Guide to all things The Amelia 2022
February 27, 2022
By Greg Riley
Friends, a few short days from now I'll be up to my neck in the amazing weekend now known as The Amelia, and the four different collector car auctions happening through the weekend. I still must pinch myself to believe year after year I'm given what amounts to backstage passes to one of the world's greatest automotive events. When I started out working on cars under an old oak tree in Beaumont, Texas over 40 years ago I could have never imagined such a thing.
You may have read that on December 3rd 2021 our friends at Hagerty have gone public via a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) in a merger with Aldel Financial Inc. and is traded under the symbols HGTY and HGTY.WS. At the time of the merger, they were valued at somewhere around $3 Billion. They now own the event formerly known as The Amelia Concours d'Elegance (now cleverly rebranded as The Amelia) and they recently announced the acquisition of the tongue in cheek Concours d'Lemons.
Last week I attended an online press briefing where McKeel Hagerty shared some of his vision for the future of our hobby and Hagerty's various business interests. My biggest take away was the idea of being more inclusive at the various events they own without alienating the core Concours audience. After hearing the plans for The Amelia and how many new and improved things are being integrated, I believe the plan is genius. I suspect this is all just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come.
The core Hagerty event happens at the Ritz-Carlton on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. As always RM Sotheby's will have their extraordinary Saturday auction. Additionally, Bonham's, Gooding, and Russo & Steele will have their auctions off-site at various other Amelia Island locations. Don't forget one of my personal favorites off-the-books events; private jet watching at the Fernandina private airport.
Auctions by Bonhams, Gooding & Co., RM Sotheby's, and Russo & Steele
Scroll the very end of the post for a video of this breathtakingly beautiful Talbot-Lago. I expect to be in the room when it crosses the block and will report on the result which is likely to be a world-record result.
Shown near the end is my attempt to give a comprehensive schedule of all things Amelia including the four auctions in chronological order. Link for all events and auctions are included, but double check all information updates and accuracy, and remember that virtually all events require tickets or reservations. I'll start a separate post that I update continuously during the festivities.
From the afternoon of Thursday March 3rd - the announcement of Sunday's Concours winners, I'll also be sharing and posting via my various social media platforms. Look for multiple livestreams on Facebook at Facebook.com/Garagedlx, extensive photo galleries also on the Garagedlx Facebook page, and the most photogenic cars on Instagram @garagedlx.
I'll try and paraphrase legendary automotive journalist and magazine publisher Davide E. Davis Jr., "Dawn Patrol at Amelia Island in the most magical automotive place on earth." I'll be standing courtside Sunday at 5 a.m. with camera in hand.
If you're on a budget and looking for a great way to introduce someone to the hobby, Saturday's Cars & Community by Griot's Garage gets you admission to four events for one reasonable price: Cars & Caffeine, RADwood, Concours d'Lemons and the Kids Zone. If your adventurous you can venture through the Ritz-Carlton to see the RM Auction preview. You're likely to encounter more than a few automotive celebrities!
Cars & Caffeine
A celebration of the automobile featuring more than 300 curated vehicles displayed on the same show field as Sunday's award-winning Concours d'Elegance
- Vehicle Registration Required
"Photography by Deremer Studios, LLC"
Celebrating with a tribute to favorite vehicles from the '80s and '90s.
- Vehicle Registration Required
Celebrating the oddball, mundane and truly awful of the automotive world, Concours d'Lemons serves as the foil to Sunday's glorious Concours d'Elegance, causing almost as many smiles in the process.
- Vehicle Registration Required
An automotive-themed area specifically designed for children and the kid in all of us.
- Slot car racing
- Racing simulators
Amelia has always been known as "the racing Concours" due to founder Bill Warner's bonafides as a writer and photographer for Road & Track starting in 1971. Since founding the Concours in 1996 Bill has able to attract some of the world's racing legends both as honorees, judges, and spectators. This event has always been a "whose who" of motorsports legends. Under the new stewards, the tradition continues with 2022 honoree Chip Ganassi.
For those who have been living under a motorsports rock I'll quote his biography, "Floyd "Chip" Ganassi Jr. is an American businessman, former racing driver, current team owner and member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He has been involved with the North American auto racing scene for over 30 years. He is owner and CEO of Chip Ganassi Racing which operates teams in the IndyCar Series, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and Extreme E. He is the only team owner in history to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and most recently the 24 Hours of Le Mans."
At the various events through the weekend, you can also meet Ricky Rudd, Wayne Taylor, Dan Binks, Geoff Brabham, Scott Pruett, Bobby Rahal, Jeff Hammond, Kyle Petty, and Rusty Wallace!
The main event is Sunday's Concours d'Elegance with 255 of the finest cars from all over the world on display. Tickets aren't cheap, but a portion of the proceeds from The Amelia goies to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and Shop with Cops. To date the event has donated over $4 million to charity, and the overall economic impact estimates at $30 million annually.
Sunday's traditional show field will be anchored by classes such as American Classics, Duesenbergs, rare Japanese automobiles, and the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the '32 Ford.
Featured classes include race cars from the 70th Anniversary of Sebring. The notoriously bumpy 12-Hour race in central Florida, still run over parts of a concrete World War II airbase, has long been considered a true test of endurance. The 1952 Cunningham C4-R entry showcases the automotive ingenuity still needed to compete seven decades later.
The Rare Aluminum Porsche Race Car class highlights the earliest efforts from the then young sports car manufacturer and includes a 1951 Le Mans class winner. The 1955 Type 550 Spyder entry is an ideal example for the class as it is one of just 90 produced.
The Waterhouse Coachworks class brings attention to a small Custom Coach Builder from Webster, Massachusetts. While its run was cut short after only five years thanks to the Great Depression, this 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight entry features one of approximately 296 bodies from the Waterhouse Company.
Additional Featured classes include Motorcycles, the eccentric Davis, the 75th anniversary of Ferrari, and the 100th anniversary of Lincoln.
CLICK HERE for tickets for the main events: https://www.ameliaconcours.com/event/tickets
Contact the various auction companies via the web links shown below for admission to those events.
The weather is supposed to be about 80 degrees and sunny with a very low chance of rain for the entire weekend. Bring sun block, comfortable shoes, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
In this short blog post, I can't possibly share all my excitement for The Amelia and all the various ancillary events. After the event I'll post an extensive follow-up with all my witty observations, plenty of photos and video. Shown below is my attempt at a comprehensive schedule for the event in chronological order. Again, please visit all the various web links and verify all information directly.
Download a PDF of the event schedule with web links at the following link: Amelia 2022 Event Schedule