Concours d’Lemons at The Amelia | Our shameless top 10

Photography by J.A. Ackley

Many attend The Amelia for the crème de la crème of collector cars from around the world. Then, there’s the Concours d’Lemons. It unashamedly features “the best of the worst” and “the worst of the best.” If that’s your sort of guilty pleasure, continue on, as we share our 10 favorites from the show field.

2003 Volkswagen Golf

We’d be remiss to overlook this tribute to Betty White. Nothing classes up a joint like the ageless wonder. It also helps that our Tom Suddard, a Concours d’Lemons judge, received a book about the late actress, too. That might have influenced our decision to place this in our top 10, but the road sign splitter assuredly earned the car a few bonus points, too.

2001 Hyundai Sonata

Admittedly, this may not be a remarkable car, but the entire ensemble seals the deal. It combines several of our favorite things to watch on TV, such as K dramas, Stranger Things (nice touch with the sheriff’s car) and, of course,  X-Files. This person affiliated with the car came to greet us–we’re not sure which aforementioned drama she fits in. Either way, it was more than enough to win the not-so-prestigious Korean Kimchi award.

1978 Mercury Grand Marquis

They don’t make them like this anymore–and probably with good reason. Nevertheless, think of the endless possibilities of what you can do with all the space with this beaut of a land yacht. With some of today’s “svelte” cars nearing the curb weight of this vehicle, we wish those latest cars could still have some of the space that yesteryear’s rides had.

1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S

The judges awarded this car as a “Sight for Sour Eyes.” However, the owner of the car, Monica Eby, noted that this Benz was the “luxury offering” from the automaker at that time. My, how times have changed.

1985 Toyota Xtra Cab SR5

There’s just something about a rad-era truck that makes you yearn to go back to the dawn of the computer age, the 1980s, especially if it was one of those Japanese imports, like this example. The proud owner, Dave Danzeisen, stands by ole reliable, which carries a dealership banner that is befitting of the vehicle.

1984 Honda Zoe

We have reason to believe that the guy on the right stands at only 5-foot-something tall. However, we may be off by a few inches or so. Regardless, this unique ride won the award for “Slightly Better Than a Go-Kart.” That is quite the feat considering it only has three wheels.

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300 D Limousine

What would those from the Green Mountains of Vermont ride in to a wedding? Well, we imagine something like this limo owned by Kenneth Oldrid. It features plenty of good ole Yankee ingenuity, including a unique way to trigger the brake lights. We’re surprised in didn’t run on Dunkin, Ben and Jerry’s or, at the very least, maple syrup. This car earned the prize for Best Backseat from the judges.

1965 Citroën Ami 6

Je l’aime! There’s nothing more exotically enticing than a French woman … we mean car. Definitely car. According to our cursory (Wikipedia) research, this European import came with a whopping 26-horsepower from its air-cooled, 602cc flat-two. It was enough to earn the “Unmitigated Gaul” award. Who says you need big power to win things?

1976 Lancia Beta Coupe

Look at that green color. That incredible–and might I add original–Italian leather interior. And, that beautifully vintage 1970s styling. What’s not to love about this car? Its owner got the car after it had been stored away for a while. With a few mechanical fixes and some polish, this is the result. Bellissima!

1976 AMC Pacer

You can make any car better, but some vehicles provide more to work with. Case in point, this AMC Pacer, which owner Gil Pepitone “reengineered.” We don’t know how this didn’t win an award, but we blame bribery shenanigans, which the concours organizers heavily encourage. C’mon, Gil, work on the bribes, not the car!

Did you attend this year’s Concours d’Lemons at The Amelia? What were some of your favorites?

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/28/23 4:58 p.m.

I need to dig out the photos, but I had fun showing our 1975 Pontiac Catalina Safari at Concours d’Lemons. A friend from school met up with me at the event. 

Oddly, I have also shown the 911 at one....

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/29/23 10:00 a.m.
David S. Wallens said: 

Oddly, I have also shown the 911 at one....

Really making the rounds. All you need to do now is show the 911 at a main concours event like Amelia. wink

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