A tribute to happy Hans
This year’s guest of honour is Hans-Joachim Stuck, who has always seemed to have a smile on his face – and a grid-full of competitors in his wake. There will be a dedicated concours class for machines he piloted in period, including the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL in which he won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring (thus claiming BMW’s first international victory), his 1993 North American GT Championship-winning Porsche 911 Turbo LM, and the Alfa Romeo-engined Brabham BT45-B of 1977. The appearance of his Coke-liveried Porsche 962 might not be quite as dramatic as one of its previous American outings, however: it was nursed to victory at Sebring in 1986, despite losing a wheel on the final lap.
An armada of Pegasos
Another class will be dedicated to the short-lived Spanish marque, Pegaso. A veritable armada – almost 20% of its 84-car production run – will gather on the concours lawns, including the bubble-topped, covered-wheel Z102 nicknamed ‘el Dominicano’. Notorious Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo purchased the car (related to the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante through their mutual designer Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni) once its duties at the 1953 Geneva Motor Show were complete. As you can see, it turned heads aplenty at last year’s Villa d’Este concours; now it’s ready to exercise some American neck muscles…
50 years of the Lamborghini Miura
Where would we be if Enzo Ferrari hadn’t had such a knack for antagonising the egotistical? Well, the automotive world would be a less beautiful place without the Lamborghini Miura, that’s for sure. It’s now half a century since those curves first burst onto the scene at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, redefining the term ‘bedroom wall pin-up’ in the process. By gathering a number of variants together to form a dedicated class, the concours organisers will have arranged a beauty pageant of the highest order.
Quirky Concept cars
Always a crowd favourite, the concept car category this year will showcase curios developed by companies and/or individuals outside of the major manufacturers in Motor City. Along with the oddball Fascination 2DR, visitors will also catch a rare glimpse of the 1938 Phantom Corsair. The brainchild of a Heinz food-processing heir, its streamlined coachwork was at odds with the trinket-heavy bodies of its pre-War contemporaries. A premature flag-carrier of Jet-Age styling in its day, it’s become a poster-child of growing old gracefully.
A world-class concours will always have its fair share of automotive unicorns, and Amelia Island this year is no different. Along with the Janis Joplin Porsche 356 sold by RM Sotheby’s late last year, the lawn will also host the sole Shelby-DeTomaso P70, a still-born Can-Am car. Missed deadlines and changing rules not only saw the car rendered obsolete, but also put a strain on the friendship of the two automotive legends. Nevertheless, a silver-lined cloud came a few years later in the rather pleasing form of the Mangusta, which used a development of the P70s innovative ‘backbone’ chassis.
Photos: Amelia Island Concours, Rémi Dargegen, BMW, RM Sotheby’s