Highlights of March 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

AN EVENT THAT DELIVERS THE WOW FACTOR: Tickets are on sale for Amelia Island’s signature March event, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, a rare collector car show recognized as one of the best of its kind in the world. Plan to be on Amelia Island this spring for this sensational glimpse of automotive history. March 9 – 11, 2012 at the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton and Golf Club of Amelia at Summer Beach.

Jaeger's GTO Featured At 2012 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Photo by Dave Wendt.
Jaeger's GTO Featured At 2012 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Photo by Dave Wendt.

You don’t have to be a car buff to love this Amelia Island event!

Plan to be on Amelia Island this spring for a sensational glimpse of automotive history, an event that delivers “the wow factor” every year.

Tickets are on sale for Amelia Island’s signature annual event, the legendary Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, a rare collector car show recognized as one of the best of its kind in the world. The seaside show grounds are the beautiful fairways of the Golf Club Amelia at Summer Beach, adjacent to the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton, with this year’s event being held March 9-11, 2012.

“The Amelia” is a celebration of the automobile like no other featuring classic cars from private collections, motorcycles, hot rods, and race cars. With a glowing reputation, it’s this unique mix of rare and significant motor vehicles that lures crowds of enamored fans (over 20,000 attended last year).

“It’s a time when this seductive sea island in northeast Florida is host to some of the most extraordinary collector autos in the world, as well as some of the fastest race cars and their famous drivers. People have their life story, and so do cars of this caliber. Warner and his staff do an exceptional job giving these cars personality. They are brought to life on the show field and covered in the program magazine with interesting anecdotes and historical detail, honoring cars and drivers who hold a special place in history. Legendary motor vehicles that marked milestones and astounded generations of past eras (some the subject of Hollywood movies) are displayed on Amelia Island for this annual March event.” Quote from Amelia Island Living’s review covering last year’s show,“Man’s Passion and Dreams Personified on Amelia Island.” Read more about the experience and see photo galleries of last year’s Amelia Concours event.

TOURIST TIP: For those needing overnight accommodations, realize that this event typically means the island’s hotels, B & Bs, and resort rentals are SOLD OUT in advance of the event weekend, so book a room as soon as possible. The main show is Sunday, March 11, 2012 with discounted  price of  $50 by purchasing tickets online in advance (or pay $60 on show day). Youth tickets are $25 (12-18) and kids under 12 are free with an adult ticket purchase. SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR ACTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL — $25 (with ID) plus $25 each for their accompanying immediate family members. All tickets include an official program.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2012 AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE HAPPENING MARCH 9-11, 2012:

–Legendary Hollywood star cars once belonging to Natalie Wood, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth and Tom Mix to be on Amelia Island along with around 250 other vintage collector automobiles.

— The Amelia Concours selects a member of racing’s greatest as its Honoree each year. The 2012 honoree coming to Amelia Island for the event is rally and endurance racing legend, Vic Elford. Additionally, American racer Sam Posey will be a guest of honor.

— “The Amelia” event in 2012 features Ferrari GTOs and Custom Coachwork Cadillacs.

ABOUT THE SHOW’S MARQUE CAR — Jim Jaeger took possession of a prototype GTO “3765” in 1985 and began a historically fastidious restoration. Once he had obtained the car’s original 4-liter V-12 engine block, Jaeger returned the car to its original 1962 Le Mans livery. Today “3765” wears the number seven, just as it did 50 years ago at Le Mans on June 23, 1962. “This is our ‘marque car’,” said Amelia Concours founder and Chairman Bill Warner. “It’s the car on our website and, with its deep and pronounced hood bulge, the most recognizable and voluptuous of the GTO breed.” Jaeger’s GTO is one of the first two four-liter GTOs built by the Ferrari factory. “Ferrari fans will want to arrive early to hear ‘3765’ drive onto the field,” said Warner. “The four-liter GTOs have a deep, sharp, bark to them, not the soft muffled exhaust of the three-liter GTOs. It’s a sound few race fans have heard and no one will ever forget.”

— Keeping the tradition alive of featuring unique and rarely seen “star cars,” the radical rear engine Corvette XP-819, a controversial experiment in its day, can be seen on this northeast Florida barrier island the weekend of March 9-11, 2012.

— The Porsche 917K that won a lopsided victory in the 1970 24 Hours of Daytona will appear at the 17th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance as part of the salute honoring the Daytona 24 Hours’ 50th anniversary.

The Most Successful Cobra Coupe To Appear, Celebrating Cobra’s 50th Anniversary. Just six Cobra Daytona Coupes were constructed for the 1964 and 1965 World Championship racing season. They were hand built tools to do a specific job: win the World Championship for America and Cobra creator Carroll Shelby. He came close in 1964, but was out maneuvered by Enzo Ferrari who lobbied to have the final race of the 1964 season cancelled. A move that beat Shelby’s Cobra’s by default. That prompted Cobra creator Shelby, a hard man who never minces words, to issue the infamous quote, “Next year, Ferrari’s ass is mine.” Shelby was good to his word. Roger Miller’s Cobra Daytona Coupe is the actual car – CSX2299 — that led the charge that unseated Ferrari as World GT Champion. It will be part of the “36 Hours of Florida Class” at the 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. [/box]

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation has also announced that the late Natalie Wood’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL is one of many competitors in the 17th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance March 9 -11, 2012 in northeast Florida. The car, pictured below, will be featured in the 300SL class honoring the 60th anniversary of the first Mercedes-Benz Le Mans win in 1952.

Natalie Wood's Mercedes to be at Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Photo by Terri Henning.
Natalie Wood's Mercedes 300SL to be at Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Photo by Terri Henning.

ELITE AUTO AUCTIONS ALSO TAKE PLACE DURING AMELIA CONCOURS WEEKEND

RM Auctions has announced an exceptional roster of automobiles for its Amelia Island sale, March 10, 2012 in Northeast Florida. Returning to the Ritz-Carlton hotel, the well-established sale (now in its 14th year), will present 100 blue-chip automobiles. Last year, RM Auctions generated a remarkable $24.3 million at the one day Amelia Island auction with 96% of lots sold – the highest tally ever achieved during the event’s history. The 2012 event promises to continue the momentum with a stellar list of early entries, including a handsome 1934 Packard Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria and a stunning 1929 Cord L-29 Hayes Coupe. Both are considered the ultimate in “Classic Era” design, rarity, and desirability.  See RM Auction’s featured Amelia Island automobiles in 2012 here.

Gooding & Company auction house has announced a few early consignments for its 2012 Amelia Island Auction being held at Omni Amelia Island Plantation on Friday, March 9, 2012. Investors and collectors will be able to bid on a sophisticated 1953 Fiat 8V Zagato (estimate $750,000 – $900,000), a matching-numbers 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing (estimate $700,000 – $900,000) with factory-installed Rudge wheels, an impressive 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 (estimate $275,000 – $350,000) and a concours-restored 1947 Ford Sportsman (estimate $225,000 – $275,000). Last year, Gooding & Company’s one day Amelia Island auction brought in $17.9 million.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Amelia Island’s signature annual event and see some of the rarest vehicles in the world in a gorgeous seaside setting! Make plans to be on Amelia Island this spring for a marvelous glimpse of automotive history. For complete information, the 3-day event schedule including special seminars, and to purchase tickets online, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027.

Since its inception in 1996 the Concours’ Foundation has donated nearly $1.8 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other charities on Florida’s First Coast.

Are you on FACEBOOK? Connect with Amelia Island Living eMagazine’s FACEBOOK fan page to keep up with news and recent photos. Follow on TWITTER, “Florida32034.”

By W.B. Lawson

"PERSPECTIVE" column -- Observations of island life, news & opinion.