RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction is the original auction of the Florida concours d’elegance and over the years has continued to bring a wide range of amazing vehicles for sale. This year is no different with a variety of cars on the docket, everything from full classics to classic sports cars to the more modern sports cars of the Radwood era.
Of the many cars on offer, I tried to pick a variety of eras, though most are sports or race cars, which also tends to reflect the makeup of concours show field come Sunday.
So starting from newest to oldest, here are my picks:
2004 Acura NSX-T: This NSX-T has only covered 8,898 miles from new and is an immaculate example of the final iteration of the original NSX. The NSX is truly the thinking man’s exotic with styling in my opinion superior to the newest generation NSX. It is both usable, reliable and fun to drive. These cars have yet to reach the peak in their values and one such as this is a fantastic example of a collectible Japanese car.
1978 Jaguar XJ-S Group 44 Trans Am race car: This fabulous Jaguar is a true piece of motorsports history. Prepared by the legendary Group 44 race team, this car won the 1979 Trans-Am championship and was driven to that championship by Bob Tullius. A weapons grade race car that I would love to vintage race at Monterey, Lime Rock, and Goodwood.
1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso: To me, the Lusso is the single most beautiful Ferrari of the 1960s. Not only is it elegant but it has performance to match its looks. These are expensive cars and I sadly do not fit in them or I would have bought one years ago.
1958 Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mk. III: Over the last few years, the DB 2/4 Mk. III has displaced the DB5 as my favorite Aston Martin. It was the first road-going Aston to adopt the grill shape that is still part of the design language of the Aston cars. It also is a car with more room for someone as tall as I am. Finally, in the Ian Fleming book Goldfnger it is the car James Bond drove. This specific Mk. II is extra special as it was the car Carroll Shelby owned when he raced for Aston Martin and he had it shipped back to Texas after he co-drove the winning Aston Martin at Le Mans in 1959. To me, it just does not get any better and if I could have any single collector car it would be this one.
1955 Swallow Doretti: The Awallow Doretti is a fascinating car. Basically the Swallow Doretti is a a coachbuilt aluminum car on a Reynolds tubular chassis. It is powered by Triumph TR2 runnng gear and is the least expensive coachbuilt classic British sports car I can think of. A very rare car with only 275 built and it is eligible for everything from Pebble Beach to the Mille Miglia. There is no single lower-priced entry point in to these events that I can imagine.
1952 Muntz Jet: This Muntz Jet is being sold at auction by none other than Amelia Island Concours founder Bill Warner. He bought this car because one of his childhood heroes was western movie star Lash LaRue: He went to an event to meet Lash and his hero showed up in a Muntz Jet. Warner, being car crazy at 10 years age, forgot about Lash and spent his time looking at the car. Lash came over and asked if he knew what kind of car it was. Bill said, “A Muntz Jet Mr. LaRue.” Lash then asked Bill if he wanted to take a ride, and off they went. Needless to say, Warner bought his own years later. He has owned the car for 20 years and it has benefitted from a comprehensive mechanical restoration with lots of rare speed parts. I can’t think of a better Muntz to buy then Bill’s own car.