Amelia Island

Classic.Com’s Founder Talks Collector Cars and What He’s Been Coveting at Amelia Island’s Auctions

Classic.Com’s Founder Talks Collector Cars and What He’s Been Coveting at Amelia Island’s Auctions

Now that pandemic-related restrictions are easing, in-person automotive meet-ups have sprung back to life. Case in point are the events associated with, and including, the 2022 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, which started March 3 and runs through March 6. The super-heated collectible car market, that recently set records in Scottsdale, Ariz., is likely to do the same in Florida, according to Juan Diego Calle, founder of Classic.com, a new website that acts as a global search engine for classic vehicle sales.

Calle, a tech entrepreneur and car enthusiast, was previously responsible for starting up the FJ Company, a Toyota Land Cruiser–restomod shop. He recently shared with Robb Report his take on both the market in general and his favorite machines crossing the block at Amelia.

Juan Diego Calle, founder of Classic.com. 

Photo: Courtesy of Juan Diego Calle/FJ Company.

Due to continued problems with the supply chain, the car market for both new and used vehicles is booming. Once these issues are eventually resolved, do you think the collector-car arena will adjust or is this a new normal?
We could spend an hour on that alone. But just know that a number of things affecting the collector-car market are not going away. Mostly, the liquidity created by online players is here to stay and is a major driver of this trend. You can buy a car and quickly sell it using these venues. I personally think the winning model going forward is a hybrid between physical and online [auctions].
Are the increased prices for collector cars reflective of a strategy to hold a potentially valuable investment, or simply the desire to own and drive vehicles with distinctive provenance?
It’s both. On the one hand, we’re seeing a shift in the auto industry in general, with this move towards electric vehicles and autonomous driving. So I do think there’s an additional nostalgia kicking in, this feeling of “Let me get my hands on these ICE [internal combustion engine] cars because they’ll no longer exist at some point soon.” But, then again, one of the hottest classic cars on our website is the old Tesla Roadster [built 2008 though 2012]. It just shows you that the car hobby will continue to exist, though maybe in new forms.

A Toyota Land Cruiser restomod from Juan Calle’s FJ Company. 

Photo: Courtesy of Juan Diego Calle/FJ Company.

In your opinion, what are some of the most desirable classic cars out there today, and why have their values shot up?

We’re seeing a great deal of interest in anything from the ‘80s and ‘90s, which clearly is a generational shift as people in their 40s and 50s see those vehicles as classics. Cars like the Porsche 993 and, even now, the 996 are seeing a lot of interest. The Land Cruiser market is very hot, cars that are utilitarian and that you can drive and enjoy with family.
Cars that are more museum items, they’re not seeing as much traction. Personally, when I’m hunting around, my checklist includes whether I can take my kids to school in it. For many buyers today, the car must be something you can have fun in and enjoy and drive, not simply collect.

This 1998 Porsche 993 Carrera 4S sold for $145,600 at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island Auction on March 4. 

Photo: Courtesy of Gooding & Company.

Your new venture is essentially an auction-site aggregator. What need did you observe that led to founding Classic.com?
I’ve been in tech since my college years and have created and sold a few companies. In 2012, I started the FJ Company and suddenly I had to learn a lot about buying and selling cars. I saw that it was a big industry, between $30 billion and $50 billion annually, but there was no central place to see all the available inventory for a make and model—you had to search piecemeal. And the pricing of the cars seemed to be an obscure art.
We had an aha moment and asked, “why isn’t there a Zillow [a real estate app] for classic cars? It’s challenging from an algorithm standpoint because it has to understand model nuances, but our hope is that it helps people find that needle in a haystack.

Classic.com, an auction-site aggregator for the collector-car market. 

Photo: Courtesy of Classic.com.

Do you think that the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions will lead to a greater field of collectors and even more intense bidding during the auctions associated with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance?
Absolutely. That was the case in Scottsdale recently, which saw amazing results and reaffirmed the importance of live events. You’re buying a physical item, and for many people, it’s a deeper experience to inspect a car and feel it live. So while online players have expanded the market, the winning model longer term is a hybrid of online and in-person [auctions].

A portion of the show lawn at a previous edition of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. 

Photo by Deremer Studios LLC.

Of the cars being offered at Amelia, which are you particularly curious about as far as their potential sales performance?
I’d start with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, of which there are two for sale. I like the red one at RM Sotheby’s. Then I’d have go with the Porsche 993 Carrera 4S. The market for these air-cooled Porsches has been on fire, and it’s amazing to see four of them up for sale at Gooding alone. I like the white one. And then there’s a Porsche 550 Spyder. There’s only one for sale and they’re extremely rare, so keep your eye on how that car does at the Bonhams sale.

This 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing is estimated to fetch as much as $1.65 million at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale today. 

Photo by Robin Adams, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

What collector car would you purchase now?
I am very interested in a Ferrari 612 from 2005, but a manual version, not the F1 paddle shift. I believe Ferrari only made 99 of them, and it’s on the cusp of when these 12-cylinder vehicles may start becoming collectible. The F1 version sells for an average of $85,000, but the manual is more like $235,000. First I need to save up for one, then I need to find one.

Car of the Week: This 1937 Talbot-Lago Could Fetch North of $10 Million at Auction

Car of the Week: This 1937 Talbot-Lago Could Fetch North of $10 Million at Auction

The French have a way with design, articulated with a distinct vocabulary of their own. Historically, no French car—especially a coachbuilt one from before World War II—would ever be mistaken for an English, Italian or German one. French design is about elegance, whether it’s a Louis XV chair or Dior haute couture. Or, in the case of an automobile, the Figoni et Falaschi–bodied 1937 Talbot-Lago to be featured by Gooding & Company during its live auction at Florida’s Omni Amelia Island Resort on March 4.

“The significance of bringing a car as revered, valuable and influential as this 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe, bodied by Figoni et Falaschi, cannot be overstated,” says David Gooding, founder and president of Gooding & Company. “With its stunning, timeless styling, storied and unbroken provenance and indisputable rarity, this car comes to auction as one of the most valuable French automotive offerings, and surely the greatest Talbot-Lago offering, the market has ever seen. We are honored to present this masterpiece of a car on the auction stage in Amelia Island later this week.”
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Talbot began with the acquisition of Automobiles Darracq in 1916, and changed its name to Automobiles Talbot in 1922. A decade later, businessman Antonio Lago was brought on as managing director to turn around the automaker afflicted by the Great Depression. Lago, who introduced new models with four- and six-cylinder engines, went on to buy out the company, adding his name to the marque by 1936.

Following the war, the company struggled as the automotive industry grew and embraced mass production. Despite developing a number of road-going models, and even machines for Grand Prix competition, Talbot-Lago failed to thrive. By the early 1950s, the demise of the French luxury marques like Bugatti, Delage, and Delahaye was a fait accompli. Talbot-Lago folded and was acquired by Simca in 1959, but not before leaving to posterity one of the most beautiful cars ever made.

On March 4, Gooding & Company will auction off this 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe bodied by Figoni et Falaschi. 

Photo by Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

The Talbot-Lago 150-C-SS was a real performance car for the time. The “C” stood for Competition, and the shorter, lighter Super Sport (or “SS”) chassis was the one to have. The vehicle is powered by a 4.0-liter inline-six engine—designed by lead engineer Walter Becchia—featuring overhead valves and three Zenith-Stromberg carburetors. Output is about 140 hp at 4,100 rpm. Shifting is through a Wilson pre-selector gearbox, which allows the driver to “pre-select” the next gear, the transmission remaining in the current gear until the driver presses the clutch pedal, thus eliminating the need to master smooth gearchanges in a non-synchro transmission.
The model is also equipped with an independent front suspension and live rear axle with leaf springs, while the Brakes are mechanical drums all around. The platform, being lightweight, short and low, was ideal for such an aerodynamic body. The T150-C-SS was sold as a bare chassis for 78,000 francs—expensive for its day— and priced in line with competitors like the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 and Bugatti Type 57S.

The vehicle is powered by a 140 hp, 4.0-liter inline-six engine featuring overhead valves and three Zenith-Stromberg carburetors. 

Photo by Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

From 1937 to 1939, Talbot-Lago built a limited number of T150-C-SS chassis, which received custom bodies by a variety of coachbuilders, the most beautiful of which were, by far, designed and fabricated by Figoni et Falaschi. Depending on the source, between 10 and 12 were made in two variations: a fastback, known as Goutte d’Eau, or “Teardrop,” and a notchback called Jencart, after the patron who commissioned the first of five examples.
The all-alloy Modèle New York coachwork, unveiled at the 1937 New York Auto Show, is the most elegant version of the Teardrop concept, taken to the extreme with fully enclosed, skirted front fenders. While two examples were made, the car on offer—chassis No. 90107—remains the only original-bodied example of that design. Its shape exemplifies the modern streamlined style, and may be considered the ultimate automotive expression of “art for art’s sake.”

The car was one of only two examples of the all-alloy Modèle New York body style from the coachbuilder, and the only one extant. 

Photo by Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

Remarkably, this exotic French confection has spent nearly 80 of its 85 years in Southern California. It’s speculated that chassis No. 90107 was commissioned, with three other built-to-order Teardrops, by famed playboy and Olympic bobsledder “Suicide Freddie” McEvoy.  It was purchased, in 1939, by Stewart Lee, the 33-year-old heir to the Don Lee Cadillac and broadcasting fortune, who had inherited $9 million dollars in 1934.
Lee ran his companies while amassing numerous custom cars and aircraft. According to Automobile Quarterly, many of Lee’s cars were acquired through racer Luigi Chinetti, who later became the exclusive Ferrari importer for the United States. A man with an eye for Talbot-Lago, Lee owned two other T150-C-SS Coupes, chassis No. 90108 and No. 90114. During his ownership, No. 90107 was repainted dark red and occasionally raced in the desert, where it was clocked at over 117 mph. During the 1940s, Lee was badly injured in a car wreck, got hooked on painkillers and, tragically, took his own life in 1950 after being committed to a sanitarium.

The automobile is as equally gorgeous on the inside. 

Photo by Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

The publication Road & Track, whose classified ads from the 1950s and 1960s offer a tantalizing glimpse of the period’s used sports car market, announced the Talbot-Lago as follows: “Forced Sale of Prize Collection: The Thomas S. Lee world famous foreign sport cars must be sold immediately. By order of the Los Angeles County Public Administrator.”
The purchaser was John Duckworth, a car enthusiast in San Fernando, Calif., and the car subsequently appeared on the cover of Road & Track. After a couple of interim owners, it was acquired in 1956 by Lindley Locke, a collector of French cars who saw the Talbot-Lago parked on a street in Los Angeles. The car was put in storage at his Santa Monica garage in the early 1960s, and remained unseen for 40 years. In 2004, Locke’s widow donated the Talbot-Lago to the Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, Calif. Known internationally for the quality of its cars and its fastidious restoration work, the Sylmar team returned No. 90107 to its original specification, including its blue and silver paint.

The dashboard is elegance incarnate. 

Photo by Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

This car is no newcomer to the concours lawn. Prior to coming to California and being sequestered for decades, it won the Prix d’Excellence at the 1938 Concours d’Elegance Fémina in Paris, testament to the influence of, and regard for, Figoni’s design when new. In this century, and after its restoration by Nethercutt, the Talbot-Lago was awarded Best in Class at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, followed by Best of Show at the 2007 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Presented for public sale for the first time since 1950, the car is estimated to fetch more than $10 million when it crosses the block. In a world where flavor-of-the-month modern supercars can command a third as much, this seems a relatively modest valuation for one of the greatest French automobiles of all time.

Car of the Week: Once Discovered in a Field, This One-of-a-Kind 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE May Now Fetch Seven Figures

Car of the Week: Once Discovered in a Field, This One-of-a-Kind 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE May Now Fetch Seven Figures

When Jaguar’s XK120 hit the scene in 1948, the open two-seat roadster caused a sensation. It was soon followed by a fixed-head coupe (FHC) in 1951, and, in 1953, a drophead coupe (DHC) that offered a more substantial folding top. All three models were stunning, curvaceous designs as modern as their engine, the reliability of which equaled its high performance. The United States was just discovering the allure of European sports cars, with the first MGs brought over right after the war by servicemen returning home. The nimble British sports cars whetted the appetites of hot-rodders, and were just the beginning of the import craze.

Compared to the Jaguar XK120, the MG’s seemed anemic with their spindly wire wheels, fenders and inline-4-cylinder engine. In contrast, the XK120 features an aerodynamic body and a 3.4-liter, twin-cam inline-6 power plant with a hefty output of 160 hp. The Special Equipment (SE) package boosted power to 180 hp. According to the factory, the XK120 was good for 120 mph, as proclaimed by its model name. By the time production ended in 1954, more than 12,000 had been made, making way for the XK140 and, in 1958, the XK150, whose successor became the exquisite E-Type in 1961.

This one-off 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE, with a body by Pinin Farina, will feature at the Bonhams Amelia Island Auction on March 3. 

Photo by Justin Leighton, courtesy of Bonhams.

A number of Italian coachbuilders had bodied Jaguar XKs throughout the 1950s, though re-envisioning the original shape, which was penned in just two weeks by Jaguar Cars co-founder Sir William Lyons, was a challenge not to be undertaken lightly. Notable was Ghia’s Jaguar XK120 Supersonic, of which three examples were built, embodying the same Space Age flair as the Supersonic series built on Fiat 8V chassis. Arguably the rarest, however, and certainly most elegant of the true one-offs was the 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE coupe by Pinin Farina.
The vehicle’s history begins with an Austrian named Max Hoffman, to whom Carrozzeria Pinin Farina (the company’s name changed to Pininfarina in 1961) dispatched the car new in May of 1954. Hoffman was an importer who probably had more to do with bringing European sports and luxury marques to America than anyone else. Hoffman conceived of Porsche’s Speedster in an effort to make the “expensive Volkswagen” more affordable and competitive. He also championed the BMW 507, and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” was his doing, too. As the Jaguar distributor for the East Coast, he commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a showroom on Park Avenue, though by the time it was completed in 1954, Hoffman had moved Mercedes in and Jaguar out.

The vehicle underwent a 6,725-hour restoration. 

Photo by Justin Leighton, courtesy of Bonhams.

The one-and-only Pinin Farina Jaguar XK120 SE was unveiled at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show. Although scheduled for exhibit at the 1956 Turin Motor Show, it failed to materialize, having been delivered to its new owner. While it is not known to whom Hoffman sold the car, the trail picks up again in 1958 with an owner from Connecticut, by which time it was painted red with a cream hard top. In 1972, the Italian one-off was acquired by a collector in North Carolina, who discovered the car in a field in Connecticut.
In 2015, UK-based Jaguar restoration specialist Classic Motor Cars (CMC) bought the car from a German collector, who, in 1978, had acquired it stateside with the intention of restoring it. As with so many well-intentioned projects, the work was never begun. The CMC mission was to complete a 100-point, nut-and-bolt restoration to the car’s original Pinin Farina specification, enhanced by the fact that the automobile retained its original engine and transmission.

A 3.4-liter, twin-cam inline-6 engine gives the car 160 hp. 

Photo by Justin Leighton, courtesy of Bonhams.

The project, however, was complicated by the need to fabricate elaborate components, like bumpers, from historic photos. According to David Barzilay, CMC’s marketing director, “We had to scan the front and rear end of the car and make mockups of the lights, which were then scanned and 3-D printed. Smaller missing parts were also 3-D printed in-house. The rear window was missing, so we also had to scan the window aperture and have a new rear screen made from the scan data.”
The original color for paint and upholstery were unknown, but small samples were discovered in the car’s nooks and crannies. After 6,725 hours of combined effort, the restoration was completed in time to show the reborn Jag at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2017.

The unique example on the show lawn of the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. 

Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

This Jaguar is one of a number of exceptional vehicles that will be offered by Bonhams at its Amelia Island Auction on March 3. Also among the lots crossing the block are a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, with body by Wendler, and a 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with Barker & Co. coachwork. But what’s this unique Pinin Farina–bodied Jag worth? While the official estimate is “Refer to Department,” it’s a fair bet that the car will fetch north of $1 million.

This Eclectic Porsche and BMW Collection Heads to Gooding & Co.’s Amelia Island Auction

This Eclectic Porsche and BMW Collection Heads to Gooding & Co.’s Amelia Island Auction

Rudy Mancinas, who passed away in 2021, amassed an impressive collection of cars, including 18 Porsche and BMW examples to be offered without reserve by Gooding & Company during its Amelia Island Auction on Friday, March 4. Mancinas made a careful selection of vehicles when it came to his collection, and many represent the evolution of later Porsche 911 and BMW M 3-Series models, in colors that range from mild to wild. Occasionally, the cars were “Rudyfied” with personal touches and tasteful modifications, such as colored brake calipers and badge accents, to make the appearance of each vehicle unique.

At one chronological end of his Porsche collection is a rare 1968 912 Soft-Window Targa in Irish Green, while at the other is a 2008 997 Carrera S in striking RS Green. Also noteworthy is a 1990 964 Carrera 4. That series, launched in 1989, looked similar to the outgoing 911 Carrera, with only smooth bumper caps and a then-unpopular wheel design outwardly distinguishing it from its predecessors. Yet the 964 was 80 percent new under its skin.

Porsche’s 912 was the 911’s little four-cylinder brother, and this 1969 Soft-Window Targa version is the rarest of the breed. 

Photo by Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

Drivers welcomed the greater power and improved handling of the 964, which was replaced by the 993 series in 1995—a whole new 911 with a revised and much-improved engine, gearbox and rear suspension. Harm Lagaay (Porsche’s veteran designer who first penned the script on the side of the Carrera RS in 1973) restyled and updated the body, most readily identified by its flatter headlamps.
Acknowledged as Porsche’s air-cooled masterpiece, the 993 was built from 1994 to 1998. By the end of its production run, its engine had grown from the original 1964 911’s 2.0-liter flat-six to one with 3.6 liters of displacement, developing 282 hp in naturally aspirated form. Of the 993-series 911 Carreras, the auction house is presenting a wide-bodied Carrera 2S in luminous Ocean Jade Metallic, and an all-wheel-drive Carrera 4S in vibrant Blue Turquoise—both 1997 models and highly desirable, especially in such rare colors. Preferred by some (like this writer) over the 400 hp Turbo model on which they were based, both are essentially identical to the Turbo, save for their non-Turbo engines, and in the case of the 2S, the possession of smaller brakes and only rear-wheel drive.

This 1997 Porsche Carrera 2S is an example of the most elemental of the 993-series wide-body cars. 

Photo by Josh Hway, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

By 1999, the water-cooled 996 series came to market and caused great consternation among Porsche enthusiasts who, at the time, maintained strict abstinence from engine water. It’s been a water-cooled Porsche world ever since. Connoisseurs doubtless regard the 993 as the ultimate 911, understanding that just because the water-cooled cars that followed are better cars, they are not necessarily better expressions of the original 911 concept.

A V-8-powered 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition in Fire Orange. 

Photo by Josh Hway, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

And because Porsches and BMWs share many of the same garages, not to mention enthusiasts, note should be made of eight exceptional machines from Munich that belonged to Mancinas. Along with a 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition in Fire Orange, there will be five candy-colored examples of the BMW E30, E36, E46 and E92 generations of the M3, a model that dominates the collection.

This 1974 BMW 2002 tii is an example of the boxy model that put the Bavarian carmaker on the map. 

Photo by Josh Hway, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

But perhaps among the most important examples from the Bavarian automaker is a rare 1973 BMW 2002 tii Touring and a 1974 2002 tii, the latter in Atlantic Blue. Debuted in 1968, the 100 hp box that is the 2002 model essentially “started it all” for BMW’s presence in the US, and was the catalyst for the marque’s growing stature.
Gooding & Company’s auction will take place at the Omni Amelia Island Resort at 11 a.m. EST. Bidding will be accepted in-person, online and by phone.

Car of the Week: This 1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000 GT May Fetch Up to $3.5 Million

Car of the Week: This 1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000 GT May Fetch Up to $3.5 Million

Today, the Toyota 2000 GT is regarded as one of the most significant—and beautiful—Japanese automobiles ever made. But when it came on the scene, the model was an outlier by every definition—an unexpected offering from a Japanese marque whose products, along with those of Honda and Nissan (Datsun in the US at the time), were generally regarded by stateside buyers of the era as disposable econoboxes. But those cars soon earned a reputation for reliability and quality, relative to their modest cost, and soon converted skeptics and won all three brands a place at the mass-market table. By the 21st century, Toyota would become the world’s second largest car company.

Penned by Toyota’s designer Satoru Nozaki, the 2000 GT was unveiled at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show. Only 351 examples were made from 1967 through 1970, about 60 of which came to the US. Each was hand built under contract with Yamaha, whose own 2.0-liter, twin-cam inline-six engine powers the lightweight sports car. Developing a respectable 148 hp, the 2000 GT has a top speed of 137 mph, thanks in part to only a 0.28 coefficient of drag. Weighing just 2,469 pounds, the car comprises an aerodynamic, semi-monocoque-design steel body that’s on a backbone chassis. The result is a near-perfect 48/52 weight distribution. Also featuring a five-speed transmission, limited-slip differential, rack-and-pinion steering, independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, Toyota’s 2000 GT offered an ideal starting point for a winning race car at the time.
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Originally finished in Solar Red and configured in right-hand drive, the vehicle soon to cross the auction block through Gooding & Company—chassis No. MF10-10001—is one of the original show cars used by Toyota Motor Sales USA to promote the 2000 GT publicly. But establishing the marque’s reputation in the US was a daunting proposition. Carroll Shelby, whose stock-in-trade was turning production cars into competitive race cars, was just the man to bring Toyota to the American motorsports scene, and by natural progression, the public eye. So, after the car’s promotional tour, Shelby and Toyota engineers made mechanical and design modifications to MF10-10001—the first serial-numbered 2000 GT built and the first of only three cars that Shelby prepared for SCCA C-Production racing.

The 1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000 GT—chassis No. MF10-10001—soon available through Gooding & Company. 

Photo by Josh Hway, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

Shelby had a lot to work with in the Toyota 2000 GT. Drop-dead-gorgeous looks notwithstanding, the model is low, compact and evenly balanced, providing one can fit into the small cabin. Actor Sean Connery was too tall for the car when starring as agent 007 in the 1967 movie You Only Live Twice, hence a one-off convertible was made for filming. It seems that most people were a little smaller then, as an attempt to pilot any Jaguar XK-E or mid-1950s Thunderbird or Corvette will remind contemporary—and perhaps more corpulent—drivers. Regardless, the Toyota 2000 GT offers an exhilarating driving experience.

Weighing just 2,469 pounds, the car comprises an aerodynamic, semi-monocoque-design steel body on a backbone chassis. 

Photo by Josh Hway, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

Ultimately, MF10-10001 enjoyed a brief racing career, after which it was owned by several noted collectors. Its most recent owner and consignor—regarded as the foremost 2000 GT specialist—acquired the car in 1980, subsequently devoting a decade to a full restoration that returned the racer to its original 1968 SCCA configuration, including unique Shelby mechanical components and historic white-and-metallic blue racing livery. Following restoration, this 2000 GT has been exhibited at events including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where it won First in Class.

The race-focused and right-hand-drive-configured interior. 

Photo by Josh Hway, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

For the better part of a decade, non-competition 2000 GTs have hovered around the $1 million threshold; not bad for a car that sold for $6,800 when new ($750 more than a Porsche 911). Never before offered for public sale, this first-of-a-kind and best-of-the-best example is estimated to bring between $2.75 million and $3.5 million at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island Auction on March 4.

Watch the Founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Explain What Makes It Unique

Watch the Founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Explain What Makes It Unique

As this weekend’s highly anticipated Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance kicks into gear, there’s a new video with the event’s founder and chairman, Bill Warner, giving an insider’s look at what makes the annual exhibition so special.

“A Conversation with Bill Warner from The Amelia Island Concours” is the latest episode in the Florida-based Brumos Collection’s special series entitled “Inside the 59” and shares Warner’s unique perspective.

In the presentation, Warner recalls the earliest days of the event—the first was held at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, on Amelia Island, Fla., back in 1996—and talks about its many highlights over the years, its honored guests and also traces its rise to prominence.

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Warner, a businessman, car collector, photographer and writer, also talks passionately about his seven-decade relationship with the Brumos brand, and most recently, with its remarkable Brumos Collection, a museum that opened last year and features landmark Porsches and other important automobiles.
It seems that when the Brumos Collection was getting ready to debut its 35,000-square-foot facility, Warner was asked to supply some of his photography featuring the key race-car drivers who piloted Porsches for Team Brumos in 1959 and 1960. These include names such as Hurley Heywood, Peter Gregg and Roger Penske.

A few of Bill Warner’s images from racing grace the walls of the Brumos Collection museum. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Brumos Collection.

Many of those photographs are also showcased in a newly released book of Warner’s iconic images, called The Other Side of the Fence: Six Decades of Motorsports Photography. According to Warner, in the early days of the Amelia Island Concours, the Brumos Collection proved invaluable in loaning many of its rarest-of-the-rare racing Porsches to help raise the profile of the event.
“Every major show has great collections in their backyard they draw from,” Warner explains. “The Brumos Collection has a phenomenal selection of cars, which can make or break the excitement that you’re trying to produce with a Concours d’Elegance.”

The crowded concours lawn. 

Photo by Steven J Robertson, courtesy of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

As for the origins of that Brumos name, Warner explains that the original Porsche dealership was founded by Jacksonville VW dealer Hubert Brundage. When Brundage opened his new Porsche store back in 1962, he used the company’s Telex code, shortening “Brundage” and “Motors” to the “Brumos” moniker.
Fast forward to 2021, and after a year of pretty much every key concours being cancelled due to Covid-19, Warner is excited to be welcoming enthusiasts back to Amelia Island.

The 1922 Miller 122 Junior 8 Special that won Best of Show at Amelia Island in 2009. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Brumos Collection.

This weekend will feature a special “Chevy Thunder” display tracing Chevrolet’s racing history. Another main presentation will highlight the development of electric vehicles, including everything from the wonderfully named 1895 Morris and Salom Electrobat IV to the new all-electric Cadillac Lyriq.

In 2017, a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider earned Best of Show Concours de Sport, and a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ-582 garnered Best of Show Concours d’Elegance. 

Photo by Deremer Studios LLC, courtesy of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

The traditional Saturday morning Cars & Coffee display is also back, as is the RM Sotheby’s classic car auction. And this year’s concours honoree is racer Lyn St. James, who in 1992 became the first woman to be named the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year.

Motorsport royalty Richard Petty and Bill Warner at a previous edition of the concours. 

Photo: Courtesy of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

As before, the concours raises money—over $3.75 million so far—to benefit Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local and national charities.

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