A Look Back & Ahead: Amelia Concours d’Elegance

Renowned for displaying some of the rarest automobiles from around the globe, Amelia’s show was acquired by Hagerty in early summer 2021.

Remembering The Show’s Debut In 1996. And The New Owner Fueling Its Future.

The Amelia Concours d’Elegance showcases some of the rarest and unusual collector automobiles from around the world. For those who might be unaware of a change in ownership, the Amelia Concours d’Elegance was acquired in 2021 by Hagerty.

A global automotive lifestyle brand, Hagerty is the world’s largest provider of specialty insurance for enthusiast vehicles. Based in Michigan, the company also has offices in the UK and Canada. The Amelia Concours d’Elegance (A.K.A. “The Amelia”), was just one of the acquisitions made by Hagerty this year, adding to its premier and growing portfolio of events, experiences, publications, and integrated membership products.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance ownership change was announced in late June 2021. Bill Warner, chairman and founder of the event, “will remain as Chairman Emeritus,” and Hagerty will work with the Concours’ existing operational team to expand the annual event, according to a news release.

Local Economic Impact — Amelia Concours #1 Event

The Amelia Concours d’Elegance and associated activities brings around 25,000 people to the island, including overnight visitors for multiple days. It has the biggest financial impact of any event held each year on this northeast Florida barrier island. The economic impact of the “The Amelia” locally for the last two years has been estimated as follows (according to studies by Research Data Services, Inc.): $26.4 million for the May 2021 event (even with less attendance by international visitors due to pandemic travel restrictions). The previous Amelia Concours held in early March 2020 brought in an estimated $30 million.

Car Enthusiasts, Amelia Island
Amelia Concours 2021 -- A sea of fans washes across golf course. Photo by AmeliaIslandLiving.com
Amelia Concours d’Elegance (Photo May 23, 2021)

From its birth over a quarter century ago in 1996 (when 2,200 attended its debut), “The Amelia,” has earned a glowing global reputation. Take a trip down memory lane. Watch video further below of the very first Amelia Concours d’Elegance in 1996.

“Protecting The Future Of Car Culture”

“The Amelia’s” sale was announced by Hagerty in a news release, stating:

“Our objective is to knit the enthusiast community together in a way that supports and protects the future of car culture. Amelia Island is synonymous with Concours and motorsports heritage due to the steadfast efforts of Bill Warner and his team.
We are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to build upon and scale Bill’s vision.”

McKeel Hagerty, Chief Executive Officer

* NEWS UPDATE * Big news about Hagerty came from Wall Street on August 18, 2021. The new owner of “The Amelia” is going public via SPAC during 4Q21 in a deal valued at $3.13 billion. Ticker symbol expected to be (HGTY:NYSE).

LOOK BACK IN TIME — Show’s debut in 1996 (by MotorWeek)

Kudos to Warner and his staff, along with the hundreds of volunteers required to pull off this event each year, an enormous effort as it grew in size through the years. Together, this team successfully created an exceptional experience for car enthusiasts here at the Florida-Georgia border. Besides presenting an amazing show, the Amelia Concours d’Elegance Foundation has raised over $4 million for charities since its beginning.

Amelia’s 27th Annual Show — March 3-6, 2022

In 2022, the 27th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled to return to its usual month, happening March 3-6, 2022.

This Year’s “Star Car” At The 2021 Show

Always popular on the show field are the readily recognizable cars from movies. In 2021, the silvery screen star appearing here was the world-famous DeLorean from the 1985 blockbuster hit, “Back To The Future.”

DeLorean, "Back To The Future" car displayed on Amelia Island, Florida. Concours d'Elegance Facebook photo.
Amelia Concours d’Elegance Facebook photo (5/22/2021)

The car, still owned by Universal Studios, was protected in a “jewel box,” at the May 2021 Amelia Concours. What does the future hold for “The Amelia” event under its new owner, Hagerty? Like fans waiting for a hit movie’s sequel, we’ll just have to wait and see.

More About “The Amelia”

For newcomers to Amelia Island and others unfamiliar with this Florida event, the Concours is a dazzling display held at the Golf Club of Amelia. The golf course is adjacent to the island’s Ritz-Carlton, the event’s founding sponsor. Some of the big events (such as RM Sotheby’s auction and special workshops), are held inside the Ritz-Carlton and tented outside on the hotel’s oceanfront lawn. Normally a March event each year, the Amelia Concours was postponed in 2021 by two months (since COVID-19 vaccines were rolling out), and instead happened in late May.

Amelia Island Auctions

Those who are familiar with Concours Week have become accustomed to the astounding price tags achieved at various auctions held by some of the world’s top auctioneers on Amelia Island.

The record for a single car sold on Amelia Island was back in March 2016 when a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider fetched over $17 million (by Gooding & Company).

RM Sotheby’s has the longest auction history on Amelia Island, the original auctioneer. Then others followed, including Gooding & Company (auction held at Omni Amelia Island, A.K.A. Amelia Island Plantation), and Bonhams (held at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport).

Free Amelia Concours Events

Plenty of day trippers also arrive on Amelia Island to experience various events. Besides the ticketed events, there are several excellent free events that are very popular, such as Cars & Coffee at the Concours (at Golf Club of Amelia), sponsored by Hagerty.

Plus Reliable Carriers’ Eight Flags Road Tour, featuring a selection of Concours-registered vehicles, a free admission display along Centre Street in downtown Fernandina.

Concours d’Lemons, Main Beach (Free Event)

Another free event is a “bad cars, good fun,” show, the Concours d’Lemons at Fernandina’s Main Beach (read related article), sponsored by Hagerty. (Photos from the 2021 event shown below).

These three free outdoor events offer opportunities to browse vehicles of the past and mingle with other car enthusiasts, shows that can be enjoyed by families together with zero admission cost.

Mark Calendars For “The Amelia” 2022 Event

For car lovers who’ve never been on Amelia Island during the Concours events, it’s a trip for the bucket list. Next year the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will return to its regular month of March in 2022, happening March 3-6, 2022. Do plan ahead, since this northeast Florida barrier island’s room inventory (resorts, hotels, bed & breakfasts, condos, villas and beach cottages), is usually booked out well in advance of Concours Week.

More About Sale Of The Amelia Concours

Heritage Capital Group, Sell-Side Advisor

A professional valuation of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance licensed brand and its Foundation was completed pre-sale. Heritage Capital Group, Inc., an investment banking and financial advisory firm serving middle-market and emerging growth companies in the USA and worldwide, served as exclusive sell-side advisor to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“When I founded The Concours, I wanted to infuse the calm, traditional Concours environment with the energy of motorsports. We achieved that and raised more than $4 million for charity along the way… in Hagerty, we have a passionate and highly-skilled team that will bring these themes to a larger audience.”

Bill Warner (Heritage Capital Group news release 7-8-2021)