GALLERY: Celebrating Penske And More At The Amelia Island Concours
Photography by Nostracarmus
“Effort equals results!” was the apt quote chosen to honor Roger Penske on the cover of the official show magazine of the 25th Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, but the guest of honor had more than an attributed saying to show for his tremendous breadth of influence in the world of motorsport, and a slew of “Penske”-adorned cars from Porsche 917s and other Can-Am beasts and Lola T70s to Chevrolet Camaros were on display among the rest of the concours competitors this past weekend.
A few big stone skips off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island is an easy place to reach, but if you attend during concours weekend, it will be hard one to forget. Usually characterized by beautiful beaches, ample wildlife, and the seemingly infinite width of the Atlantic Ocean, we were unfortunately treated to less than sublime weather for the majority of the weekend, but despite a little rain (and concern over a certain virus), the show was well attended, boasting the kind of quantity and quality of legendary metal (and fiberglass) that makes this one of the biggest concours on an international level.
More than 300 rare, relevant, race-history-havin’, and just plain charismatic vehicles from museums and private collections made up the event this year, with Penske at the center of the celebration made all the merrier by the presence of thousands of spectators. Among the various classes to be judged (but really, only a very few of the people here care about who wins what), there were more than 30 Penske vehicles on site. Broken down into four different categories, they represented the Cars of Roger Penske (as in, his cars), Penske Indy Winners, Team Penske, and Team Penske Sunoco. Besides those honoree-dedicated classes, the Concours also coincided with Sergio Scaglietti’s 100th birthday celebration, which was honored with two classes featuring the work of the great Italian designer. There was also a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Porsches’s first of nineteen victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A bit of American, a bit of Italian, a bit of German, why not? Any excuse to have a little party and get some good cars together is worth taking advantage of.
Additional highlights at this year’s Concours included a class of Loziers (among the most expensive American automobiles from the “brass era,” and among the rarest cars in existence today), a class called the Rolling Bones which paid tribute to the origins of American hot-rodding, a class for the Silver Arrows of Mercedes-Benz, and another for the mid-engined Corvettes, which of course were all prototypes.
The Best of Show for the Concours de Sport went to the 1973 917/30 Can-Am Spyder owned by Rob Kauffman, while the Best Of Show for the Concours d’Elegance was awarded to the 1929 Duesenberg J-218 Town Limousine, owned by the Lehrman Collection—quite a contrast if you ask me.
Bill Warner, the founder of the Amelia Concours, has expanded the weekend event into a four-day festival of sorts, filled with auctions, the famous Cars and Coffee gathering for local enthusiasts, rallies, and lectures about the historical collections on display. Everyone wants their show to be the next Pebble Beach, but only a few have the ability to make a run for the next Monterey Car Week. Amelia Island is quickly becoming more than just the Sunday Concours, but whatever comes next, Warner maintains that it’s “all about the people.” And indeed it is, but not just the ones buying the tickets and bringing the goods. The event staff included hundreds of volunteers who worked hard to make this so enjoyable, and the excellent job of the communications and media team kept everything running smoothly as other events are being canceled the world over. We look forward to the continued expansion of this world-class event, and we hope to see you there along with us in 2021.