Amelia Island Concours 2014: What not to miss

With just a few hours to go before the 2014 Amelia Island Concours begins, we take a look at some of the most enticing car classes – set to draw a total of more than 250 high-end exhibits…

On 7-9 March, the Amelia Island Golf Club will play host to its annual concours d’elegance. Legendary racing driver Jochen Mass will be this year’s honouree; a reunion with his Sauber-Mercedes C9 on the 25th anniversary of their Le Mans win is likely to prove an emotional one. Other milestone anniversaries to be celebrated include McLaren’s 50th and Maserati’s 100th.

Moss's monstrous Maserati and friends

Headlining the centenary toast to Maserati will be the unique 450S Le Mans Coupé, affectionately referred to as ‘Il Mostro’. Penned by Frank Costin and realised in physical form by Zagato (which incidentally has a dedicated class at Amelia, too), other notable associated names include Juan Manuel Fangio and Sir Stirling Moss – the latter having campaigned it at Le Mans in 1957.

RM Auctions at the Ritz-Carlton 

Now in its 16th year, the RM sale at Amelia’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel will see the gavel lifted on no fewer than 90 upper-echelon cars, including 16 from the Pray Collection – the most highly anticipated being the 1937 Delahaye Torpedo Roadster by Figoni et Falaschi. The late Mr Pray’s wife affectionately named it his ‘French Mistress’ – and several other automotive concubines that have enjoyed many years of single-ownership are to be found in the lotlist

Return of the Batmobiles

The BMW ‘Batmobile’ class at this year’s Amelia will be crowned by one of the most famous CSLs of all: Alexander Calder’s Art Car. The first in a succession of famous BMWs draped in the designs of topical artists, it was also famously entered into the 1975 Le Mans 24 Hours – a perfect marketing companion to the newly introduced ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ campaign that endures to this day.

Jolly good fun

“For an event like ‘The Amelia’, a class of beach cars is appropriate and ideal,” points out Amelia Concours founder Bill Warner. “After all, when you take a break from the concours field and sit on the veranda at the Ritz-Carlton with a cool drink in front of you, you stare at the ocean and the beach.” At Warner's behest, numerous ‘Jolly’ beach cars will form on a (perhaps sand-covered?) section of the field, with exhibits including the Fiat Multipla-based Eden Roc by Pinin Farina.

Plenty of high-end classic cars can be found in the Classic Driver Market.