Amelia Island 2024

I drove my Porsche 911 down to Amelia Island again this year. I book this trip every year not knowing what is in store for me, and some years I find myself showing a car for a client, and some years, it’s almost like a vacation. Either way, whether it’s work or play, I still manage to have a fun time. A group of us rent a house on the beach so it’s probably the most comfortable and convenient event I do on my calendar!

I arrived on Wednesday before the show weekend and try to attend all the previews from the auction houses on the island. This year, one auction house is missing from the line up as RM/Sothebys moved their auction Miami. Bonhams, Gooding, and Broad Arrow are the three competing for bidders so I still had a lot of ground to cover. All through the weeks leading up to the auctions, I get calls about my opinion about a particular car coming up for auction, and this was my chance to see and touch particular cars of interest for my clients.

Seeing cars in person also lets me gauge how good these cars actually are. Catalog pictures are supposed to make these cars look their best, often cropping out the bad issues, or omitting the blemishes and warts. Being at the preview in person also gives me a chance to see certain cars coming up for auction that I’ve known for years. An example is this GTE that was at the Gooding sale. I’ve corresponded with the long time owner of this car for many years, and although I don’t know if the family was auctioning this car, it was bittersweet see this car in person knowing it was moving onto a new owner!

This 330GT 2+2 looked very nice, and I heard sold for very strong money and may have set the high water mark for a restored 330GT 2+2. I’ve seen other cars sell for similar prices, and having inspected the car felt the bidder got carried away at the auction and overpaid, but this was was not the case. Even though I did not drive this car, I felt the details were largely correct and restoring a car at this level would have cost more than the winning bid. Being there in person allowed me to really get a feel for the Ferrari market and what is being bought, and for what reasons.

On the other end of the spectrum was this 250PF Cab restoration project. The purchase price did not include the cost of restoration, so the bidder had to be careful. We in the business have a rough idea what it would cost to restore this car, but there are always overages. The winning bid had to make sense to the buyer and not turn into a money pit. I believe the winning bid for this car was market correct. Maybe we’ll see this car in a couple years from now returned to her former glory!

Attending these premiere cars show attracts the who’s who in the car world, and I’m lucky to have friends that recognize them and introduce them to me. Bruce Canepa (pictured right) has a well known restoration shop in CA that is currently building hot rod Porsche 959s. I’ve had a couple cars in my shop that were restored by his company, but it was nice to meet the person behind the name.

Friday of the Amelia Island weekend started with Werks Reunion, a big Porsche show. There was a lot of interesting Porsches around, but I liked this outlaw 356.

The only problem was it was raining, and the carburetors didn’t have rain covers!

From the Porsche show, I headed over to Fernandina Beach to attend the Classic Motorsports magazine car show along with the Concours d’lemons on the same show field.

Here’s Alan Galbraith, the head Lemon preparing for the awards ceremony. He’s to blame for all the tongue in cheek Lemons slogans that makes a Concours d’Lemons so much fun!

Saturday was a Cars and Coffee event that attracted a ton of cars and spectators on the lawn next to the Ritz Carlton. There was great variety and something for everyone.

Intermixed among the crowds of cars and people were things like this nice four cam 275GTB.

Heavily modified cars like this Lancia with a turbo AND a supercharger!

Across the street was the Radwood show, celebrating the cars of the 80s and 90s. Extra points to the participants that came dressed in period clothing. Did we really dress like that back then?

There were plenty of joke cars, but mixed in were jems like this really clean VW pickup truck. If there were one car I would take home from this weekend, it would have been this. Forget about the Ferraris!

I was invited to attend another party being held at the Fernandina Beach airport called The Hanger Party. My friend Anzir and his son drove their Ferrari F40 from Orlando to attend. I helped find this car a couple years ago for them, and they’ve been driving the snot out of this car!

In a dumb current movement to celebrate low or no mileage super cars, I find Anzir and his son the heros in owning a supercar. All of these owners sitting at boardroom tables sharing photos of their cars that they never drive will never compare to the memories this kid is going to have about doing a road trip in an F40 popping flames on interstate 4 with his Dad!

This was the car that we reupholstered the seats and made a custom cushion in matching material so the kids could ride in the F40 and see out the front windshield.

I was surprised when two young girls ran up to the F40 and were so excited to see one in person at the Hanger Party. We couldn’t let that enthusiasm pass without offering them to sit in the car. Anzir was more than happy to share his car with whomever wanted a closer look. I would definitely say these pics were all over their Instagram!

They weren’t the only ones hamming it up for the camera. My friend Dane had the perfect look to tailgate in the back of the Rolls Royce Cullinan, their luxury SUV made for the polo fields and equestrian centers. I felt if I asked about the towing capacity of this Rolls Royce, the answer be “adequate.”

Back at the beach house every evening we usually had a big meal at the dinner with cars being the dominant topic. The history, experience, and enthusiasm for the automobile is pretty impressive at this table, so you can imagine the conversation!

Speaking of a long history around cars, Roger Morrison is member of this group that stays at the house, but this year he left a little early to attend the RM/Sotheby’s event Moda Miami further south in Florida. Rob Myer, the RM of RM/Sotheby’s took his auction to Miami after a falling out with the Hagerty organization that purchased the Amelia Island Event a few years ago. Hagerty was building their own brand of show, along with an auction house called Broad Arrow, so there was no room for RM. Mr. Myer created a new show on the same weekend in Miami to compete. Many of us in Collector Car world, were torn which event to attend. The Miami event sounded like a nice event, but we had a pretty good thing going on in Amelia Island. Roger decided to try both by leaving a day early. I’m sure we’ll get full report!

When the gates opened to allow the hoi polloi in, we only had about an hour to look at the cars before the rain started.

I managed to see an old friend that was featured on this website when I first found this car for the curent owner 16 years ago! She’s looking better than me and David after another 16 years of aging!

The rain finally let up towards the afternoon of the show, but one benefit was showing off this wonderful purple color that was part of the original color pallet from Ferrari!