Amelia Island sits just off the coast of northern Florida. It has a turbulent and violent history, having changed ownership after battles many times over the last few hundred years. Today, it’s a peaceful place known for a shrimp festival, music festivals, tourism, golf… and the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
At just 13 miles long, it wouldn’t take long for a 1968 Ford GT40 to blast from one end to the other. Of course, a Concours d’ Elegance isn’t about speed or racing, it’s more like a beauty pageant for elegant and rare vehicles.
The Concours last weekend showed off some beautiful machines, with one of the two Best of Show awards going to a true racer.
With more than 300 cars gracing the island’s shores, judges at the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours had the difficult task of not only picking class winners, but also awarding the two Best of Show Winners: Concours d’Elegance and Concours de Sport.
The 2013 Best of Show Concours d’Elegance went to a 1936 Duesenberg SJN. With a 420-horsepower straight-eight supercharged engine, the Duesenberg was one of the most powerful and beautiful cars of the 1930s.
Best of Show Concours de Sport was awarded to a 1968 Ford GT40. Specifically, this is chassis P/1075, which gathered 6 wins in 11 races for the Gulf Oil/J.W. Automotive Engineering team, topped by victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 1968 and 1969. The car was on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum to commemorate its racing success before being sold off to private ownership in 1984.
While the elegant and historic play huge parts in events like the Amelia Island Concours, there’s also room for the just-plain-weird. A post at Autoblog, via Hagerty, showcases some of the strangest examples of automotive oddities on the lawns of Amelia. My favorite is the 1974 Fascination, a truly unique piece of lore from the plains of America. It was supposed to be powered by a propeller, but that never materialized. Just imagine what could have been….
Have you ever been to a Concours d’Elegance? Would you like to attend one?