Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Drum roll please! The…yes, THE, most jaw dropping car show on the East coast will be at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, March 5th to the 8th. My friends know that I am a car freak, to the point that I even have my own car enthusiast page on Facebook called, Powr_Grl. I have made it a priority to never miss the Amelia Concours as it is one of the most exciting car events I have ever been to.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will celebrate their Silver Anniversary this year, and honor Roger Penske who was a race car driver, and is also in the automotive industry, that includes ownership of IndyCar. You will see, The Cars of Roger Penske and Team Penske as well as, The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows, The Cars of Harley Earl, Porsche’s First Victories, Mid-Engine Corvette Prototypes, the C8, and Cars of Scaglietti.

Although the judging event is held on Sunday, March 8th, I like to go for the entire week! Cars start rolling off huge transportation rigs a week before the show even starts. The small island is strewn with amazing vehicles. Just drive there the first week of March and you will not be disappointed in what you can see, and the car people you will meet are a labyrinth of auto information. To me it’s fun talking to the car owns as their cars roll off the trucks, and learning all about the history behind their vehicles. You will stand there with your jaw on the ground as an antique Bugatti is carefully staged on the grounds, while private jets of the rich and famous fly over head for this prestigious event. Among some of the past attendees are, Jay Leno, Opra Winfrey, John Grisham, John Oats and the list goes on and on. The Conours has always raised money for many local charities and donated millions over the years.

Dotted along the entrance to the resort you will see car manufactures offering free test drives. Porsche and Jaguar are among these car manufactures. Of course Jaguar is one of my favorites as I have an F Type R that I adore. McLaren are usually right by the entrance to the hotel so you can drool over them as well.

Step back to a bygone era of antique Bugattis, Bentleys, Packards, Duesenbergs, classic Ferraris, and others, and enjoy learning about the super cars of the past and of tomorrow by seeing the prototypes that will be there. What ever your automotive interests are there is something here for everyone, so much so that you will not know what to look at next.

Inside the Ritz you will find room after room packed with automobile items that are for sale. If you can’t afford a multi million dollar Bugatti, you can pick up a T shirt, jacket or hat with the official Concours logo. There is also high-end, beautiful automotive art work, old marketing signs from car companies, antique gas pumps, racing suits and so many wonderful items. You might also be lucky enough to get an autobiography or poster signed by the author, as I did by Sir Sterling Moss! RM Sotheby’s host a massive car auction that is very exciting to watch. I have seen cars sell for millions, just don’t put your hand up unless you are bidding! But I have also seen some cars go for way below their value, so there are good deals to be found here. Gooding & Company hold their auction at the Omni, and Bonhams at Fernandina Beach Golf Club.

On the fairway the lawn is so thick with cars, that from a distance, you can barely see any grass at all.

One of the many features of the show this year is, Rolling Bones hot rods, from Greenfield Center, NY. Founder Ken Schmidt will have some of the hot rods he has built on display that were built to race on the Salt Flats in southern California.

There are many parties, dinners, movies and seminars all about cars for the entire length of the show. It seems that day or night you will find something wonderful and car related going on.

Here are just a few of the many activities that you can participate in during this car extravaganza-

Friday, March 6, The Porsche Driving Experience 7am-4:30pm where you will drive to the US Navel Station Mayport for autocross in new Porsches and an exhilarating ride with a professional driver. You must have your own Porsche to participate. On the same day is Weeks Reunion for Porsche owners and a free event. Speaking of free, most events are free except for the main judging show on Sunday.

Saturday, March 7th, 9am-1pm—The Amelia Cars & Coffee at the Concours, this is a free event but you must register your car for this ahead of time.

Sunday, March 8, 9:30am-4pm The Amelia Concours d’Elegance where honoree, Roger Penske enters the field from the Awards Tent. There will also be a fashion show by Sandra Alford, Cars & Vintage Fashion, a Flyover and awards presentation. You have to purchase tickets for this event.

All these beautiful cars and of course all the beautiful people make for a spectacular event. Parking is easy as there are many lots scattered around and shuttles that make it convenient. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes as you will walk miles looking at all the fantastic vehicles.

This is only a small sample of what you can expect to see. Make sure you visit the website to plan ahead.