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Geared for the Automotive Life

Amelia Island: Old and New, Inside and Outside

Well, The Amelia 2022  — Hagerty’s reimagined Amelia Island Concours weekend — is now history.

For now, I don’t want to get into how Hagerty changed things at Amelia Island, which is one of the biggest weekends of the collector car year.

I had a good time, and I noticed one HUGE continuing trend — increased numbers of younger car people at The Amelia and other collector-car events.

Years ago, people in the vintage car world were worried that teenagers and young adults were drifting away from cars. Well, that’s not a worry anymore. The kids are here to stay.

The Amelia’s Cars & Community events on Saturday, March 5 offered a big menu of things to do, from the massive Cars & Caffeine car show to a RADwood meet, Concours d’Lemons and a Kids Zone with slot-car racing and racing simulators.

I expected to see younger collectors clustered at RADwood, which celebrates cars of the 1980s and 1990s. The reality was way more interesting. I saw lots of older, traditional collectors — and younger car people — at RADwood. I also saw a very wide mix of ages and interests at Cars & Caffeine — and on Sunday’s The Amelia Concours.

In fact, The Amelia 2022 was a fascinating look at the evolving collector car world. Japanese cars, once the playground of younger collectors, have taken their place in the traditional Amelia Concours d’Elegance. 

And I saw younger collectors admiring traditional, blue-chip collector cars, such as Shelby Cobras, Duesenbergs and high-end Ferraris.

Outsiders are now insiders, and old is mixing with new. This, of course, is the ideal situation.

Not everyone is on board with this, but most people seemed happy with this mix of ages and car passions at The Amelia 2022. And think about this: In 30 years — maybe sooner — today’s newbie collectors will be running the show.

The journey from now to then will be a ton of fun.