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Amelia Island Concours 2020: Complicated Class Provides Simple Pleasure

Dillard family’s 125 Ducati triple cam, class winner at Amelia.

In hindsight, this year’s March 8 Amelia Island Concours was held in the shadow of the forthcoming COVID-19 pandemic. Officials were taking precautions by offering hand cleaner stations at entrances. One week later, they would have probably been shut down, a fate Daytona Bike Week received five days later as health officials realized the gravity of the contagion.

The Schigel Collections 1958 Ariel Square Four.

This was Amelia’s 25th anniversary. The concours has always smiled on a motorcycle class. Classes tend to take a theme here, and this year’s theme was “Complex.” Entrants included a 1922 Neracar with its complex steering system, a 1939 HRD Series A Twin, aka “The Plumber’s Nightmare” with all of its external oil lines, and a 1929 French Majestic with its stylistic shroud and unusual steering system. A German Imee scooter slowly reveals the thought put into routing the exhaust through a swingarm and one-sided hub steering. As though an Ariel Square Four wasn’t complex enough, add a Garrard sidecar.

The Barber Museum took home a corporate award with their stunning French Majestic.

The real winner according to the judges and most of the crowd was the ex-Mike Hailwood Ducati 125 triple cam desmo single. This was one of four built. It made its way to the U.S. and was owned by the late Phil Schilling. Now owned by the Dillard family, it was fired up at Amelia several times and was a real crowd-pleaser. People couldn’t believe such a small motorcycle could be so loud! The Majestic from the Barber Museum and the Ariel from the Schigiel Collection also won awards. Spectators were rewarded with lots of eye candy and beautiful Florida weather. More than once I heard people comment that Amelia has become the best show in the country, certainly on the East Coast.

Brian Bossier’s 1939 HRD Rapide.

There were also three big auctions at Amelia, two of which had motorcycle-related lots. The Bonhams sale offered a World War II NSU Kettenkrad, a peculiar combination of motorcycle and half-track! It sold for $150,000 plus buyer’s premium! Across town a very original Ducati green frame in original paint was hammered sold at $105,000 + 12% buyer’s premium.

1975 Ducati 750SS at the Gooding Auction.

Published on Mar 23, 2020

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