Amelia Island - Unique
Every year Amelia Island week is a special and unique experience. Over several days, Cars and Coffee, vintage car collectibles, seminars and auctions lead the way to grand event on Sunday, the Concours d’Elegance. The show, now moved to May, 2021, by all indications, will be one for the books. There will be approximately 300 classics lining the show field this year, down from the usual 450. However, Bill Warner, founder and Chairman, continues to deliver the uniqueness that can only be attributed to Amelia. In fact, Hispano-Suiza has been chosen as the “Honored Classic” this year. A special class of rare, exotic and historic Hispano-Suizas is scheduled to be the classic centerpiece of the 26th annual event.
Amelia’s uniqueness also stems from the featured racecars that have dominated the show for 25 years. In 2021, the Concours will feature Shadow, America’s Formula 1 Winner and Can-Am champion. Fifty years has passed since the first Shadow made its competition debut at Mosport in the opening round of the 1970 Can-Am season. This year, Amelia will honor the 1974 Can-Am Champion and 1977 Austrian GP winner with a special class of the marque’s winners and its original radical racer – the “two-dimensional car”. “The Shadow belongs to an elite group of race car builders,” said Bill Warner. “Shadow is the sole American Can-Am Champion. And only the Shadow, McLaren and Porsche marques have won races in both the original unlimited Can-Am and a World Champion Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Also exceptional for this year, Amelia will be honoring Lyn St. James, one of only nine women who have qualified for the Indianapolis 500 and the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year (and the oldest to win at aged 45). Lyn also has two class victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona and won the GTO class at the 1990 12 Hours of Sebring. And if that’s not enough, Lyn competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Nurburgring, at which her AMC Spirit AMX team placed first and second in class in 1979. I will be looking for a picture with this amazing woman!
In a shout-out to every boomer out there, there will also be a special class of 1970 Muscle Cars in celebration of the best era of Detroit’s fast and loud time. There will also be a “weird and wonderful” class, that will showcase Amelia’s affection for encompassing a wider view of the established normal and traditional Concours concept. This year, one of the cars featured will be a 1948 Tasco Prototype. Designed by Gordon Buehrig (also the designer of the Auburn 851 Speedster), the project was a result of the trend of having aircraft inspired automobile designs. It was the same year that tailfins were found on the Cadillacs. Also, the 2008 Vetter Extra Terrestrial Vehicle will be making an appearance. Mike Vetter designed the ETV by hand right here in Florida. In styling contrast to the 1948 Tasco, the fiberglass body of the ETV is devoid of a flat surface or a straight line. It appears almost to be “floating” and it’s design is intended to appeal to people tired of the usual proportions of automobiles. Can’t wait to see these up close!
It will be a milestone show in so many ways. Let’s all hope for great weather and a great turnout to what, in these parts, will be the first big event in a very long time! I’ve attached some “vintage” pictures from Concours gone by!