Florida in March has much to offer to us enthusiasts. It also can be unpredictable when it comes to weather. Such was the case last weekend as we attended the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. What began as a small motorsports reunion has evolved into a week of automotive overload on Florida’s Northern-most island.
Leading up to the main event that normally happens on Sunday, we arrived at the Porsche Werks Reunion on Friday. It is among the largest Porsche shows in the world, and we saw everything from a new 911 GT3 Touring to a 918 Spyder. This daily driver arrived with beach sand in the rear diffuser and it took us by surprise with an electric cruise of the fairway. Our booth was located alongside Festivals of Speed, and we helped spread the news about their upcoming events.
Porsche Club of America organized the event, and they had awards for several classes. Local resident racer Hurley Haywood was on-hand to promote his new book, and Porsche’s first race car was on display. The long-lost LeMans winner wears #46, and it took the 1,100 cc win for its class in 1951. Awards were handed out around 3 pm, so we turned our attention to preparing our booth for Saturday’s Festivals of Speed.
As we built our booth overlooking the Amelia River, we learned that Sunday’s main event would be moved to Saturday due to impending rain. It was a flashback to last year when, for the first time, the show was moved ahead due to weather. This meant that our Motor Expo location and our Hospitality Pavillion had to be built concurrently. Our newest display partner has been Moke America, and their intrepid electric cruisers proved to be perfect to transfer personnel and supplies across the island. Once the essentials were in place, it was parked on the driving range next to a new Lamborghini Aventador S from Fields Motorcars of Orlando.
Our headquarters was inside a new AirStream Interstate because they are unmatched in luxury and fuel efficiency. Bruiser Conversions arrived with two new LS-powered Jeeps, so we decided to split them between Motor Expo and the Festivals of Speed. The driving range was also prepped for a Cars & Coffee.
Once Motor Expo was in order, we turned our attention to the Ritz-Carlton hotel and our VIP pavilion. From our raised tent, we could see the cars being placed and new grandstands being assembled. Carroll Shelby’s Cobra III and Mercedes-AMG’s Project One were moved to the main entry gate. The focus of this year’s event was the racing history of Emerson Fittipaldi along with a gathering of Ferrari Daytonas. We couldn’t spend too much time drooling over so much history because Festivals of Speed would be the first event of Saturday.
The Omni Amelia Island Plantation is also home to the Gooding & Company auction, which allowed us to see $35 Million worth of classics & exotics find new owners. It also offered a perfect venue for the Festivals of Speed, with the 9th fairway overlooking the river.
The big JK Crew from Bruiser Conversions towered over everyone else on the field. Custom Crafted Cars brought two flavors of the Vaydor supercar, their main attraction was a customized ride for Shaq. If your McLaren needs 1,200 horsepower, Hypercar Development arrived with the latest in twin turbo technology.
Back over at the Ritz-Carlton, the Concours was one for the record books. Over 300 cars and motorcycles were divided into 35 classes. Judges were evenly divided, so top honors went to a 1929 Duesenberg Convertible and a 1963 Ferrari 250/275P.
Gallery by DeremerStudios.com
Emerson Fittipaldi’s winning cars included a 1970 Lotus, 1974 McLaren, 1974 Porsche 911 RSR Iroc, and a 1977 Camaro Iroc. It is an unlikely combination that will probably never be seen again, so we’ll have more photos and auction results here in the coming days. A big thanks to Bill Warner, the chairman and founder of the Amelia Island Concours, and Joe Sabatini, founder, and owner of Festivals of Speed. See you next year on Amelia Island!