Amelia Island Concours
by Stephanie Hart
STEPHANIE HART: The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island is hosting this event, an amazing setting,to honor the automobile and the people who love them for their beauty, speed and their ability to take us where we want to go. Just beyond those beauties…These cuties.
JOHN KRISTOFF: We want to be the cutest couple in the cute car class.
STEPHANIE HART: Well these two are off to a good start. Days before showing their car at Amelia Island, John and Joy tied the knot. How exciting is that?
JOHN AND JOY KRISTOFFF: Very exciting. Yeah. Yes.
STEPHANIE HART: The couple’s car is a 1956 Fiat Abarth 750 GT.
JOHN KRISTOFF: It was a competition coupe so one of approximately 20 outfitted from the factory to race. It raced in Italy in 1957 including a 3rd place finish in class in Amelia Amelia.
STEPHANIE HART: And today a first place win in its class at Amelia Island. Sounds like astorybook ending to us.
JOY KRISTOFF: It was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t change anything. And winning anaward was just the icing on the cake.
STEPHANIE HART: Eleven cars competed in this class. Automobiles that are rarely honored, seen or even acknowledged in a typical Concours competition. Many people see them as a novelty because of their style, but they’re an important part of automotive history. Like this Mathis VL 333, a flattened, egg-shaped, three wheel car! It’s the only car of its kind left today. I hopped in to check it out! In 1942, the goal was to build a lightweight, fuel-efficient automobile that would be affordable to sell after the war. And you would be surprised how comfortable these seats really are. Nine cars were produced during the war.
OLIVER CERF: After the war they went to the Paris show in 1946 and then after that it wasdecided the metal was too expensive for the aluminium and Ronald Citroen were gonna get the metal first so they never went into production on the car.
STEPHANIE HART: Which makes it an extremely rare car to see today! In the 1950s the Fiat Jolly was used frequently as dockside transportation to take the rich and famous to and from their yachts and they did it in style as you can see with these wicker seats and this canopy top, so precious.
GREGORY JOHNSON: But the truth is, is that many of them were one offs. They were made by coach builders the same as Ferrari and Maseratis and much much more respected marks.
STEPHANIE HART: From elegant…to eclectic…the 1957 BMW Isetta. This is the car that saved BMW after the war.
BOB BAILEY: People obviously didn’t have any money after the war and they were lookingfor inexpensive low priced cars that got great fuel mileage.
STEPHANIE HART: This qualifies with a 300 CC BMW motorcycle engine and a fourspeed gearbox. What kind of feeling do you get when you drive this car?
BOB BAILEY: Well it’s a thrill. You know, you get up to 60 miles per hour and they’re a little bit skittish or what not but it’s a lot of fun to drive. At Amelia Island we parked the car in the town and I think about a thousand people there, all the little kids just gravitated to this car. There are cars 10 times more expensive, but I let all the kids sit in the car and they had a blast.
STEPHANIE HART: Mostly about memories made around so many different cars on thesilver anniversary of the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance.