March 9th, 2014 was the date for the Amelia Concours d'Elegance held on the meticulously groomed fairways of the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island Florida. I try to attend the many car shows that occur around central Florida every year and while I've heard nothing but praise for the Amelia Concours I've never been able to attend it. Finally in 2014 I made it my mission to get myself to Amelia and made it happen. My day began with a very early walk of the dog before the two and half hour drive to Amelia. It was cold but I felt fine in my shorts and jacket and figured I would be ok once the sun came up. I made it to the Ritz about an hour before sunrise thinking I'd get some pictures of the cars driving in before heading out onto the fairways. I got a great parking spot and got out of the car to check things out and almost froze in my footsteps. It felt about thirty degrees colder than when I had walked my dog earlier in Orlando. My shorts were no match and within five minutes I had the chills and had to return to my car and use a beach towel to try and warm back up. I was so cold I didn't even want to pull my hands out to unpack my camera gear and get ready to take pictures. It was brutal. I had a front row view of the road and watched as a few cars drove by but nothing made me want to get the camera out. Then I heard a rumbling off in the distance and knew it was going to be special.
The sound was much more menacing than the put put cars that had been going by. This was the sound of a serious engine, the kind you hear at the track. I didn't have time to get my camera out so I just jumped outside the car and stood at the side of the road to see what I could hear coming around the bend and suddenly there it was. The Ferrari 330 P4 owned by Jim Glickenhaus drove right past me on its way to the spot on the fairway reserved for Ferrari race cars. It was amazing to see and the sound was magnificent. The trees on both sides of the road captured the engine note on that early Sunday morning and its a moment I will never forget. It all happened quickly and just like that it disappeared into the darkness. Getting back into my car it hit me hard how I had just missed what may turn out to be my last chance to get some pictures and video of the 330 P4 on the move. If I had captured what I actually saw as that car came driving by it would have certainly been one of my greatest pictures. Not knowing what else may come driving by I dug out my gear and managed to get some pretty cool shots including one of the Underslung but the one I wanted the most escaped me.
Once the sun came up I walked over to the entrance of the show but learned I couldn't enter for another two hours. Meanwhile others were getting early entry and by the time I and the rest of the general public were let in the grounds were so packed with people it made it near impossible for me to get the kind of uncluttered pictures I like. Next year I hope to rectify that problem and find a way to gain early entry as well. I will say that Amelia is the finest car show I've been to date. The location, car selection and overall ambience was stellar. Even the weather was perfect once the sun warmed things up. It also had some of the most polite, respectful and well behaved people I've been around in a long time. It was actually quite refreshing. I spent most of the day walking around enjoying all the cars but didn't take very many pictures. I just can't get into shots with twenty people crowding around. I ended up leaving before the awards but vow to return next year perhaps for more than a day and get the kind of coverage I aspire to.