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The Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance, a Primer

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On: Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 10:19AM | By: Chris Salamone

The Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance, a Primer

Sound the horns. This year’s Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance is the 16thannual show and is scheduled to run March 11-13. The event’s host hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, was rated by readers of Conde Nast Traveler No. 5 for best resorts in North America and No. 31 for best beach hotels on planet earth from readers of Travel and Leisure Magazine. In addition to world-class amenities, staying at The Ritz also includes a hefty price tag. But considering the grandeur of the show, The Ritz Carlton is a perfect fit for such an over-the-top event. This year’s lineup includes several historically significant vehicles and Indy 500 Winner Bobby Rahal as the 2011 Honoree.   

The Concours d’Elegance is considered to be among the top tier of elite automotive events. Not to be confused with Pebble Beach, “The Amelia” draws almost 250 of the rarest and most appreciated vehicles from collections all around the globe. Some of the most impressive classics include the last Derby L8 (recently found in the Lake Mirror Classic in Lakeland, FL), the 1955 Biscayne concept vehicle, the Mormon Meteor Duesenberg, and the Pope’s Official Mercedes-Benz Limousine. In addition to drawing unique vehicles, since 1996 the show’s Foundation also has donated nearly $1.7 million to local charitable organizations.

Tickets are $45 per adult and $20 for students; however, there are several other, more expensive, ways to enjoy the full experience. Seminar topics range from the Women of Racing, Hot Rod Lifestyles, and the highly illegal, yet eyebrow raising, Cannonball Run. More expensive optional tickets include the Mercedes-Benz Gala Dinner, the VIP tent, and the Rolls-Royce Wine Makers Dinner. Perhaps most exciting, there will be a Porsche Driving Experience which includes a high-speed ride in the latest Porsche. Many of the additional feature tickets are already sold out, so act quickly or start considering investing in binoculars to watch other attendees enjoying a Porsche from afar.

The Amelia also delivers awards to special automobiles. Winners are selected for Best in Show, Best in Class, and many other specific categories labeled under the broad heading—Amelia Awards. If fine autos and swanky events don’t appeal to you, you might enjoy the people watching aspect of the show. The Amelia draws many popular media stars and the bizarre characters commonly associated with classic cars, often found sporting a feathered Panama hat. Regardless of what draws your fancy, keep the camera ready.

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