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Ferrari 250 GTO and Delahaye take 2024 Amelia Best in Show


The 29th Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance has awarded the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO featured on the cover of Magneto issue 17 as Best in Show, Concours de Sport, with a 1947 Delahaye 135MS Narval Cabriolet taking Best in Show. 

The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO shown by David MacNeil has an important competition history, including an overall victory at the 1964 Tour de France, and fourth overall and second in class at the 1963 Le Mans 24 Hours. After buying it for around $80m, David had it restored to the exact specification in which it appeared at Le Mans in 1963.  

“We sweated the details with this car. Motion Products did an amazing restoration and the results speak for themselves,” he said. “We’re going to keep this car for many generations and be good stewards of it,” added David’s son Roderick MacNeil. 

The 1947 Delahaye 135MS Narval Cariolet is one of six ‘Narval’ cabriolets built, so named as its nose is reminiscent of the bump on a narwhal’s head. This car was first seen at the 1947 Paris Auto Salon. Its original owner, Charles Trenet, was a well known singer and songwriter. He shipped the car to the US for a concert tour in 1948, and it has seen just three more owners since. It is restored in its original colour of Orange Brule, a favourite of coachbuilder Joseph Figoni. 

“This car was the Paris Show car in 1947, and today is its return to a concours,” said owner Dana Mecum, of Mecum Auctions. “It takes a lot of preparation to come to a concours such as Amelia, but this makes it all worth it.” 

To the car collectors, dealers and media, this was a crucial year for The Amelia, with RM Sotheby’s new ModaMiami show and auction taking place at exactly the same time further down the Florida east coast – but for the majority of visitors, more local to Amelia Island, the rivalry proved to be an irrelevance.

“Enthusiasts were given no shortage of options this weekend, yet a record 27,000 of them returned to The Amelia,” said Hagerty CEO and chairman of The Amelia, McKeel Hagerty. “A love for cars and people is at the root of any great automotive event, and enthusiasts voted with their most precious asset – their time – and we were thrilled to be their hosts. We saw two global vehicle debuts, several new auction records, packed show fields on Saturday and Sunday and, most importantly, great car people coming together to celebrate great cars.” 

The Amelia, bought by Hagerty from founder Bill Warner in 2021, runs over several days, but it’s the Saturday and Sunday that really matter. Where Hagerty has made a positive difference really shows on the Saturday, with its RADwood displays of more modern classics and its huge Cars & Community show pulling in massive crowds.

In contrast, Sunday’s concours d’elegance has lost a little of its appeal to the big car collectors, who were always wooed by Bill Warner’s southern charm offensive and quirky choices of classes (who will forget the Cars of the Cowboys?). There are now fewer models on the show field for the concours, and a few of the big manufacturers’ large displays and hospitality areas have gone, although that may be as much down to economic situation as the change in ownership.

All the same, there was plenty to see, including the largest-ever gathering of Ruf cars (which had their own class), a wonderful line-up of Ferrari 250 road and race machinary. In all, there were 32 classes, as varied as Cars of the Barn Find Hunter and Cars of Bryan Fuller [customiser], to 100th Anniversary of Bugatti Grand Prix Cars and Indy Legends. The Japanese Performance Cars of the ’90s proved highly popular (and great to see), while the most eye-catching were surely the Cars of Pikes Peak. Seeing so many Bugatti Type 57s lined up along the lake was quite something, too.

Alongside the two shows was a small vendor area within the Ritz-Carlton hotel, seminars and a driving tour, as well as two days of Broad Arrow auctions on the event site, along with sales from Bonhams and Gooding & Company off-site. There’s more about those here. Also just down the road at Main Beach Park, Ferdandina, was the Classic Motorsports Amelia Island Kickoff Show, incorporating the ever-popular and bizarre Concours d’Lemons, for extra entertainment on the Friday.

The Amelia was hit badly by the weather this year, just when it needed to be at its strongest. Friday was bad, although that probably did both Gooding & Company and Broad Arrow a favour, driving people into the sales rooms, and Sunday afternoon was disastrously wet for a while, meaning many cars had to be covered over for a couple of hours, while the golf course greens were so soggy that only the Best of Show winners were able to drive up to the awards area.

With 250 vehicles on display for RADwood, 375 for Cars & Community and 285 in the Concours d’Elegance, there was never going to be a shortage of cars and motorcycles to see. What was striking was the visitor numbers; on the Sunday the field was already busy with early-bird entries long before the 10:30am opening time. When the gates opened for the standard ticket entries, the huge line of spectators came rushing over the greens, swamping the cars in an impressive demonstration of The Amelia’s general appeal.

This is where Hagerty’s mass-market expertise really shows. The concours d’elegance side had already lost some of the leading collectors even before the ModaMiami onslaught, but for the vast majority of visitors The Amelia was a bit of automotive heaven, albeit a rainy one.

Hagerty’s 30th celebration of The Amelia takes place from March 6-9, 2025. More details here.

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