Story and photos by Rick Carey
Cars at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2019
Do high profile cars disappear after they leave the auction block with a new owner?
Given some profound wails of regret heard from observers, that seems to be a popular view. But are images of secretive collectors hoarding their auction trophies accurate?
A walk through the star-studded fields of the 2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance suggests that they are not.
It’s a subjective view since specific cars are difficult to identify conclusively. Of some 300 vehicles on the field on Sunday March 10, 2019 an early morning rush through the field camera in hand identified some 22 that had changed hands at auctions. There were a few others that probably had auction history but were hard to pin down due to a lack of precise identification.
This list leans heavily toward older cars: they’re more unusual, often have individual (and colorful) histories and identifiable coachwork even without the certainty of a unique chassis or engine number. Race cars similarly have easily correlated competition histories.
Starting from the oldest and working through the field to the newest (which was fifty years old) here’s a sample of twelve.
Each of these cars has gone on to a renewed, refreshed life after being sold at auction. Some have been sympathetically maintained and preserved in or close to the condition they were in when sold. Other have been re-restored or rigorously freshened to keep them shiny and running well, ready for a new round of appearances at events like Amelia and on historic tours or race tracks.
It’s part of what keeps car collecting fresh and automotive history alive with new, enthusiastic owners who want to keep the automobile’s heritage alive and vigorous.