Amelia Island 2018

Emmo's Formula One McLaren. [Photo by Eddie LePine]

Emmo’s Formula One McLaren. [Photo by Eddie LePine]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

The 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elgance is now in the record books and as usual, the event founded by the great Bill Warner was a huge success. Despite having to condense the event due to a poor weather forecast for Sunday, the crowds were huge, Saturday’s weather outstanding, and the selection of cars on the field was second to none.

Without doubt, the 23rd annual Amelia Island event has to rank as one of the best yet and also without doubt Amelia Island is one of the top, if not the top, Concours events in the country.

This year’s Honoree was twice World Driving Champion and two time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, and a number of his legendary race cars were on display on the show field. Emerson was accessible and gracious the entire week, greeting fans, telling great racing stories and signing what seemed like endless autographs. It was nice to see Emerson again in person, as we both have covered his exploits in both Indy Car and Formula One in the past.

The event also featured IMSA GTP cars from 1981 through 1993 and a number of fine examples where one display on the show field. In addition to the fine display of GTP cars, on Sunday a IMSA GTP seminar was held in the Ritz Carlton, hosted by Bob Varsha and featuring racing legends such as Hurley Haywood, David Hobbs, Brian Redman, Rob Dyson and Chip Robinson, among others.

The show field also featured a special class highlighting the 50th Anniversary of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4, and the resulting Ferrari display was spectacular for Ferrari fans.

But that was not all. Also featured on the field were custom cars from “Big Daddy” Ed Roth and an outstanding display of Martini sponsored race cars throughout the years, including two spectacular Porsche 917s.

More than 300 cars in total were displayed on the show field on Saturday, a tribute to this outstanding event started by Bill Warner back in 1996. Since its inception, the show’s foundation has donated over $3.2 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Shop with Cops and other deserving charities in Florida.

The event just keeps going from strength to strength. Far more than single day Concours, the Ritz Carlton was filled to the brim with artwork, motoring memorabilia, high quality merchandise and vendors from around the world. Add to that the incredible cars showcased in the RM Sotheby’s Auction (since 1999 the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance), and if you were a car guy, you were in heaven.

We can’t wait for the 24th Annual event a year from now.

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Jack Webster has been shooting motorsports since the early 1970’s, covering Formula One, CanAm, F5000, TransAm, GrandAm and American Le Mans races, among others. In addition to his photography, he has also worked on racing teams, both in IMSA and IndyCar, so has a complete knowledge of the inner workings of motorsport. Both his photography and writing can be seen here on Eddie LePine has been involved in motorsports for over 30 years as photographer, columnist, and driver. Eddie also is now a retired racer (well, retired unless a good ride pops up). You can usually find Eddie in the paddock area, deep in conversation with a driver.