You know how stores or restaurants sometimes hang banners outside that read “Under New Management?” The Amelia, as the landmark concours in northeast Florida is now formally known, is too classy a happening for that. But last weekend’s edition marked the first under the ownership of Hagerty, the Traverse City, Michigan, conglomerate that markets specialty insurance products and a lot more than that. There was all the traditional Amelia Island beauty you’d expect plus some new stuff, with new sponsors, including the Saturday program now called Cars & Community, which incorporate the RADwood showing of underappreciated cars and in the same spirit of unserious fun, the Concours d’Lemons. But one thing will never change, and that’s The Amelia’s ability to put the very best on its show field.
The 215 cars that took to the Ritz-Carlton greens for Sunday judging were, as always, fabulous. Among the noted automobiles taking part were one of the first three Porsches to race at Le Mans, and one of the most influential hot rods in history, the Doane Spencer roadster owned by collector Bruce Meyer, which anchored the 1932 Ford specialty category. But this event photo captures the pinnacle, The Amelia’s dual Best of Show winners, one each for road and race cars. Among road cars, the highest award went to the 1934 Duesenberg J-531 displayed by Harry Yeaggy of Cincinnati, Ohio. One of the final Duesenbergs produced, this LaGrande Convertible Coupe was originally built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, the General Mills cereal heiress. Among race cars – officially, The Amelia calls it the Concours de Sport – the top honor’s recipient was the 2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R displayed by the Jackson Collection, of Ellicott City, Maryland. Fabricated by Wayne Taylor Racing and packing a 5.5-liter Cadillac racing V-8 with 600 horsepower on tap, the prototype scored the overall win in the 2018 Petit Le Mans before grabbing an outright win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona the following year.