Monday, March 17, 2014

On the Road: 2014 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

by Willy Vinton

Recently I went on another adventure to check out a few cars at some auctions and take in a couple of car shows.This time I headed to Amelia Island, FL. There I met up with Allan Schmidt from Escondido, CA, who does a lot of our restoration work. We decided to first take in the Festival of Speed display.

Now if you're a purist, this may not be the show for you, but it is amazing the talent shown in the creation of some of these vehicles. I am not sure what the first pictured vehicle is supposed to be, maybe something from a scifi movie? Either way, it was interesting to look at.

The motorcycle with three, yes THREE, drive tires was an interesting concept bike for sure. Training wheels, perhaps? Straight ahead of that bike is one with a young lad on it, and next to him was "Bat Man" in full dress. The kids were enjoying having their picture taken on his bike.

After two days of cold, rain, and wind, Saturday turned out nicer. On Sunday, it reached a very pleasant 70 degrees for the concours. One of my favorite cars there was the one at right. This is one of the very first Duesenburg Model As built, and I have to say it is by far the most striking of the Model As I have seen. The custom body and lines of this Bender Coupe were amazing to look at, and being a 1921 it was a step ahead of its day. I would love to have this car in the museum.

The real reason for my trip, though, was to see the great collection of American Underslungs on display. Only 11 of the planned 14 made it to the show, but they were all great to see. At right is the American's famous Teetor-Hartley 4-cylinder engine. Apparently these are very rare, as we have been searching for a few years for one, with no luck. This engine is almost a mirror image of the 4-cylinder Continental engine of the same period, but has a few major differences.

Like most of the Brass Era cars of the day, there was plenty of brass to see under the hood. It is always a joy to see this brass contrasting with the aluminum crankcases and cast blocks. When you look at the progress that was made in the first 10 to 12 years of automobile engine development, it is amazing how fast they progressed and improved.

This 1910 American Underslung Traveler from the Seal Cove Museum once belonged to Austie Clark. Allan and I spent a lot of time among the Underslungs, scrutinizing details and talking to folks there. What a great bunch of cars we saw--too much to put in here at this time!

Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort. All guests receive half-price admission to the museum!

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