Story and Photos by Michael T. Lynch
Over 20 Editions, Bill Warner has built the Amelia Island Concours into a concours second only to Pebble Beach and its 65-year tradition. Because of Bill’s long involvement in racing, photography and journalism, the weekend is basically a gathering of Bill’s old buddies from those fields plus major collectors he has met through the years. The public is invited to take part and they pour through the gates in amazing numbers, always a plus for an event that makes significant charitable donations.
One advantage Bill has over Pebble is the size of his show field. It allows him to display 150 more cars, yet there seems to be no compromise on the quality of the entry. The tone of the field is different and Bill’s racing background results in decidedly more sporting and racing machinery than is seen at Pebble. However, classics are hardly ignored as seen by two Stutz classes this year totaling over 20 cars. Racing and performance cars do take precedence and the Cars of Stirling Moss Class was probably the greatest collection of cars Sir Stirling drove that has ever been assembled – close to 30.
There were 26 Ferrari on the field, including a class for Formula 1 cars. This did not diminish what Amelia Judge and Carmel Concours organizer, Doug Freedman, calls “The Fun Factor.” That included a Chrysler Town and Country Class and another for Cars of the Cowboys – think customs created for stars of western movies or country singers.
Hot rods were represented by two classes, those built in the West, and those built in the East – the latter not near as well publicized in period. There were over twenty of these. So many were Hot Rod magazine cover cars that I had to calculate of there were enough months back then to accommodate them all.
Let’s take a stroll down the show field and look at some cars that will interest VeloceToday readers