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Town Car and Pegaso Z102 Cupola Coupé won their respective best of show awards, ending a wildly successful weekend in Florida.

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