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2021 Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance Best in Show

Amelia Island Best in show

The 26th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Awarded Best In Show to a 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet and a 1974 Shadow DN4. 

The 26th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance crowned a 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet and a 1974 Shadow DN4 as this year’s Best in Show.

Due to the global pandemic, the event, which is regularly scheduled in March, was pushed to May. Despite the new time slot, the Concours was excited to return and host the world-class event at the Golf Club of Amelia Island and the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

“The 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet and 1974 Shadow DN4 both represent the excellence we strive for at The Amelia. This year’s showfield might have been reduced to encourage social distancing, but the quality of the entries made selecting the winners as difficult as ever.” 

Chairman and Founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Bill Warner. 

1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet

A 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet displayed by Jill and Charles Mitchell from Stuart, Florida was awarded the Best in Show Concours d’Elegance Trophy. 

In 1898, Spanish army Captain Emilio de la Cuadra founded La Caudra. He hired Marc Birkigt, a Swiss engineer. There was a change in ownership and the company became bankrupt. In 1904, Mr. D. Damián Mateu, Mr. Francisco Seix and a group of industrialists restructured the company and renamed it LA HISPANO-SUIZA.  

By 1905, the company was manufacturing four and six-cylinder engines. When World War I came, they produced airplane engines. Birkigt made innovative engine designs that included a cast engine block, a hollow propeller shaft, and reduction gearing.

After the War ended, production resumed, and they eventually built a reputation for manufacturing luxury automobiles.  

From 1919 to 1933, Hispano-Suiza produced 2,350 H6 cars. The H6 was equipped with an aluminum, overhead camshaft 403 cubic inch straight six-cylinder engine, being half of Birkigt’s V12 aviation engine.

The H6 also possessed power-assisted four-wheel light-alloy drums for its brakes, a technology that was just introduced to the industry and licensed to other builders, including Rolls-Royce. 

In 1931, the crowned example was given a Cabriolet Le Dandy coachwork by Henri Chapron Works. A few Delage D8’s also had Le Dandy bodies; some were given full-flowing fenders, while others had cycle fenders.  

1974 Shadow DN4

The Best in Show Concours de Sport Trophy was presented to a 1974 Shadow DN4, displayed by James Bartel of Key West. 

DN4-1A is the 1974 Championship-winning Shadow racer that Jackie Oliver drove, where he won four of the five races in the final shortened season of the original Can-Am.

It nearly prevailed in all the races in the series, but sadly suffered an engine failure in the final race merely four laps short of the finish line.

The DN4 was an all-new car for 1974 with many of its components originating from the DN3-F1 racer.  

Don Nichols retained the DN4-1A in unrestored condition until its current owner acquired it back in 2014. It underwent a restoration and commenced historic racing in 2016, where it has finishing first in each historic race it has entered.

After an incident at the 2020 Road America historic races, the DN4-1A was newly restored. This is the example’s debut since its recent restoration.  

[Source: Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Photos courtesy of Deremer Studios LLC]