Updated: Jul 18, 2021
The 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance proved to the world that even with surmounting challenges, producing an incredible event is possible. The Amelia organizers wisely moved their Concours from March to May in anticipation of being that much closer to the end of the pandemic. As CEO and Founder Bill Warner said, ““The global pandemic led to challenges unlike any other in The Amelia's history but the staff, volunteers and board of directors worked tirelessly to produce another world-class event,” Warner said. “We were thrilled to honor the inspiring Lyn St. James. I think we borrowed a little of her unmatched tenacity and grit to make number 26 a reality."
While previous years’ events were spectacular, this one was extra special. There was a feeling of energy and optimism that was pervasive over the four-day event. It was memorable in terms of people gathering who hadn’t seen each other in well over a year. Live auctions were back on board, with Bonham’s and RM setting record sales. I even spotted some hugging going on over the four days. It was awesome to see friends from across the country who made the trek to this North Florida venue. Jerry and Janice Wise were displaying their eye-catching red Prowler at Saturday’s Cars and Coffee. Pat Geary from Pennsylvania was one lucky guy who scored a volunteer gig for Sunday. SFJC members Warren Aplin, Skip Waldman, and George Hervert were there in great form. As were Rich and Jodi Franz from Cincinnati and our buddy Gary Kincel from Pittsburgh. It was reunion time in sunny Florida!
Approximately 250+ cars lined the gorgeous field of the Golf Club of Amelia Island on Sunday. As we all know, many of us attend Concours to check out the rare and jaw-dropping pre-war classics. Amelia gave us this. Occupying the west lawn was a line of Duesenberg’s, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Packards and featured marque Hispano-Suiza. All immaculate, all incredible. Congratulations to Darrel Cole and sons with their 1940 Darrin Packard Victoria 180 and Guy Lewis with his gorgeous 1954 Packard Convertible. Both were Amelia Award winners in their classes. The Amelia is also known for showcasing the different and odd. In their “Weird and Wonderful” Class, cars that can only be described as one-of-a-kind, showcased how creative car-making can truly be. The totally unusual 1974 Fascination Two Door won Best in Class. Being able to get up close to the most impressive cars on the planet, Amelia delivers everything – from the oldest electric car to the futuristic EV like the Lucid Air.
In the end, a 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet and 1974 Shadow DN4 were crowned this year’s Best in Shows. “The 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet and 1974 Shadow DN4 both represent the excellence we strive for at The Amelia,” said Bill Warner. “This year’s show field might have been reduced to encourage social distancing, but the quality of entries made selecting the winners as difficult as ever. Many thanks to our judging team, led by Paul Sable, for overcoming the almost insurmountable task of choose the best of the best in each class.”
Every year, The Amelia gathers a group of cars associated with the honoree. For the 26th, Warner and his team gathered 11 of the cars that Lyn St. James drove throughout her racing career, including the 1985 Ford Mustang displayed by 3 Dog Garage. With great weather, great venue and mind-blowing vehicles, it was a great way to start the year’s Concours circuit! Congratulations to Bill Warner and his organization team.
Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will hold! Coming up fast, Pebble Beach and all the action in Monterey in August, The British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont in September and the International Jaguar Festival in October. The future looks bright!