Amelia Island classic car bids surge as rare marques win trophies

Amelia Island classic car bids surge as rare marques win trophies
The two winners of the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance best of show trophies. On the right is the 1937 Horch 853 cabriolet that won the elegance division; on the left is the 1958 Scarab racer that won the sports car division. (Neil Rashba)

The classic car market continued to cruise in high gear over the weekend at the annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Nearly $67 million worth of rare machinery changed hands at auction while a pair of lesser-known, ultra-rare marques took home the show's most prestigious trophies.

The Amelia concours event has been held on the Florida island every year since 1996, and has donated over $2.25 million to charity in that time. Although not quite on par with the Pebble Beach auto week held in August, the Amelia event is considered one of the more prestigious classic car shows in the U.S.

This year, attendance grew to more than 29,000 people -- up from 25,000 in 2013 -- and featured 325 cars on display during the show, organizers said.

PHOTOS: Highlights from the 2014 Amelia Island Concours

Taking home the prestigious best in show award this year were a 1937 Horch 853 cabriolet owned by Bob and Anne Brockinton Lee of Nevada, and a 1958 Scarab racer that is part of Miles C. Collier's collection.

The Horch, which won the elegance class at Amelia, is no stranger to the winner's circle. In 2009 it garnered the best of show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, a trophy widely considered the most prestigious award in the classic car world.

It's one of only two Horch models ever to be fitted with a body built by Voll & Ruhrbeck, a company known in that era for its coachwork for Bugatti, Cord, Maybach and Mercedes-Benz models.

Meanwhile the Scarab picked up the top spot in Amelia's sports car division. The car is one of three front-engine race cars built by Scarab, a fledgling company that built a total of only eight cars. The company was founded by Lance Reventlow, the late son of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, and eventual stepson and friend of actor Cary Grant.

On the sales side of things, Amelia saw two auction powerhouses square off again.

RM Auctions and Gooding and Co. each saw impressive gains over the previous year, selling a total of $66.8 million in classic cars during the weekend, a 21.5 percent jump over the previous year.

The weekend's biggest sale belonged to R.M., which sold a 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Torpedo Roadster for $6.6 million. That figure set two records: highest price paid for a Delahaye at any auction and highest price paid for a car at the Amelia auctions.

Other top sellers included a pair of Porsches (a 1968 Porsche 907 Longtail Coupe and a 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder) that sold for $3.6 and $3.3 million, respectively, a 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT Coupe that sold for $2.5 million, and a 1958 BMW 507 Roadster that sold for $2.4 million.