1929 Duesenberg J/SJ Convertible and 1963 Ferrari 250/275P
1929 Duesenberg J/SJ Convertible and 1963 Ferrari 250/275P

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2018 – Best of Show Winners

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2018 was held Saturday, March 10th 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 23rd 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 2018 was awarded to the 1963 Ferrari 250/275P from The JSL Motorsports Collection in Redwood City, California.

To contest the new World Prototype Championship in 1963 Ferrari introduced its first of many mid-engine V12 powered prototypes, the 250P. Four cars were constructed with three liter engines. All were factory team cars and immediately successful. Ferrari entered two cars in the Sebring 12 hour race and finished first and second overall. They went on to overall wins at the ADAC Nurburgring 1,000Kms and the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year taking the 1963 World Prototype Championship. The cars were updated with larger 3.3 liter engines in 1964, now called a 275P and went on to overall wins at Sebring and Le Mans again.

The Amelia winning Ferrari 250/275P won the overall at the 1963 ADAC Nurburgring 1,000Kms with John Surtees and Willy Mairesse and the 1964 Sebring 12 Hours with Mike Parkes and Umberto Maglioli driving. This car finished second at the 1963 Sebring event and won the first race at Mont Tremblant as a NART entry with Pedro Rodriguez driving. The car was campaigned as a NART entry in 1964 and 1965.

Best of Show Concours d’Elegance at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours was given to the 1929 Duesenberg J/SJ Convertible owned by Harry Yeaggy from Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Duesenberg J was advertised as “The World’s Finest Motor Car”. The list of Duesenberg owners was a Who’s Who of Hollywood elite along with captains of industry. No wonder — a bare chassis cost $7,500 and coachwork added another $10,000 to $15,000.

Duesenbergs were built from 1913 thru 1937. Industrialist E.L. Cord purchased the Indianapolis, IN, company in 1926 and hired Fred Duesenberg to design a chassis and an engine that would be the best in the world. The Model J was introduced at the New York Car Show of 1928. In unsupercharged form, the J produces 276 horsepower from a straight-8 engine with dual overhead camshafts and was capable of a top speed of 119 mph. The supercharged version, the SJ, could do 135-140 mph in third gear; and at a time when the best cars could rarely reach 100 mph.

The winning Duesenberg J/SJ Convertible has Murphy roadster-style coachwork that was restyled in period by Bohman and Schwartz of Pasadena, California. Styling changes included a lengthened hood, slotted fenders and more modern bumpers. One of the early owners of this car was Edward Beale McLean, who owned the Hope Diamond and whose family owned The Washington Post.

“I could not be more pleased with the judges’ decisions for the 2018 Amelia Island Concours winners,” said Bill Warner, Chairman and Founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “We are overjoyed to present the Duesenberg and Ferrari with these honors. These cars are prime examples of automotive prestige and we are proud to recognize them.”

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2018 – Best of Show Winners Photo Gallery (photos: DeremerStudios.com)

[Source: Amelia Island Concours; photos: Nathan Deremer / DeremerStudios.com]