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HomeEventsFret not. The Amelia is in good hands with Hagerty

Fret not. The Amelia is in good hands with Hagerty

New owners of the concours have elevated what many already considered the best car show in the country

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This year marked the first year the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, now called simply “The Amelia,” was under the management of the people at Hagerty. There were many in the collector car world who were a bit apprehensive about this change as Amelia founder Bill Warner had created a concours event that was, for many in the hobby, the single greatest concours event on the calendar.

Warner’s were very big shoes for a company to fill.

Well, after attending The Amelia last week, I will to tell you that the people at Hagerty did a very impressive job with this event, which they enlarged, and especially as it was something that they had never done before. 

Amelia, Fret not. The Amelia is in good hands with Hagerty, ClassicCars.com Journal
The Amelia show field
Amelia, Fret not. The Amelia is in good hands with Hagerty, ClassicCars.com Journal
The awards stand

The word that most comes to mind about this year’s Amelia concours is elevated. The main concours events of the week, such as the seminars and the Sunday Concours, were much like they have always been, and nothing unexpected took place as they seemed to run as smoothly as always, with entertaining and informative interviews with racing greats at the seminars and a concours field made up of some of the finest cars in the world, with the event’s distinct focus toward racing and sports cars.

The big elevation point came on Saturday with two very different events. The first was the Cars and Community, which replaced the standard cars and coffee of years past. Where before it was a big group of varying cars on the concours field, this year Cars and Community was much more of a curated event, with a celebration of 50 years of the BMW M series and cars organized by marque, making for a display that was nothing short of amazing. 

In addition to the main car display, Cars and  Community  incorporated two standalone events — Concours d’ Lemons and RADwood. Both of these were held on their own field just across the street from the main show field and were some of the most fun events that happened during the weekend. 

I had the honor (I know that’s not the right word but it makes my friend and Lemons founder Alan Galbraith feel good about himself) to judge the German class at the concours. I awarded the class award to a group of 4 insane individuals for their Mercedes Diesel sedan. They won the award as they were taking the car on a 2,000-mile rally. The car has brown paint with a brown MB Tex interior, no air conditioning, and the windows are stuck up. 

If all of that were not enough, the only way to shut the car off is to put a sock on a vacuum line to make the system stop working. 

Amelia, Fret not. The Amelia is in good hands with Hagerty, ClassicCars.com Journal
Cars and Community was a big success
Amelia, Fret not. The Amelia is in good hands with Hagerty, ClassicCars.com Journal
Kids Zone was popular attraction

The more surprising event undergoing transformation was the Concours Gala. These gala dinners usually are very formal sit-down affairs that last for hours, with assigned seats and not much in the way of socializing beyond your table. This year was very different. Gone were the assigned seats, the dinner was an excellent buffet style meal, and there were sofas all over for people to get together beyond their own table to socialize. 

Table hopping and lounging in the sofas was even encouraged by McKeel Hagerty himself. 

I have gone to countless concours gala dinners over the years and never had I had as much fun as I did at this one. Other concours should pay attention and adopt this idea immediately as if gave the evening a friendly feeling that I had never before experienced.

The concours Sunday was business as usual with great cars everywhere you looked. My personal favorites included the Gurney Eagle cars and the cars from the 12 Hours of Sebring display. 

Amelia, Fret not. The Amelia is in good hands with Hagerty, ClassicCars.com Journal
Chip Ganassi’s race cars were featured
Amelia 2022
Best in Show winners at The Amelia 2022 are: Concours d’elegance — 1934 Duesenberg J-531 — and Concours de Sport — 2017 Cadillac DPI-V.R | Amelia/Hagerty photos

The only thing I wondered about on Sunday was why one of the Gurney Eagles did not win best sports/racing car of the show. I know I am biased but these are some of the most important racing cars to ever come from this country. 

Beyond that, the class winners and other special award winners all made complete sense.

For those who were worried about what Hagerty would do with The Amelia, rest easy. This fantastic event is in good hands.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t agree, I’ve been to 20 Amelia island concours and this 2022 was less. Ticket Prices up 25% + , fashion show shortened, 1/3 less cars, cars with no description just a dumb QR code placed at ground level, even your beloved gurney Belgium gp winner displayed nondescript. There should be tv screens throughout the grounds now that only patrons paying 400-800 dollars can see the fashion show or car presentations done live. I won’t be back and many I met felt the same.

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