For three days in March, Amelia Island becomes the Mecca for some of the most elite and historically significant cars in the world. Its ocean views, palm trees, and Spanish moss, make this Florida seaside resort the perfect backdrop to showcase these rare and pedigreed specimens of rolling art. This small, typically quiet resort town reverberates with the sounds of engines — powerful straight 8s, high-pitched Italian racecars, and deep, throaty V8s — music to the ears of any car enthusiast. Some of these cars, which come from museums and private collections, are offered for sale, while others are there to participate in the pageantry of the Concours d’Elegance.
This year, as in previous years, there were a host of events leading up to the final day of the Concours, including seminars, hosted by automotive dignitaries, and test drives of exotic and super-luxury autos. In addition, RM and Gooding & Company provided two days of watching and bidding pleasure for both potential buyers and spectators, as some of the crème de la crème of classic cars rolled across their auction stages.
Gooding & Company
Gooding & Company held their auction at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. One of the auction stars of the 72 select cars offered for sale was a 1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer. With an estimated 130 horsepower, this 4-cylinder Bentley was, in today’s terms, a street version of a Le Mans racer. Another auction standout, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy, clad in Fly Yellow, is just one of 25 lightweight GTBs built. Gooding and Company sales totaled $28.1 million, which included the buyer’s premium. Here are the top five sales of the auction:
- $2,750,000 — 1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer
- $2,365,000 — 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy
- $1,980,000 — 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom I Derby Speedster
- $1,760.000 — 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic
- $1,650,000 — 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4
RMs auction was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island. Of the 92 Lots offered, one particularly stunning example of early American design was a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe. This supercharged, maroon convertible represents the high-water mark of this legendary marque. Another American-built maroon car, and also a headliner of the auction, was the third of only 51 Tucker 48s built. This car had the additional significance of having been previously owned by filmmaker George Lucas. RM sales totaled $26.8 million, including the buyer’s premium. Here are the top five sales of the auction:
- $4,510,000 — 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe
- $1,512,500 — 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria
- $1,375,000 — 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB
- $1,237,500 — 1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Berlinetta ‘Tuboscocca’
- $1,100,000 — 1911 Lozier Model 51 Seven-Passenger Touring
Note: The 1948 Tucker did not sell, since the highest bid did not meet the reserve price set by the owner. However, since the final bid of $1.475 million was close to the owner’s asking price, an after-auction sale may still be made.
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
The 18th annual Concours d’Elegance was held on the10th and 18th fairway of the Golf Club of Amelia Island. This year’s event celebrated the 50th anniversaries of the Porsche 911, the Ford GT40, and the Corvette Stingray, and also featured the racecars of Henry Miller. Racing great, Sam Posey, was the official 2013 Honoree. Other racing legends were in attendance, including Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant, Hurly Haywood, Bobby Rahal, David Hobbs, and Brian Redman. On a made-to-order sunny day, spectators were treated to some of the most spectacular examples of automotive design — rows of classic Lamborghinis, Porsches, BMWs, Duesenbergs, Mercedes, Ducati Motor Bikes, Corvette Stingrays, Miller racecars, Ferraris, Cadillac concept cars, and Ford GT40s. Although there was a long list of historically-significant cars, a few of the standouts were:
- A 1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Limousine, the oldest Silver Ghost in existence,
- The 1973 Porsche 911 Carrea RS, racecar #59, a multi-race winner, including the 24 hours of Daytona,
- The 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, #25, driven to victory by Sam Posey in the 1975 race at Sebring,
- The 1968 Ford GT40 #6, which was the 1968 and 1969 winner at the 24 hours of Le Mans, and
- A 1955 LaSalle 11 Roadster, a one-of-a-kind General Motors Motorama show car.
Picking a show winner from such an outstanding gathering of special vehicles was obviously a daunting task, but on this day, the panel of judges selected the following two cars:
Best of Show Concours d’Elegance was a 1936 Duesenberg SJN, a sleek and stylish silver convertible of timeless beauty. This supercharged roadster was capable of 120 mph, at a time when other cars couldn’t even break the 100 mph barrier.
Best of Show Concours De Sport was the 1968 Ford GT40 #6 (chassis #1075), a 24 hours of Le Mans winner in both 1968 and 1969. The light blue and orange painted Gulf-sponsored racer remains one of the best looking track cars of all time.
For slideshows of cars from the RM auction, Gooding & Company auction, and the Concours d’Elegance, visit eClassicAutos.