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Duesenberg and Ferrari Win Best of Show at Amelia Island Concours

Bryce Womeldurf March 12, 2018 Car Shows 7 Comments

This weekend marked the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and for the second year in a row, threats of rain meant that the event was held on Saturday rather than the traditional Sunday.

This year’s Concours d’Elegance winner was a 1929 Duesenberg J/SJ Convertible owned by Harry Heaggy of Cincinnati, Ohio, while the Concours de Sport was won by a 1963 Ferrari 250/275 P owned by JSL Motorsports Collection of Redwood City, California. 

Front 3/4 image of the 1929 Duesenberg Model J/SJ receiving the Kemp C. Stickney Trophy for the Most Elegant Open Car. 1929 Duesenberg Model J/SJ, earlier on in the awards ceremony, receiving the Kemp C. Stickney Trophy for the Most Elegant Open Car.

Although the Duesenberg Model J was designed to have the best chassis and engine in the world of its time, the Model J’s Murphy roadster-style coachwork was restyled in-period by Bohman & Schwartz of Pasadena, California. Modifications made by Bohman & Schwartz included lengthening of the hood and the addition of more contemporary bumpers.

Interior image of the 1929 Duesenberg Model J/SJ with Moet champagne inside.

One of its early owners was Edward Beale McLean, who also owned the Hope Diamond. His family owned the Washington Post. Unfortunately, McLean’s increasingly erratic behavior and out of control spending eventually meant a forced sale of the Washington Post and led to him being committed indefinitely to a psychiatric hospital where he died in 1941.

Ferrari racecar arrives at the front to receive an award. 1963 Ferrari 250/275 P pulling up earlier in the awards ceremony to receive the Spirit of Sebring award.


The Concours de Sport winning 1963 Ferrari 250/275 P is one of the very first V12 mid-engined Ferraris. It was originally built as a 250 P to compete in the then-new 1963 World Prototype Championship where the Ferraris would sweep first and second at the Sebring 12-hour race and win overall at the ADAC Nürburging 1,000 km and the 24 Hours of LeMans, earning them the 1963 World Prototype Championship.

Close up image of some of the scrutineering stickers on the Ferrari

The 250 Ps would be given an update the following year to a 3.3-liter engine and were then called the 275 P. This particular 275 P won overall victory at the 1963 ADAC Nürburging 1,000 km with John Surtees and Willy Mairesse driving and the 1964 Sebring 12 Hours with Mike Parkes and Umberto Maglioli. It finished second at the 1963 Sebring 12 hour and won the first race at Mont Tremblant at an entry with Ferrari’s “N.A.R.T.” – North American Racing Team, with Pedro Rodriguez driving. It was driven as a NART entry in ’64 and ’65.

Trumpetists playing hornsTrumpetists play their horns to mark the beginning of the Best of Show being awarded.

Amelia Island Concours founder Bill Warner ushers the winning cars up to the front.

Best of Show winners arriving.

Winner spraying champagen at everyoneWouldn’t be a win without the celebratory spraying of champagne!

A thumbs up from Bill Warner.

The winners salute and give thumbs up with Bill Warner and 2018 honoree driver Emerson Fittipaldi.The winners celebrate with Bill Warner and 2018 honoree driver Emerson Fittipaldi.


  • robbydegraff

    Gosh I love me a good Duesey

    • Sjalabais

      Did Duesenbergs ever hit some sort of rock bottom price curve – looking at you, Jaguar XJS – or where they always what they are: Non-compromising best of the best, never touched by plebs?

      Also, this photo above is just brilliant:


      • Off hand, I can’t recall if it was a Duesey or another car, but one of the cars there that day was found just sitting next to a barn. The farmer who owned the place was going to take the engine out of the car and use it in a tractor, but was instead sold to be eventually restored.

        But what I’m getting at is that some of these cars had pretty incredible histories of where they were found. It was a bit like the show “American Pickers” but with cars. So maybe more like “Chasing Classic Cars.” Someone had brought a Ford Capri race car, for instance, and I remember them mentioning how rare it was, but that they’d found this particular (now fantastic looking) example in a salvage yard where it had sat for about 25 years in the mud before they found it. I remember last year or the year before, someone had brought a fully restored DKW Monza that they’d found in a scrap yard which was being picked up by the then-damaged top with a forklift. The histories can be really fascinating.

        • outback_ute

          I know a guy whose Lancia Lambda was discovered on a farm being used as a gate! Laid on its side and pivoting around the rear axle, and used because the height of the body kept cows from eating the hay on the other side. For the price of a normal gate in a slightly different location, they got the car.

  • “…increasingly erratic behavior and out of control spending…”

    At least I can relate to one automotive aspect of this article.

  • outback_ute

    Thanks Bryce, would like to see and hear more from the show if possible!

    • Sure, I’ve got much more to share. Still combing through and developing images right now.