A 1934 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe and a 2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R were crowned this year’s Best in Show winners on March 6 at The Amelia Concours d’Elegance — its 27th annual event. Marking the inaugural year under Hagerty’s stewardship, the 2022 event highlighted “innovative activations that complemented the event’s long tradition of showcasing the world’s finest vehicles”.
Central to the weekend’s festivities at the Ritz-Carlton and Golf Club of Amelia Island was the celebration of The Amelia’s 2022 honoree: accomplished driver and championship race team owner, Chip Ganassi.
Every year, The Amelia assembles a group of cars associated with the honoree, and this year was no exception: For the 27th, The Amelia gathered eight familiar Chip Ganassi Racing-entered machines including the Dallara which won the 2010 Indianapolis 500 and the 2010 Daytona 500-winning Chevrolet Impala.
The two “Best in Show” winners were a 1934 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe (Concours d’Elegance) and 2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R. (Concours de Sport).
The Duesenberg, displayed by Harry Yeaggy of Cincinnati, Ohio, was Intended to compete with the most luxurious and powerful cars in the world in its day. Like all production Duesenberg J’s, it was fitted with 420-cubic inch, eight-cylinder engine with twin camshafts and equipped with factory-fitted dual Winfield carburetors. One of the last Duesenbergs produced, this LaGrande Convertible Coupe could top 115mph and was originally owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post (General Mills founder, businesswoman, socialite, philanthropist, collector of fine art – and once the world’s wealthiest woman). This “Duesie” was used as her Long Island summer house car until 1962.
Current owner Yeaggy had it restored to its original specifications.
The Cadillac DPi prototype was displayed by the Jackson Collection, of Ellicott City, Maryland. The DPi-V.R was purpose-built to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship following a 14-year absence by the marque. This Wayne Taylor Racing chassis features a race-prepared, normally aspirated series-limited 600hp Cadillac 5.5-liter V-8 engine and was the overall winner of the 2018 Petit Le Mans and 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall (the latter with double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso sharing the driving duties).
“Congratulations to this year’s Best in Show winners and to all of the collectors who shared their cars at The Amelia,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “These incredible cars and their owners make The Amelia what it is: one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the automotive calendar every year. This was Hagerty’s first time operating the show, and we are enormously grateful for the hard work and support of our amazing sponsors, our volunteers who come back year after year, the entire car community and, of course, Bill Warner, our Chairman Emeritus.”
Continuing with The Amelia’s tradition of celebrating motorsport, race cars from the 60th Anniversary of the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 70th Anniversary of Sebring were joined on the field by some of the finest examples in the Race Cars Pre-War, NASCAR and Gurney Eagle show groups.
Other featured classes included selections from Waterhouse Coachworks highlighting the small Custom Coach Builder from Webster, Massachusetts whose run was cut short after only five years thanks to the Great Depression and the Rare Aluminum Porsche Race Car genre highlighting the earliest competition efforts from the then-young sports car manufacturer.
That group included a Porsche 1951 Le Mans class winner, an aluminum 1949 356/2 entry owned by Cameron Healey and restored by Rod Emory, which was one of the first three Porsches to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Man. Its class win set the table for the longest stretch of consecutive La Sarthe entries that continues to this day.
A triple-carbureted, 4.5-liter in-line six-cylinder powered 1953 Delahaye 178 helped fill out the Sports and GT Cars 1958-1972 class, the largest at The Amelia with 22 cars. This example featured coachwork by Henri Chapron of Paris and a four-speed electromechanical transmission that allowed the driver to shift without using the clutch. The car was on display courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Other 2022 show highlights included the celebration of the original Hot Rod, with the 90th Anniversary of the 1932 Ford. Anchoring the ’32 Ford class was one of the earliest examples of the genre, the “Doane Spencer Roadster” owned by Bruce Meyer. Rick and Elaine Schmidt’s 1924 Lincoln L, with its 90 horsepower 358 Cubic Inch L-Head V8, helped commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Lincoln.
For additional details on the 2022 The Amelia, click HERE.
For more information on Hagerty, click HERE.