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Air-Cooled Porsches on Every Corner During Amelia Car Week

The annual trek to Amelia Island each year has seen an explosion of air-cooled Porsches appearing on every corner during Amelia Car Week. The Porsche Club of America (PCA) Werks Reunion brings together over 600 Porsches on the Friday of car week. This is the main driving factor for seeing a Porsche on every corner. The growth of the event from a two-day weekend to becoming “Amelia Car Week” doesn’t hurt either.

Jeff Gordon Porsche 911 at Werks Reunion
Jeff Gordan's Porsche 911 in Oak Green as created by Sonderwerks

When I first started to come to Amelia in the late nineties, rooms were available at a reasonable rate, you could get into restaurants and you waved at fellow car enthusiasts as you passed each other in your collector car on Route A1A. The Amelia Island Concours was on Sunday and the RM Collector Car Auction was on Saturday so it was a nice weekend of car activities for those “in the know” of the collector car world.

1973 Porsche 911 at Werks Reunion
First Place Winner at PCA Werks Reunion 2023

Of course, in the late nineties, all Porsches on the road were air-cooled, but they gradually disappeared on the island as the new, modern water-cooled Porsches became the “Porsches to have.” The start of the PCA Werks Reunion and the run-up of air-cooled Porsche prices, in the early 2000’s, changed all that.

PCA Werks Reunion 2023 Porsche 356
Custom Porsche 356 as seen at Werks Reunion Amelia 2023

Now that the weekend is five-day event with the Concours, four auctions, Werks Reunion and Hagerty Cars & Community Porsche enthusiasts dominate the island. The high-end, glamorous auction houses of RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Company and Bonhams now feature an extensive collection of collector Porsches to sell to the well-heeled Porsche enthusiasts drawn to the island by Werks Reunion.

Porsche 911 RUF for sale
Air-Cooled Porsches for Sale at Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction

Last year Hagerty Insurance bought out the Amelia Concours, renamed the event The Amelia and bought into the new Broad Arrow Auctions so that Hagerty now dominates the weekend with their entities. It has not lessened the enthusiasm of Porsche owners to drive, show, sell and buy a Porsche.

Over 40 air-cooled Porsches featured at the four auctions with the highest prices being fetched for the famous racing Porsches such as the Leyton House 962 or the rare 1969 Porsche 911 factory T/R at Gooding & Company, while Broad Arrow featured a Vic Elford Targa Florio winning Porsche 907K. The 907K did not sell, but is now available for $4,700,000.

Porsche 911 Carrera Amelia Island for sale
Porsches as featured at the Hagerty Cars & Community

The Saturday morning Hagerty Cars & Community held on the grounds of the Ritz Carlton as a lead-up to the featured concours on Sunday has become a must-attend event featuring all marques, but dominated by Porsches. This year’s event had showers most of the morning, but it didn’t seem to sway attendees’ enthusiasm. Many of the same cars that were at the Friday Werks Reunion appeared again on Saturday, but they showed in a totally different environment from the Friday Werks.

Porsche 356 Amelia Island Cars & Community
Porsche Display featured Icons of Color in shades of blue

The Sunday Amelia Concours was featuring a special collection of nine Porsche 959’s on the show field. Five of them appeared for the Cars & Community on Saturday.

The rain personally dampened Air Brigade’s desire to stomp through the wet fields, so we took advantage of an invitation by RM Sotheby’s to attend a brunch to celebrate the final Amelia auction by RM Sotheby’s. The quality of RM Sotheby’s venue and cars were the highest with just four air-cooled Porsches, but they were the best of the best with a historic early 911 race car, a factory turbo slant nose, and two pristine early 911S’s.

Porsche 911 Slantnose and Porsche 911 S for Sale
Porsche 911 Turbo Slantnose and a Porsche 911S as featured at RM Sotheby's Auction

As the Air Brigade team returned to the beach house after another day of cars, Porsches and auctions, the heads continued to swivel along A1A with the next sighting of another air-cooled Porsche. Just going to dinner at Salt Life in Fernandina Beach had Air Brigade meeting member Chuck Harris and his ’76 Guards Red 930 while sighting the two cool 914’s casually parked in the public lot.

Porsche 914 for sale at Amelia car week
Random "In-the-Wild" sighting of two Porsche 914's at Amelia car week

Key words: Air-Cooled Porsches, Amelia Car Week, The Amelia

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1 Comment

Thomas Gerey
Thomas Gerey
Mar 06, 2023

Thanks Jim for a quick synopsis of the Amelia experience.

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