Displaying a 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter at Amelia Island

Of the basic automotive occasions held through the yr, my all-time favourite is the Amelia Island Concours d’Class. Since attending The Amelia for the primary time 19 years in the past, I’ve returned yearly, with every successive go to reflecting the expansion and alter that has made it higher and higher due to a high quality collection of vehicles, seminars and superb invited visitors.

As such, it has lengthy been a dream to indicate a automotive at Amelia. Final yr, I had the chance to take action in my capability because the Assortment Supervisor of the Maine Traditional Automobile Museum, which I covered in a story last year. I’ll say that it was an fascinating expertise, and I used to be proud that we ended up successful an Amelia award for our Alfa Romeo 6C in our first outing.

Andy and John taking the Ferrari for a spin

For 2023, we introduced a automotive once more, one that’s fairly particular: a 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter cabriolet with coachwork by Stabilimenti Farina. The automotive is chassis quantity 033S, which makes it the 16th Ferrari street automotive ever constructed. If that isn’t sufficient, it was additionally initially owned by one in every of Ferrari’s most well-known prospects, Dottore Enrico Wax, who additionally occurred to be the importer of Johnny Walker whiskey in Italy. Through the years, Wax would personal a few of Ferrari’s most spectacular vehicles.

In comparison with the Alfa Romeo I delivered to The Amelia in 2022, the Ferrari was completely good. I had the whole possession historical past from new. A report from Marcel Massini confirmed no gaps in its possession. If that was not sufficient, our precise automotive was featured in two definitive books on early Ferrari street vehicles, which included interval pictures of the automobile. It additionally was restored by Heinrich Kampfer, the Swiss-based knowledgeable on early Ferrari street vehicles. In comparison with earlier concours occasions we’ve got attended; we had been higher ready for The Amelia and within the working for a greatest of sophistication award than I’ve ever been.

Tim’s meticulous detailing

Three weeks earlier than The Amelia, I had my pal Tim McNair (proprietor of Grand Prix Concours preparation providers) come as much as the Maine Traditional Automobile Museum in Arundel to arrange the Ferrari for the occasion. After spending three days with the automotive, Tim deemed it able to go and, every week later, the Ferrari was on a Passport Transport truck on its technique to Florida.

I flew into Jacksonville from Hartford and met my pal John Saccameno, who had flown in to help with something that the Ferrari may want, particularly with mechanical points that might pop up. We drove to The Amelia, dropped our rental automotive on the Ritz Carlton and walked over to the Peters Level drop-off location to reconnect with our automotive. It was already off the truck and, after priming the one Weber carburetor, the Ferrari began simply and warmed up with an ideal idle.

Similar parking spot, new pal

John and I jumped in and headed over to the parking storage on the Ritz. We truly ended up getting the identical parking house we had the yr earlier than with the Alfa. As we exited the Ferrari, a crimson 275 GTS parked proper subsequent to us, giving our automotive a youthful pal to spend the week with whereas ready for Sunday’s huge occasion.

The following morning, I went to the storage and fired up the Ferrari for a brief drive. This automotive has only a few miles on it, so I assumed it will most likely be greatest to stretch its legs whereas on the identical time check its techniques to make sure every thing was working accurately. The engine of the 166 is superb, revving freely and simply spinning up throughout acceleration. The gearbox is one other story, nonetheless, as it’s a non-synchronized five-speed crashbox and really finicky. The secret’s to skip second gear till the automotive is completely warmed up, one thing common with most early Ferrari street vehicles however even worse with the crude five-speed within the 166. The chassis can be not the best, with little or no suspension journey and somewhat truck-like steering. Regardless of this, the automotive attracted loads of consideration as nobody round had ever seen a Ferrari prefer it. This was actually the case as The Amelia was the automotive’s American debut.

Andy with the Ferrari

After a couple of six-mile jaunt, we made our means again to the Ritz, parked within the storage, raised the highest and headed to choose up our registration packet and different credentials. Once more, the automotive ran nicely with no points, which might show to be the case over the whole weekend.

Saturday noticed me up very early so as to be on time to evaluate the Concours d’Lemons, which is a concours occasion crammed with vehicles that had been both horrible or unloved when new — assume AMC Pacer and Gremlin, Pontiac Aztec, bizarre French and Italian vehicles, and the like. My lessons had been French, Italian, British, Different American and Swedish. The most effective of all, the Italian class consisted of what needs to be the world’s nicest and most unique Lancia Beta Coupe, with the opposite being the world’s nicest Fiat 131 Mirafiori Particular. The truth that each these vehicles confirmed up below their very own energy and had been so clear made selecting the winner for that class fairly tough. We ended up selecting the Fiat 131 because the house owners had an an identical automotive in the identical yellow coloration 30 years in the past and acquired this unique automotive to exchange their former one. The truth that they had been capable of finding one in every of these uncommon vehicles in any respect, not to mention in the identical coloration, was nothing lower than a miracle.

After serving to handy out the awards for Lemons with founder Alan Galbraith and Le Mans-winning driver and pal Justin Bell, I headed again to fulfill the staff from the museum for lunch. Afterwards, we toured the choices on the Broad Arrow Amelia Island public sale and narrowed our curiosity to a few vehicles: a 1947 Chrysler City and Nation convertible, a shocking 1938 BMW 327 cabriolet and, my private favourite, a 1967 Sequence 1 Iso Grifo. All had been purchased for honest costs and the proprietor of the Maine Traditional Automobile Museum was thrilled with the information.

At 3 p.m., John Saccameno drove the Ferrari onto the sphere and parked it for the following day’s primary occasion. Tim McNair met us and went by way of the ultimate preparations. John and I then raced to our room to alter for the Amelia Gala. We frolicked assembly and greeting buddies, plus managed to see an interview with Jeff Gordon by his former crew chief and greatest buddy Ray Evernham. Just like the earlier yr, The Amelia has the very best gala dinner occasion I’ve ever attended.

Andy with the judges

After a late evening, I rose promptly at 6 a.m. on Sunday to get the Ferrari prepared for judging. I met my pal Joe Murphy and we labored to present the automotive the ultimate touches to present us an opportunity at an award with this superb and historic one-of-a-kind Ferrari.

The judging staff arrived at our automotive at 8:15, upon which we defined the automotive’s historical past, the truth that it was the 16th Ferrari street automotive ever constructed, and the celeb possession story, then we confirmed them how the sympathetic and proper restoration was carried out. That marked the tip of the exhausting half — now it was time for the ready sport.

1931 Bucciali

After ready and ready, the 12:30 awards got out and, to my shock, we didn’t win a single award — not even 3rd in school or a particular award. I left the automotive and wandered across the present discipline, working into a number of judges who advised I ought to return to the automotive as they had been certain a particular award was on account of what the automotive was and the way nicely it was introduced. After working forwards and backwards quite a few instances, I lastly gave up in search of ribbons that will by no means seem and started to take a look at the actually spectacular vehicles on the sphere. My three favorites had been the 1951 Lancia B20 Carrera Panamericana competitors automotive, the 1931 Bucciali and my single favourite automotive on the planet, XKD501, which is the 1955 Jaguar D-Kind that gained the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Amelia Concours Automotive Pictures by Deremer Studios, LLC

Lastly, on the finish of the day, the well-deserved Better of Present winners had been introduced: the 1935 Voisin Aerodyne of Merle and Peter Mullin and the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The winner in our class had been our buddies with a 1950 Ferrari 166 coupe by Ghia.

The present was over, and Joe and I loaded our chairs within the little Ferrari and drove to the transporter. Identical to final yr, we waved on the individuals ready on Peters Level to observe the drive-off.

Present’s over, people!

So why didn’t our automotive win something? This stays a thriller to me. I haven’t introduced a greater ready or documented automotive at a concours occasion, not to mention the 16th Ferrari street automotive ever constructed. I even have by no means judged a automotive as nicely documented and ready as our automotive was. I suppose generally you simply roll the cube and take your possibilities, and we didn’t rating a successful roll. That being stated, simply having the ability to present our automotive at The Amelia is a win in itself, and the a whole bunch of people that came to visit to ask questions and find out about our automotive was a fantastic prize as nicely. Concours exhibiting is each costly and aggressive, however we are going to roll the cube as soon as once more and return subsequent yr with one other superb automotive from the Maine Classic Car Museum.


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