The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is one of the most prestigious automobile gatherings in the world, bringing together some of the most exclusive, unique, and capable cars ever built together in one place. This year, as part of the continued celebration of the 50th anniversary of BMW M, the recently revised BMW 8 Series and M8 Competition ranges were displayed for the first time since their announcement in January. In addition to showcasing some of the brand’s latest high-performance offerings, to celebrate 50 years since the founding of BMW M, an exhibition of 50 BMW vehicles from the division’s history was also displayed. Beyond featuring legends like the M1 and the Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR, the 50-car display was also heavily comprised of vehicles that are part of BMW North America’s collection, and many owned by BMW CCA members.
“The United States is the world’s largest market for BMW M vehicles and we are always amazed and delighted by the passion and dedication that many enthusiasts here invest in their cars, both old and new,” said Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH. “We feel privileged to be able to celebrate our anniversary in this wonderful place, surrounded by special people and exceptional cars.”
First revealed in 2018, the BMW 8 series and M8 Competition were recently given their mid-life facelift, or LCI in BMW vernacular. In addition to the M Sport package and an illuminated kidney grille becoming standard equipment across the entire 8 Series range including the coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupé, V8-powered 8 Series models also received the aerodynamic mirrors that were previously exclusive to the M8. Highlights that apply to the entire range include an enlarged interior iDrive display, while there are also new paint finish selections wheel designs. Although it was already difficult to procure one over the last few years, the base-model BMW M8 has been nixed with the M8 Competition becoming the standard model. M8 Competition models also received M Shadow Line lights. BMW’s display of the freshly updated 8 Series and M8 Competition at the Amelia Island Concours on the grounds of the Golf Club of Amelia Island also included the original E31 M8 prototype, which was shown in the U.S. for just the second time.
“The luxury sports cars of the new BMW 8 Series occupy a prominent position in BMW’s model range. We are delighted to be able to debut these exceptional models at one of the most prestigious automotive events in America,” said Sebastian Mackensen, CEO of BMW North America.
The display of 50 BMW M cars to highlight the 50th anniversary of BMW M was partially organized by the BMW CCA M Chapter, which put out a call for display entries back in January. In addition to the E31 M8 prototype, the M1, and the V12 LMR, one of BMW M’s newest models, the iX M60, was also featured. Another item of note was a BMW 328 making an appearance at the concours, where it was recognized with the highest award for prewar race cars.
Amelia Island is also one of the more important collector car auction venues of the year. According to BMW CCA sponsor Hagerty, which actually runs the Amelia Island Concours, the 2022 Amelia Island auction sale total of $127,700,000 is the highest result since 2016, and the sell-through rate for this year was 92%, slightly higher than the 90% achieved in 2021. While the auctions were a success, the large increases in individual valuations witnessed in the last few years seem to have abated.
Some noteworthy BMW sales at Amelia Island included a 1974 BMW 2002tii that sold for $100,800, a 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition that sold for $112,000, making it the most expensive fourth-generation M3 sold in the U.S., a 1991 BMW 318is that sold for $47,600, making it one of the most expensive non-M examples of the E30 ever sold, a 1995 Dakar Yellow M3 that sold for $72,800, which is the most any example of the E36 M3 has ever sold for in the U.S. There was also a 2001 BMW M3 that sold for $106,400, setting a new record for the model, a 1959 BMW 507 Series II finished in stunning black over red, and a rare 1958 BMW 503 Series II cabriolet. A 1993 BMW 850CSi finished in Brilliant Red sold for $218,400, making it the most expensive example of the model sold in the U.S., while an exceptionally cool 1975 BMW 3.0CSL wearing Taiga Green found a new owner to the tune of $291,000, making it the third-most expensive example sold at auction.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]