The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2020 was held Sunday, March 8th 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 25th 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 2020 was awarded to the 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder owned by Rob Kauffman of Charlotte, North Carolina. Chassis 917/30/003 with the Sunoco livery was raced by Mark Donohue under the Penske Racing banner.
The most powerful race car to have ever raced, this 1,500+ horsepower air-cooled Porsche took no less than five first place finishes and one second place, winning the 1973 SCCA Can-Am series. This same car also set the closed course speed record at Talladega Speedway in 1975, averaging a staggering 221.16 miles per hour. Now 50 years later, that remains the fastest lap ever recorded on the steeply banked Alabama superspeedway. Kauffman regularly brings the 917/30 back to the track to stretch its legs and help fans relive the 1973 Can-Am season.
Best of Show Concours d’Elegance at the 2020 Amelia Island Concours was given to the 1929 Duesenberg J-218 ‘Whittell’ Limousine owned by the Lehrman Collection, Palm Beach, Florida.
Captain George Whittell Jr. was heir to an impressive California gold rush and real estate fortune and the ultimate playboy of his day who famously liquidated his entire stock portfolio (approximately $50 Million at the time) just two weeks before the infamous stock market crash of 1929. A larger-than-life public figure in San Francisco society, Whittell engaged in numerous escapades with women, reckless street racing and outrageous public appearances. Whittell collaborated with Murphy Coachbuilders for a fleet of custom Duesenbergs.
This distinctive Murphy bodied Town Limousine sports an aluminum roofline that allows the doors to be curved upward into the roof. This feature was carried forward into several future designs for Murphy. The most distinctive features of the J-218 were the angled windshield, surrounded by “clear vision” window pillars and the classic Art Deco paint scheme. The bare aluminum beltline was polished to a mirror finish to divide the black bottom from the white top. Chrome flashes such as the door hinges, tool and battery doors complete the look. Vent doors in the hood rather than louvers are also a special feature.
“The 1929 Duesenberg J-218 Town Limousine and 1973 Porsche 917/10 Can-Am Spyder both embody the spirit of our awards,” said Bill Warner, Chairman and Founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “The judges had a tough challenge in a field a cars that would win Best of Show at many other concours. I am pleased they did due diligence and continue to recognize the best and most extraordinary vehicles in existence, right here in Northeast Florida.”
Amelia Island Concours 2020 – Best of Show Photo Gallery (photos: DeremerStudios.com)
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[Source: Amelia Island Concours; photos: Nathan Deremer / DeremerStudios.com]