The Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance, held March 12-15, once again presented an amazing collection of rare, exotic and highly-collectible cars. There were a smattering of British marques represented at the Concours, with best in class winners of two pre-war Rolls-Royce, an Aston Martin DB4 and gorgeous 1947 Bentley coupe.
The real British-action, however, was experienced in the high-end auctions of Gooding’s and Bonham’s. So while affordability is in the eye of the beholder, there were several tempting offerings, like a driver-quality 1968 jaguar XKE coupe for $44,000, and a pristine 1952 MG TD for $29,000. After those, however, the appreciation curve shot upward, with an unbelievably original 1965 XKE Series 1 4.2 coupe going for $200,000 and a similarly original 1961 E-Type Roadster hitting $380,000. And in the I’ve-never-seen-one-of-those-before, a 1951 Lotus, claimed to be the very first road-worthy customer vehicle, sold for $225,000.
And finally, in the cars-I-should-have kept category, a perfectly restored 1964 Sunbeam Tiger with factory hardtop went across the block at $140,000, and a nicely-restored 1957 MGA sold for $33,000. Surprising many of those present, a low-mileage, highly original 1973 MGB achieved $34,000.
The Amelia Island Concours is an event that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Amelia Island is an easy drive from many cities and airports on the East Coast, and if you avoid the Ritz-Carlton, relatively affordable. The cars are eye-candy of the highest magnitude, and British cars enthusiasts can find many gems in the sea of Porsches, Mercedes, Ferraris.
Note: Thanks to long time friend Bob Seidler for submitting this report.