Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Commuter Car of Future' Steals Vintage Car Show

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Commuter Car of Future' Steals Vintage Car Show

Article excerpt

An aquamarine 1956 Messerschmidt, a glorified go-cart, stole the

vintage car show.

Even if other entries in the Concours d'Elegance could fly past

it on a road, the three-wheeled car with the motorcycle engine

drew the most attention.

"I used to see these on the road all the time," sighed Art

Jones of Jacksonville. The driver and passenger climb into the

squat, twoseater by pulling its door open like the hatch of a

fighter plane, Jones explained.

His wife, Isabelle Jones, was unimpressed. "We thought they

were ridiculous-looking in the Sixties," she said.

Ridiculous-looking, but economical. "It was supposed to be the

commuter car of the future," observed Ike Jones of Jacksonville.

"It didn't quite materialize."

The Messerschmidt joined 167 other classic, antique, sports and

race cars assembled on the golf course greens at The

Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

The Concours d'Elegance, one of the premier car shows in the

nation, drew a well-heeled crowd of more than 3,600 people to

Amelia Island.

It was the first time North Florida attracted the show, which

included European and American classic cars, antique cars dating

to 1913 and automobiles with an interesting lineage of owners.

For instance, a black 1971 Mercedes-Benz limousine purchased

last year by a Charleston, S.C., collector originally was used

by President Mao Tse Tung of the People's Republic of China,

then American industrialist Armand Hammer.

For several hours, automobile admirers strolled the greens,

stopping to read brief statements that told the history of each

car before peering in windows and snapping photos. Snack bars

offered $6 glasses of champagne and $2 sodas.

Umbrellas popped out by noon, when a steady drizzle started to

fall. …

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