The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2017 was held Saturday, March 11th on the fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island next to the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida. With more than 300 cars and motorcycles in attendance, the judges at the 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours were tasked with a difficult job of not only picking class winners, but also awarding the Best of Show Winners. The Concours awards Best of Show for two designations — Concours de Sport and Concours d’Elegance.
Best of Show Concours de Sport at the Amelia Island Concours 2017 was awarded to the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider from the Dano Davis Collection.
In the 1930s, the 8C 2900 Alfa was not a mere sports car but was the most advanced, modern and compelling sports car money could buy. Milan’s own Carrozzeria Touring patented the ‘Superleggera’ construction which coincided with the birth of Alfa Romeo’s masterpiece. Approximately 32 of the 2.9 chassis were made and it is believed only 12 are Touring Spiders, seven of which are the long chassis like the Best of Show winner.
This car’s known history starts in 1949. In February 1949 it was raced in Sao Paulo by amateur driver Mario Tavares Leite who had the car imported from Italy to Brazil. Mario won races with the car in 1949 and 1950 after which the car disappeared. Later it had a Corvette engine installed and the chassis was modified. It is possible this car traveled to Brazil from Argentina in the mid-to-late 1950s without the Touring body and with the Corvette V-8 only to be reunited with the original Touring coachwork some four decades later.
Best of Show Concours d’Elegance at the 2017 Amelia Island Concours was given to the 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ-582 Torpedo Phaeton owned by Terence Adderley.
The Model J was produced in Indianapolis from 1929 until 1937 with a 420 cubic-inch DOHC engine producing 265 hp in stock form and 320 hp in supercharged form. Each of the chassis sold received custom coachwork built to the whims of the owner. Prices ranged from $13,500 to $25,000. Five torpedo Phaetons were built to Gordon Buehrig’s design. The first body was produced by Brunn and two subsequent bodies were built by Weymann.
The Amelia winner is one of the last two Torpedo Phaetons, which were built by the A. J. Walker Company to the Gordon Buehrig design specifications. It was originally delivered new to E. L. King of Winona, Wisconsin as J-558 on chassis #2558. Mr. King was apparently not satisfied with the car and Duesenberg agreed to replace the complete chassis and engine. The original body was installed on chassis number 2608 with engine J-582.
“I’m extremely pleased with the judges’ decisions for the 2017 Amelia Island Concours winners,” said Bill Warner, Chairman and Founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “Both the Duesenberg Model SJ-582 and Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider are extravagant vehicles and we are thrilled to give them the praise they deserve.”
Amelia Island Concours 2017 – Best of Show Winners Photo Gallery (photos: DeremerStudios.com)
[Source: Amelia Island Concours; photos: Nathan Deremer / DeremerStudios.com]