Each year the Amelia Island Concours d' Elegance Autoshow holds its annual fundraiser near Jacksonville, Florida. The show benefits the Hospice of Northeast Florida and is held on the grounds of the Ritz Carlton hotel and golf resort. This year 337 of the world's most significant show, street, and racing cars were displayed on the 8th and 10th fairways. Among this impressive gathering were 10 rare straight-axle Corvettes; their model years ranging from a 1953 to 1962. The oldest car at the show was an 1895 Armstrong six-passenger Trap while the newest was a '15 C7 Z06 Corvette.
On Saturday the RM Auction was held at the resort and two Corvettes were among the many cars that were sold. The first was a nice '60 Sateen Silver convertible that brought $132,000. The second was a 42,000-mile '72 LT-1 convertible. This Bloomington Gold Survivor sold for $129,250.
Each year event founder Bill Warner honors one of the world's top racing drivers. This year ex-F1 driver and multi time sports car champion Jochen Mass was the shows guest of honor. Many of the cars that Jochen drove during his career were on display including his McLaren F1 race car that was featured in the movie Rush. Jochen drove this car across the showfield to open the Sunday event.
The process of gathering so many cars onto the resort's fairways begins on Saturday afternoon. Corvette restorer Kevin Mackay, owner of Corvette Repair, always brings a variety of his customer Corvettes to the show. This year he invited Team Vette to ride along as five of his customer Corvettes caravanned through the hotel grounds and onto the showfield. We rode in the Purple People Eater owned by Lance Miller of Corvettes @ Carlisle fame. These cars are loud, brash, attention-getting, and capture the early roots of Corvette racing. The 10 straight axle Corvettes were parked around a large lake on the fairway. Chevrolet displayed a '14 convertible and the '15 Z06 in the middle of the early Corvettes. Ed Welburn, Vice President of Global Design for GM is one of Amelia's show judges and we spotted him standing next to the Z06. He told us that this Z06 would be one of the best performance bargains on the market, and we agree.
Two 1967 Corvettes were also on the showfield. The first was a historic L88 race car that has a lengthy and successful racing career. It was restored by noted Corvette historian David Burroughs to look exactly as it did when it finished the 1970 24 Hour Daytona race. This included oil stains and marks on its paint. This Corvette was inducted into Bloomington's Great Hall in 2013. The other Corvette was a Marina Blue 427 coupe. This car underwent a five year restoration by its current owner and is a very nice example the C2's last year of production.
The Amelia Concours continues to grow in significance. Bill Warner is very careful who is invited to this amazing gathering. If you want to get an up close look at some of the world's most historic automobiles (including Corvettes) mark your calendar for March 14-15, 2015 to attend this amazing show.