Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2020 Celebrates 25 Years

March, 2020

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The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (affectionately known as “The Amelia”) has grown from a one-day event, with less than 100 cars, to a multi-day extravaganza showcasing more than 300 rare vehicles from around the world.  On Sunday, March 8, The Amelia celebrated its 25th Anniversary at the Golf Club of Amelia.

The Amelia Island Concours has two Best in Show recipients, one for the best race car on the field (Concours de Sport) and one for the best road car on the field (Concours d’Elegance).   You can’t compare a Duesenberg SJ to a race car.  “It’s like comparing apples to oranges, so we have two Best in Shows, ” said Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of The Amelia. 

Best in Show Winners

A 1929 Duesenberg J-218 Limousine, owned by the Lehrman Collection, Palm Beach, Florida, was crowned  Best in Show Concours d’Elegance.  This distinctive Murphy-bodied Town Limousine has an aluminum roofline that allows the doors to be curved upward into the roof. The most distinctive features of the J-218 were the angled windshield, surrounded by “clear vision” window pillars and the classic Art Deco paint scheme.   It has tool and battery doors,  and vent doors in the hood, rather than louvers.

A 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder, owned by Rob Kauffman of Charlotte, North Carolina, took home the Best in Show Concours de Sport Trophy.  Still the most powerful circuit racing car ever made, it easily achieved speeds of over 200 mph at circuits like Watkins Glen and Riverside. It set a closed course speed record of 221.16 mph at Talladega Superspeedway in 1975, which remains the fastest lap ever recorded on the steeply banked Alabama super speedway. 

For a look back at past Best in Show winners, click here.

Tire Rack: Revolutionizing tire buying since 1979.

Best in Show, Motorcyle

The Best in Show Motorcyle was awarded to a 1956 Ariel Square Mark II, owned by the Shigiel Collection, Miami Beach, FL.  The Ariel Square Four was built between 1931 and 1959 and was one of the most glamorous and best known of the British motorcycles.  The Mark II was produced from 1953 until 1959.  The “four pipe,” 997 cc, 40 hp motor propelled the 425 lb. bike to 100 mph.   The sidecar was described in a 1952 ad as “the new luxurious single-seat sports saloon sidecar that can be fitted with numerous extras, including radio, heater, and sidecar brake.”

Concours Honoree

Roger Penske, racer, team owner, international businessman, and recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was this year’s honoree.

There was a spectacular gathering on the show field of  “Team Penske” race cars, including five of his Indy 500 winning cars.   For a once-in-a-lifetime photo, “The Captain,” as he is widely known, stood next to the Borg-Warner Trophy, with his  impressive fleet of go-fast cars lined up behind him.


Highlights of The Amelia

Take the Belltech Challenge

Other Events of the Weekend

As a warm up to the weekend’s festivities, the Amelia Motoring Film Exhibition, offered a night at the movies at the Amelia Aerodrome, featuring three automotive films:  Blink of an Eye, The Racer, and Four Cam Jam.    Check with Popcorn Octane, organizers of this event, for future film exhibitions.

Cars & Coffee at the Concours

Held on Saturday, prior to Concours day, this car show is where owners of vintage, exotic, and collectible vehicles gather to talk cars, reminisce, and maybe share a cup of coffee or two on the 1st, 10th, and 18th fairways at the Golf Club of Amelia.