A German and an Italian car took top honors at the 2019 Amelia Island Concours this past weekend, with a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K winning Best in Show in the Concours d’Elegance category and a 1957 Ferrari 335 S winning Best in Show in the Concours de Sport category.
The Mercedes 540K is a rare Autobahn-Kurier model designed, as the name implies, for high-speed stability on non-speed regulated sections of German autobahn. As such, the car featured an innovative, streamlined body and a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 to blow past more utilitarian transportation of the day. Built on the W29 chassis, just 761 cars were built and only 419 were made with the supercharged 5.4-liter engine between 1934 and 1939. A 1937 Mercedes 540K Special Roadster fetched $9.9 million at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale auction.
The Ferrari 335 S started life in 1957 as a 290 MM model, but as was common in the era, it was upgraded by the factory with larger engines as they became available. The car was first upgraded to a 315 S, then its final 335 S configuration with a 4.0-liter, twin-plug, dual-overhead-cam V-12 making some 360 hp. The car competed in period at Sebring, Le Mans and the Mille Miglia and was driven by the likes of Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien, Mike Hawthorne, and Stirling Moss. A similar 1956 Ferrari 290 MM recently sold at the 2018 RM Sotheby’s Petersen Automotive Museum auction for some $22 million.
The 2019 Amelia Island Concours featured several unique classes this year, including one featuring historic funny cars and drag racers, a Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase class, and a class for race cars driven by show honoree, retired race car driver Jacky Icyx.
For more coverage on the 2019 Amelia Island weekend including auction results, keep tuned to Automobilemag.com.