Keith’s Blog: Judging Sports Cars at Amelia Island

The 23rd Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is in the history books.

Best of Show Concours de Sport was a 1963 Ferrari 250/275 P owned by the JSL Motorsports Collection of Redwood City, CA. Best of Show Concours d’Elegance was won by a 1929 Duesenberg J/SJ convertible entered by Harry Yeaggy of Cincinnati, OH. (Video available here).

For the second year in a row, dire weather forecasts forced the organizers to move the concours from Sunday to Saturday — a monumental undertaking. And for the second year in a row, at the last instant the weather cleared and Sunday was sunny and warm.

The already-packed weekend saw a new addition this year — the Porsche Club of America Werks Reunion, featuring 356 Outlaws. I’m told more than 700 Porsches registered for the event. This display was in addition to the Amelia Concours Cars and Coffee show.

If you wanted a car to take home, there was no shortage of opportunities, as Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s, Hollywood Wheels and Motostalgia offered auctions through the week.

I always look forward to judging at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

I am usually assigned a class with a diverse group of cars, which makes judging complicated.

For example, if you had a class if 10 Jaguar XK 120s, then you could compare one to the next. In theory they would be nearly identical cars, so differences between them would be easy to see.

However, at Amelia the cars we judged included a 1951 Maserati A6G coupe, a 1951 Cisitalia 202 SC, a 1952 Allard J2X, a 1953 HRG roadster, a 1952 Cooper MG T21, a 1953 Ferrari 166, a 1952 Tojeiro, a 1954 EMW 327/2, a 1954 Siata 200CS and a 1955 Porsche 356 Continental.

Our lead judge was Werner Meir, known for his keen eye and knowledge of Corvettes, and my fellow judge was Massimo Delbo, an SCM contributor, journalist and collector from Italy.

Elegance, presentation and historical significance became our deciding factors.

Overall, the quality of the cars in the class were very high. Finishes were excellent, panel gaps were flawless and the interiors and engine bays were meticulously presented.

Our three favorites were the Maserati (owned by the Magnon Foundation), the Cisitalia (brought by Eric Schigiel and the Schigiel Collection) and the Siata (owned by Water and Rosanne Eisenstark).

Each of them was in an attractive period color. The Maserati  A6G coupe was especially interesting, as it was the beginning of a line of small-displacement, high-performance European GT cars. This lineage eventually led to the Lancia B20 and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint.

Once again, the Amelia Island Concours celebrated the passion and eclectic tastes of its founder, Bill Warner. Amelia is one of my favorite events, and I look forward to returning next year.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

Posted in Blogs, Keith Martin


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *