Automotive treasure comes ashore for Amelia Concours Week each year in March. The collector auto inventory clustered on this small barrier island may be more valuable than any other spot on the Eastern Seaboard (perhaps in the nation). Plus, the automotive history of these cars — representing ingenuity, legends, hard work and dreams — some would call “priceless.”
Several of the top Concours Week events are highlighted further below, including three FREE events open to the public, offering opportunity to see some splendid cars.
Vintage Vehicles Vs. Oceanfront Real Estate
The value of a single collector car can surpass (sometimes by three times, or more), Amelia Island’s highest priced oceanfront estate. At this writing (Feb. 26, 2018), the island’s highest priced home listed for sale is $4.9 million. With a spectacular, panoramic oceanfront view, this seaside home features nearly 6,000 square feet, 7 bathrooms, all the interior upgrades you can imagine, and heated pool with spa beside the seashore.
By comparison, the pre-auction estimates of the two priciest cars that will be offered at auction during Amelia Concours Week 2018 are:
A 1974 Porsche 911 RSR2 Turbo, with pre-sale estimate of $6 to $8 million. The other is a 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series 1 Coupe, estimated to be sold for $5 to $6 million during the Amelia Island sale (both cars featured by Gooding & Company).
The 1974 Porsche 911 RSR2 Turbo is being featured on the cover of Octane Magazine (April 2018 issue).
The 911 RSR2 Turbo kickstarted a generation of forced induction Porsche racing and road cars. Read about this…
Barn Treasure Found
Imagine peering into a dusty, neglected garage to discover a cache of parked investment-class cars, inside for over 26 years. Such was the dream scene, featured on an episode of the Hagerty show, “The Barn Find Hunter.” Inside a North Carolina garage (a property that had been “condemned”), was one of the “Top 10” lots to be auctioned on Amelia Island in March 2018, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Long Nose Alloy (pre-sale estimate $2.5 – $3.25 million). Also in the garage was a 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 (pre-sale estimate $1 – $1.3 million), plus other valuable cars as well.
“Record” Setting Sale
But the previous values noted above don’t even come close to a previous sale here, one rare Ferrari that fetched a mind-boggling $17 million-plus on Amelia Island, setting a worldwide record at the time, for auctioneer Gooding & Company (their highest sale ever at that time back in 2016).
Blue Chip Cars By The Blue-Hued Sea
Hundreds of rare, collector, investment-class vehicles arrive here in March each year. And quite a few sell for over a million each. At the 2018 Amelia Island sale, Gooding & Company is offering 16 cars expected to fetch $1 million-plus, and RM Sotheby’s is auctioning another 10 or 11 also anticipated to go for more than a million. (UPDATE: RM Sotheby’s auction date changed to Friday, March 9, 2018 at 3 pm due to inclement weather.)
Read about the top events of Amelia Concours Week below, starting with three free events enjoyed by the public.
Popular, Free Events
RM Sotheby’s Auction Preview at Ritz-Carlton — Thurs., March 8, 2018 (10 am to 8 pm). Preview (free admission) some amazing vehicles to be offered for sale over the weekend at the official auction of the Amelia Concours d’Elegance. 2018 is the 20th Anniversary of RM’s presence here. Some of the cars are tented on lawn at the oceanfront where one can feel a sea breeze and also enjoy lovely view of the dunes and beach.
Downtown Fernandina Display — Fri., March 9, 2018
Reliable Carriers Eight Flags Road Tour features a selection of Amelia Concours d’Elegance collector vehicles. Departing from The Ritz-Carlton main driveway around 8 am on Friday, March 9th, the tour stops at various points on (and near) Amelia Island and concludes with a public display in downtown Fernandina Beach (free admission). It’s around a two-hour opportunity to see some of these rare beauties while wandering around Centre Street. The vehicles will be parked along Centre while their drivers enjoy lunch. Typically, the cars begin to arrive downtown between 11:30 am and noon (pictured above as they arrived and turned onto Centre Street, during a previous year’s event). The vehicles then depart downtown around 1:30 to 2 pm. (This event is Concours registered vehicles only).
Cars & Coffee at the Concours — Sat., March 10, 2018
(Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm) Over 450 classic and exotic cars from local area car clubs and car enthusiasts will be displayed, presented by Heacock Classic Insurance (free admission).
For collector car enthusiasts, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is springtime’s signature automotive event. Two-time winner of the prestigious International Historic Motoring Awards, “The Amelia” features more than 300 rare vehicles from seldom-seen private collections around the world held at The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton. NEWS UPDATE 3/7/2018: The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, traditionally held Sunday, has been moved up one day to Saturday, March 10, 2018 due to a rainy forecast for Sunday. Yes, same thing happened last year in 2017. Now in its third decade, it is the centerpiece of an island-wide celebration that has become known as Amelia Concours Week.
Main Show, Concours Tickets
Since this charitable event was founded back in 1996, “The Amelia” ticket prices and attendance have soared, commensurate with the growth of its glowing global reputation for excellence. Its Foundation has donated $3.2 million over the years to various charities.
This year’s 2018 Honoree is two-time Formula One World Championship and Indianapolis 500 winner, Emerson Fittipaldi. “The Amelia’s” honored classic in 2018 is Auburn. Also being celebrated are the Jaguar E-Type and Porsche Carrera, along with Cars of Martini Racing, Ferrari Daytona’s 50th Anniversary class, pioneers of electric cars, and more. Eight cars of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, an “all-star team of his wildest creations; a rolling memorial to a man who was part of an American cultural movement,” are also to be featured. Also happening from Thursday through Saturday are a variety of live and silent auctions, ride and drive experiences, seminars, luxury car displays, automobilia vendors, gala dinners and cocktail receptions.
Tickets purchased at Sunday’s main show, the Concours d’Elegance, are $120 per adult. However, purchase tickets in advance for discount, $95 per adult, available locally at the Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce (cash only), 961687 Gateway Blvd., Ste. 101G, Fernandina Beach, or at the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (credit card only), 102 Centre St, Fernandina Beach. Also, buy tickets before the event at the Ritz-Carlton’s retail shop from March 8th to 9th. There are also six Jacksonville car dealerships to buy advance tickets (cash only), see Jax dealers list here.
Amelia Island’s five car auctions are presented by RM Sotheby’s, March 9th at the Ritz-Carlton, as well as by Bonhams (March 8, 2018), Gooding & Company (March 8-9), Motostalgia, and Hollywood Wheels.
Amelia Considered “Market Barometer”
Want to see the auto inventory for sale, featured in five separate sales happening on Amelia Island? There’s an app full of eye candy to be devoured by car lovers, check out the “Hagerty Insider” app for iOS. You can also get the auction outcome “in real time” with the app. Learn more about overall conditions of the collector car market and the “Top 10” rare autos being auctioned on Amelia Island during Concours Week 2018. Read related Hagerty article “Your 2018 Amelia Island Market Preview” (March 5, 2018).
It’s an interesting time for island residents. Locals often spot head-turning autos cruising around. And it’s hard not to notice the huge crowds that converge here. This Florida barrier island may be small, but the spirit of car enthusiasts gathered here is huge, and island hotels and restaurants full. Do be prepared for lots of rubbernecking and traffic.
While some owners drive their classic autos onto the island, others hire professionals. Many of these high-priced cars transported for either the auctions or for the main Concours d’Elegance event, arrive in tractor trailers. Peter’s Point beachfront parking lot is packed with trailers during the event, and other places, as well. (One of the challenges of attending the variety of popular events during Concours Week is parking — be prepared to pay for parking and ready to walk some distances).
Amelia Island’s Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport is typically lined with private jets, dropping off automotive industry executives, sometimes celebrities, and high-end car buyers and sellers. More jets are seen here this week than any other time of the year. Public parking (fee) for the Concours typically is offered at the Municipal Airport, with shuttle to the event area.
For further info about the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, see their website. Also, see more info about additional Concours Week events.