What not to miss at the Amelia Island Concours 2015
Sir Stirling Moss
If you’ve been running a classic car event for two decades, you’ll need to keep something special up your sleeve for the anniversary edition – and that’s just what organiser Bill Warner has done. Reprising the first concours of 1996, this year’s event will again pay homage to Sir Stirling Moss. Sixty years ago, the Brit won the Mille Miglia with record-setting pace, and his triumphant ‘722’ Mercedes 300 SLR will grace the Amelia Island lawn alongside 19 other cars personally raced by the living legend.
Warner famously keeps the majority of the concours classes a closely guarded secret, but he has revealed that the BMW 328 – the car that set the Bavarian manufacturer on the road to producing 'Ultimate Driving Machines' – will have its own category. An early favourite for the Best in Class award is the ‘Trouser-Crease Roadster’, a period Mille Miglia participant and the only special-bodied 328 built by the factory.
Another cult German to be given its own display is the Porsche 914. Initially met by disapproval from the purists, the mid-engined sports car soon set about proving its worth on the racetrack, famously winning its class on its debut outing at Le Mans. The Amelia display is set to feature different variants of the cruelly christened ‘ugly duckling’, possibly including one of the two cars created for the Porsche family with a flat-8 racing engine.
Orphaned concept cars
One of our most highly anticipated concours classes of Amelia 2015 is that of the ‘orphaned concept cars’ of the 50s and 60s. This obscure gathering might have failed to save its respective creators in period, but will certainly delight show-goers more than 50 years down the line. The entry list has a distinctly American flavour, but some entrants are seasoned with delightful experimental coachwork from the likes of Ghia and Carrozzeria Touring.
They might have hung their outside rear wheels off cliff edges for fun back in their heyday, but some rally legends will be given a new lease of life in their retirement years at Amelia 2015, battling each other for superiority on the concours lawn. Lancia’s luminaries will be out in force with prominent examples of the Fulvia, Stratos, 037 and Delta, while Mercedes will bring the unique 500 SL Rally built by the factory for Walter Röhrl. Porsche is also expected to have a presence in this category – might we be treated to the sight of an ex-Vic Elford 911T?
Photos: www.rashba.com, Mercedes Classic, Verena Glashauser, Porsche Classic