Amelia Island 2022 Overview

A New Era

Scene from the parking lot at one of the Amelia Island auctions. Photo Credit: David Neyens

After the disruptions in the customary high-end auction schedule of the past two years, 2022 marks the welcome return of all three high-end collector-car auction companies to Amelia Island. In addition to the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, often referred to as the “Pebble Beach of the East,” the many shows, displays, and driving events at “The Amelia” this week promise to deliver an ideal winter getaway for classic-car fans and racing enthusiasts.

Tradition aside, this year’s edition of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be the first since acquisition of the event by collector-car insurance company Hagerty in June 2021. Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance founder Bill Warner, who spearheaded this event since 1996, nonetheless remains as Chairman Emeritus, and he will undoubtedly provide much-needed continuity. Industry players will be watching the event closely, as this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will certainly set the tone for Hagerty’s other recently-acquired events including the Concours d’Elegance of America, the California Mille, and the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.

In addition to its event acquisitions, Hagerty recently inked a deal with Broad Arrow Group, established by a large cadre of former insiders at RM Sotheby’s. Most recently, Broad Arrow Group has also announced its intent to host an auction during Monterey, California’s celebrated classic car week festivities. According to the BAG website, “The collector car industry is highly complex and fragmented, with varying degrees of honesty and business integrity among industry participants, alongside extraordinary amounts of information and misinformation. With hundreds of dealers, dozens of auction houses and tens of thousands of cars offered for sale, how do you know who and what to trust?” Claiming to have “…set out to innovate and improve the way in which collectors and enthusiasts buy and sell collector cars,” BAG has thrown down the gauntlet to its industry competitors. Only time will tell, as they say. I know, or have worked with, several of the Broad Arrow Group honchos in the past and it will be interesting to see how the business evolves. A bold, but predictable move for a new auction player with seasoned leadership, BAG’s thrust into the Monterey Peninsula will be closely watched and we will follow their progress there and elsewhere.