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The Amelia Experience
7.4.06. Florida is likely best known by most Brits for its theme parks, oppressive summer humidity and propensity for hurricanes. But aside from such diversions, the ‘Sunshine State’ is also home to one of America’s finest annual concours d’Elegance events.
Hosted by Amelia Island’s swank Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Resort in Nassau County, north of Jacksonville, the prestigious affair entered its second decade in early spring when founder and chairman Bill Warner and his willing band of helpers got together to organize for the eleventh time, what is basically a car show par excellence that financially benefits the Community Hospice of North East Florida.
Hussein 1 was a one-off creation built in 1965 and named after King Hussein of Jordan, who was a great racing enthusiast. It featured a Cooper chassis equipped with a 426 Hemi and developed 525hp
With well over two hundred automotive rarities, collector cars and even a selection of motorcycles assembled on the Golf Club of Amelia Island’s 10th and 18th fairways, there was plenty to peruse, even for the most discerning automobile aficionado.
This 1966 Corvette was delivered to its owner two weeks before the inaugural 24 Hours of Daytona but was converted to race spec in record time and went on to finished fourth in class.
1941 Packard Woodie features new Teak panels after the original ash woodwork was destroyed in an accident in 1947
‘Lone Star JR’, Texan Johnny Rutherford – three-time winner of the famed Indianapolis 500, the last of which was at the wheel of one of Texas oil baron Jim Hall’s revolutionary Chaparral race cars – was the honorary chairman at this get together, and although invitees enjoy three days of activities, Sunday’s event-wrapper is the only time that members of the public are granted access to view the colourful assemblage.
This 1953 Cunningham C-5R is powered by a Chrysler Hemi equipped with four Zenith downdraught carbs and produces 310hp - good enough for 154mph at Le Mans
Buick celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1953 and to mark that milestone introduced their first V8 engine and the Skylark. This Skylark in Reef Blue with blue and ivory leather is fresh out after a recent restoration
Ontario, Canada-headquartered RM Auctions held a sale of classic and collector cars on the Saturday, the event being as successful this year as it was in 2005. Of 105 entries, a grand total of 102 were sold, an excellent result by any standard.
1967 Holman-Moody Ford Honker II developed for the Can-Am series and driven by Paul Newman in the film "Winning"
Honker II is powered by a 351 cu. in. version of a 289 cu. in V8 topped with four downdraught carburettors
A team of sixty-seven judges (alphabetically listed in the informative show catalogue) had a tough task to inspect and appraise the eclectic selection of polished and preened machines parked in serried ranks across the undulating acreage, but with a total of thirty-six on which to pass judgement it was no easy task, even for the large number of moderators. And with prize-giving ceremonies scheduled to kick off in the late morning, there was little time to waste once the vehicles were positioned, entrance for the $45-per-head paying public being from 9am onwards.
1963 Shelby Cobra le Mans which has raced every year from 1963 to 2005 - quite an achievement
1969 Shelby GT500 convertible is one of just 335 models built between 1969/70 and has only 13,250 original miles
The vehicular array covered a diverse spectrum of interests and an age range of a century. There were all manner of steam, turbine, solar, electric, hydrogen and hybrid entries at the invitation-only Sabbath show, a highlight of which was a collection of Stanley Steamers celebrating the centennial speed records attained at Ormond Beach. Incidentally, Stanley, along with Jaguar, comprised the pair of featured marques at this year’s concours.
Zippo creator and founder George Blaisdell had a 1947 Chrysler customised with two huge Zippo lighter replicas stretching above the roofline. This one is a replica of the original car and was built in 1997
Of particular interest to this scribe was a selection of oddball automobiles in the Promotional Vehicles’ class; a giant Zippo lighter and a striped ’30 Cadillac-based boat-like mobile advertisement for Budweiser were particularly appealing, as indeed was a splendidly renovated GM Futurliner (one of a fleet of 12 designed by Harley Earl and built for the company’s Parade of Progress tour in the Fifties,) an example of which sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, in January (as previously reported in DRCReview) for a staggering 4.32 million dollars.
During Prohibition, the brewing giant Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis created a number of promotional vehicles such as this nautical-themed cruiser fitted atop an auto chassis
GM Futureliner bus
The exhibit quality was top notch, the weather rather warm and the whole shebang was extremely well organized – in fact, all the ingredients were present for a splendid day out, the pics hopefully providing more than a hint of the occasion. Roll on number 12…
Story & photos: Andy Willsheer
One-off DuPont Indy Racer from 1930 features straight-eight Coninental power matched to a three-speed Borg Warner transmission.
1968 Shelby Mustang features 428 cu in motor and is one of just fifteen produced with this colour combination
This 1983 March 83G was clocked at 215 mph at Daytona and features 360cu. in. Chevy which develops 720hp
1930 DuPont Boattail Roadster - one of just 625 automobiles built by DuPont Motors Inc between 1929 and 1932