Pulling out all the stops
A sure sign of spring is when some amazing classic cars invade the beautiful seaside resort of Amelia Island for the 20th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance March 13th through 15th. Easily one of the top automotive events in the world, the organizers have pulled out all the stops.
Two Time honoree, Sir Stirling Moss
OBE This year “the Amelia” is set to honor one of motorsports premiere race car drivers, Sir Stirling Moss OBE. The winner of 34 Formula 1 races during his stellar career, Sir Stirling Moss has the distinction of being the only two time honoree in the event’s history having received the award in 1996 and now in 2015.
(Photo by Nick Riley)
Mercedes-Benz race cars to take the field
“Sir Stirling set us on our path in 1996,” said Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “To have Sir Stirling and his Mercedes-Benz racers from the 1955 double World Championship season on the field is a fantasy come true for us.” More than 20 of Moss’s racing cars will be on the field Sunday as the event pays tribute to the legendary driver.
(Photo by www.sportscardigest.com)
A 60 Year Old Speed Record Still Stands
Moss was the first non American to win the 12 hours of Sebring and was later inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Mercedes Benz honored him in 2006 by naming a new version of the Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren the “722 Edition”. This is a reference to the starting number of the Mercedes Benz 300 SLR that Moss drove with co-driver Denis Jenkinson in the 1955 Mille Miglia. The epic 1000 mile race around the Italian peninsula took Moss and Jenkinson nearly 10 non-stop hours and set a speed record that still stands today.
(Photo of Sir Stirling Moss by www.sacarfan.co.za)
Porsche 914 Gets Its Day in the Sun
Also being honored this year is a car that is finally getting the respect it deserves. The Porsche 914 was born out of a divisive joint venture between Volkswagen and Porsche back in the 70’s. Many Porsche purists refer to the 914 as “the ugly duckling” because of its boxy, modernistic shape. But this classic car evokes images of the Gmund Porsche, the first car to wear the illustrious family name. “The 914 is a true Porsche with true Porsche DNA” says Bill Warner, “It’s time the 914 had its day in the sun”.
(Photo of 914 courtesy a2.fssta.com)
914…The People’s Porsche
The 914’s distinctive low profile, mid engine mount and a removable Targa top set this sports car apart from the crowd. It was named Motor Trend’s Import Car for 1970 and went on to become one of Porsche’s best selling models. The popular 4 cylinder model was priced to sell and soon brought customers streaming into Porsche showrooms. But for some classic car enthusiasts the 914 was not a Porsche. “For many people it was the ‘people’s Porsche’, the VolksPorsche, like the Volkswagen”, says Dietter Landerberger, Manager of Porsche’s historical archives in Stuttgart, Germany. “They didn’t accept the 914 as a true Porsche”.
(Shot of 914-4 courtesy of www.3.teleus.net)
Famous feud cost the Porsche 914/ 6 cylinder
The 914/6 model suffered the most from the dissention between Volkswagen and Porsche. Production costs soon drove up the sales price for these cars to the point where it was only nominally cheaper than Porsche’s flagship model, the 911T. Only 3351 editions of this model rolled off the assembly line before production was halted in 1972.
(Photo of Porsche 914/6 GT by Bill Warner)
Fast and collectible
Success on the track set the Porsche 914/6 apart. In 1970 it placed 6th overall at the 24 hrs of LeMans. Drivers of 914 cars won half the races in the 1971 IMSA GT Championship season. Despite its success, Porsche only produced around 32 race prototypes of the 914/6 GT making them highly sought after collectibles.
"Ugly Duckling” no more
Bottom line, the Porsche 914 may not have the typical Porsche design but no one can deny how fun it is to drive. With its low center of gravity and excellent handling, this “ugly duckling” can blow the doors off a few “swans” out there. This is why this feisty little sports car is being honored at such a prestigious show like the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
(Photo of 914-6 GT by Bill Warner)
Spring has come to Amelia Island
Spring is in the air! It’s time to shake off those winter blues and celebrate with some of the finest automobiles imaginable at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. For more information check out the event website at www.ameliaconcours.org. If you’d like to view some of our past blogs on this show just click on the following links and enjoy; The Concours Events - A Picture of Elegance and Get Going To Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Count on Classic Auto
While visions of these incredible classic cars from Amelia Island fill your dreams, don’t forget to make sure that your own vintage auto has the insurance coverage it needs. Let the folks at Classic Auto guide you in the right direction with a policy designed just for you. Check out our website at www.classicins.com for your quote today.