The Month in Motoring: The Amelia 2023
This February saw the end and beginning of two of the most important car events in the world: the Rétromobile Auto Show and The Amelia. These events bookended February and the Atlantic Ocean, as Rétromobile is held overseas in Paris, France while The Amelia occurs on Amelia Island off the coast of Florida.
Last month, we featured news and highlights from Rétromobile, which marked the beginning of the European car season, and you can read a detailed report about the event here.
Although not as old as Rétromobile, which began in 1976, The Amelia has become an essential world-class event for car collectors and enthusiasts from around the world.
Automotive legend Bill Warner started the four-day event in 1996 as the Amelia Concours d’Elegance, and since its beginning, the event has become as essential for car lovers as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Monaco Grand Prix, and the Indianapolis 500.
In this Month in Motoring, we’re excited to share some of the most critical highlights from The Amelia as well as spotlight some of the week’s most iconic and breathtaking cars, including a 1966 Ferrari Superfast, a 1962 Ferrari 250, a 2010 Pagani Zonda R Coupe, and other exceptional vehicles.
The Amelia’s First Big Event: The Bonham Auction
The Bonhams auction proved to be successful this year with almost $15 million in sales. The car that took home the prize for the highest price paid was a 1966 Ferrari Superfast, which sold for $1.93 million.
Another car of note was an unrestored but still incredibly impressive 1951 Jaguar 120 Lightweight Works racer. What makes this car especially unique is that it was one of only three units built by Jaguar. We imagine that once this vehicle undergoes a full restoration, it will be a magnificent spectacle on the road, and we’re looking forward to both seeing and hearing it someday.
The Gooding Auction’s Prized Vehicle: A 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Although Bonhams had a great year with their auction, the David Gooding auction blew it out of the water in terms of total sales, and it’s no mystery why — this year’s auction lineup was truly something to behold.
The event’s total sales surpassed $72 million, and the star of the event was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider. This historic and remarkable vehicle sold for a whopping $16.4 million, more than all of Bonham’s sales combined. The auction’s spectators and participants will never forget this striking car as it changed hands to a new lucky owner.
Another car of note was far older and captured the hearts of many: a massive 1908 Daimler Double Chain Drive Phaeton. This rare car would be a fantastic addition to any collection, so it’s not surprising that it sold for over half a million dollars, $525,000, to be exact.
RM Sotheby’s Auction and Sad Announcement
RM Sotheby’s announced that 2023 would be the final year in which they would be associated with The Amelia. Though disappointing, those who had the chance to attend their auction this year got to see RM Sotheby’s A-game with every single car being special and memorable.
One such vehicle was a 1930 Model J Duesenberg, which turned heads with ease. Interestingly, the car was originally delivered to Lew Wallace Jr., the grandson of Lew Wallace, author of the novel Ben-Hur. The car ultimately sold for $1.4 million and will soon be on the road touring with the Classic Car Club of America.
The highest price paid for a vehicle at the auction was a 2010 Pagani Zonda R Coupe, a striking and exotic beauty. The car sold for $5.3 million. Ultimately, RM Sotheby’s total sales topped $63 million, an impressive final go at The Amelia.
Broad Arrow’s World-Class Exotic Vehicles
The final sale of the week was presented by Broad Arrow, the newest arrow in the Hagerty quiver. Broad Arrow held the auction at the Ritz Carlton and showcased modern exotic vehicles, including a 2015 McLaren P1. The McLaren P1 led the auction’s sales with $2.4 million.
The auction also featured a breathtaking beauty for dedicated Porsche fans: a 1994 911 Turbo S Flachbau. This awe-inspiring car proved that there’s still much interest in the air-cooled market, and it drove off with a sale of $1.2 million.
With their many incredible vehicles, Broad Arrow’s sales wound up surpassing $32 million.
The Amelia Weekend
After the auctions concluded, the event’s participants turned their attention to the presentation of Cars and Community, which The Amelia held on the golf course at the Ritz.
The weather was less than ideal with cool temperatures and precipitation, but that didn’t stop numerous car lovers from attending the presentation. The event was so packed that it was challenging to walk through the crowd and sneak peeks at the cars on display. Of course, the effort was worth it with the occasion’s many stunning cars.
Finally, massive crowds gathered at The Amelia’s main event on the final day. The event captured Bill Warner’s love of racing and exotic cars with some of the greatest racers of all time.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum drove away with the Best in Show: Concours de Sport thanks to their Le Mans-winning Ferrari 250LM.
The Best in Show: Concours d’Elegance went to a 1934 Voisin C25 Aerodyne, owned by collector Peter Mullin. This amazing car, which was an early adopter of aerodynamics, is one of only four units that remain, and originally, only six were constructed. It was truly an exciting car to see, especially outside of a museum.
Attend The Amelia 2024
Are you a car lover who hasn’t yet had the chance to attend The Amelia? We highly recommend experiencing it for yourself. Fortunately, it’s an annual event, so you can go ahead and start making arrangements for 2024.
Finally, if you obtain one of the event’s remarkable classic cars, make sure to protect it with Collector Car Insurance. We provide customizable policies tailored to our client’s needs.
Call our classic car experts today at 888-901-1338, or you can get an instant quote here.