The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2019

by Trish Utter

This is the automotive equivalent of the Super Bowl. Anyone that knows me would tell you that this is THE event of the year that I have been waiting for! Amelia Island, which is just a few minutes north of Jacksonville, will have over 50,000 visitors for all the car events and over 300 vehicles of all types on display. Many of the visitors are international and fly in just for this event in hopes of buying a rare car. If you haven’t already booked your hotel you need to NOW!

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is set next to the Atlantic Ocean and rolling sand dunes. Cars are parked on the beautifully manicured golf greens at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Amelia Island. Million dollar vehicles glisten in the sunlight, the clinking of champagne flutes and wafts of the ocean air set the stage for the most exquisite auto event.

Collectible vintage cars, exotics, prototypes, motorcycles and almost anything unique that has an engine will be shown or presented at auction. Amelia Island will be covered from top to bottom with cars and there will also be many car clubs there with small shows on the side. The Ritz-Carlton has been home to Concourse for twenty-three years. Here you will also find RM Sotheby’s car auction, car seminars, black tie balls, and galas.

Just down the road is a smaller and separate car event at the Omni Hotel. Festivals of Speed is held on Saturday, March 9th and here you will also find the Gooding & Co auction. The whole island is swimming with cars and private jets buzz your head every minute as the rich and famous fly in. Jay Leno, Michael Strahan, Magnus Walker, and many other well-known car people usually attend. I think I am drooling as I type this with the thoughts of the sound of horsepower that will be there.

My friend, Ted Johnson, owner of Milestone Motor Cars in Boynton Beach that specializes in vintage Ferraris, and collector support will be showing a 1975 Ferrari 365 BB4 Boxer valued at $500,000 in the hopes of bringing home a blue ribbon for best in class.

Sunday’s Concours is the most important and elegant show out of everything on Amelia Island that weekend and for that matter one of the most important auto events in the country.

Did your parents own a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 ‘Sunroof’ Coupe? You might wish they had kept it as one sold at the last RM Sotheby’s Auction for a whopping $156,800! In 2018 Sotheby’s sold over 27.7 million in vehicles……in one day!!!!!!!! Don’t raise your hand too fast when you visit the auction room.

During The Amelia Concours week, the Ritz becomes an upscale automotive market full of auto artwork, memorabilia, book signings, clothing and all sorts of fabulous car items.

Whenever I go, I get in a panic on what I want to see first. I almost foam at the mouth with excitement. So much to take in that I usually go the Thursday before the show just to see who is arriving. I make sure I wear comfortable shoes as it is easy to walk ten miles without even noticing it (as long as your feet don’t hurt) viewing cars. Huge car transport trucks line all the surrounding streets and it’s so much fun watching the newest Bugatti roll off or a very rare vintage Ferrari, to be placed on the golf course. The people you meet are all major car enthusiasts. Over the years of going to the show, I have made some wonderful friends that share my love of cars. One year I bumped into Magnus Walker. At the time I had no idea who he was but soon caught on to his huge fame in the Porsche community as a Porsche guru and famed British, fashion designer and avid Porsche collector.

The 24th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will honor Porsche 962 dynasty by celebrating the 35th anniversary of this amazing race car that won 52 races with most being at Le Mans. Hmmm, so I am sure Mangnus Walker will not miss this!

John Oates, from Hall & Oats, will attend the 2019 Concours. Yes, this famous rock and roll star will be there to show off his guitar collection and talk about his love of cars. John will be pairing vehicles that belong to musicians, along with guitars at this year’s show. This will also be a great opportunity to meet such an interesting musician that also has the …car bug!

Jacky Icky, “Mr. Le Mans” is the honoree of the 2019 show and is featured on the show’s poster.

VW Custom Coachwork Class and the Record Breaking Jaguar XJ120 will be featured. Clark Gable of Gone with the Wind fame said he wanted the XK120 “…like a child wants candy.”

The events start Thursday, March 7th- Guardians of Porsche Wine dinner, Friday, March 8th – Porsche driving Experience, Saturday, March 9th – Cars and Coffee, and ends on Sunday, March 10th with Concours d’Elegance Judging and Awards.

There is so much to see and do that you need to carefully plan your trip. You can enter your own car into Cars and Coffee or just be a spectator. No matter what you drive, what age or gender you are there is something for everyone at this huge show.

Visit the websites below for more details, hotels and tickets.
AmeliaIsland.com MilestoneMotorCarsLLC.com