Every year, car enthusiasts from around the globe gather at Amelia Island, Florida to witness an incredible assortment of automobiles take the stage at various shows throughout the weekend. This year’s shows were exceptionally memorable- and for unexpected reasons. For the past couple of months, the car world has been plagued with headlines about major car gatherings getting postponed or cancelled altogether.
Annual events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, Geneva International Motor Show, and the Monaco Grand Prix have been cancelled for the first time in decades. Other organizations such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este have followed by postponing until the fall season. Taking this all in, the Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance may have been the first and final global car gathering of the year.
My weekend at Amelia Island this year began with the Porsche themed Werks Reunion on Friday. Hundreds of legendary Porsches from every generation were displayed on the links of the Amelia River Golf club. Walking around, it was obvious that there was a P-car for everyone’s taste. One of the first cars that piqued my interest was a 2018 991 GT2RS. Finished in a rare $65,000 Exclusive Manufaktur paintjob called Urban Bamboo Chromaflair, this car was cited as being the most highly optioned GT2RS to leave the factory. On the other end of the spectrum sat an all original and unrestored 1957 356 Carrera GT with a race derived four-cam engine. As the daylong event came to an end, it was time to explore the island, settle down, and take a peek at the auction previews for the rest of the day. Saturday morning marked another run of the annual Cars and Coffee, which featured hundreds of cars sat on the fairway of the Ritz Carlton. Since the Geneva International Motor Show had been cancelled the week prior, many cars such as the McLaren 765 LT and Mercedes Maybach GLS600 made their first public appearance. Other displays included the all new Porsche Taycan Turbo, Cayman GT4, and Boxster Spyder next to the infamous 918 RSR concept. Moving onto privately owned cars at the event, the Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Alfa Romeo (which had two of the extremely rare Zagato bodied TZ3 Stradale’s), and BMW sections also attracted many spectators. Modern cars also made an appearance, with three Apollo IE’s along with the all new De Tomaso P72 taking over the Ritz Carlton Valet for all three days. As preparations began for the Concours d’ Elegance, the island became abundant with cars of all sorts being spotted during the day and evening. From a 1967 Ferrari 275 NART Spyder to a 1993 Venturi 400 Trophy, it was clear that Amelia Island was in full swing. The final day marked the 25th Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance. This year’s honoree was Roger Penske, who was accompanied by both his historic personal racecars as well as a vast majority of the Team Penske Sunoco legends. The main awards of the show went to a 1929 Duesenberg J-218 Town Limousine and a 1973 Porsche Can-Am series 917/30. Some other notable favorites included a one of three 1957 Ferrari 335S, Ralph Lauren’s personal 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, 1970 LeMans winning Porsche 917k, Sauber C9, and two Porsche RS Spyder’s.
Simply put, the 2020 Amelia Island weekend was nothing short of spectacular. With the Corona Virus pandemic putting every scheduled car event of spring and summer 2020 to rest, reflecting on the time spent at the island feels even more special. That being said, we look forward to this terrible disease ending rapidly so that the car community as a whole can go back to enjoying car gatherings like these as soon as possible!