03 Feb

Five Indy 500 Winners Highlight the Silver Anniversary Amelia Concours Penske Indy Winners Class March 8, 2020

1972 McLaren M16B/1. Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

1972 McLaren M16B/1. Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Jacksonville, FL — Five Team Penske Indianapolis 500-winning cars will form the core of the Silver Anniversary Amelia’s “Penske Indy Winners” class on March 8, 2020 at the Amelia Island Concours.

1972 McLaren M16B/Offenhauser – Mark Donohue’s record setter and Team Penske’s first of 18 “500” winners
1988 Penske PC-17/Chevrolet – Rick Mears’ Indy pole car and “500” winner
1994 Penske PC-23 Mercedes-Benz 500I – Al Unser Jr wins in “The Beast”
2009 Dallara IR-06/Honda – Helio Castroneves’ third Indy “500” winner
2019 Dallara DW-12/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud’s pole winner and Team Penske Indy 500 win number 18!

1988 Penske PC-17/Chevrolet Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

1988 Penske PC-17/Chevrolet Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

Team Penske’s first Indy 500 winner — the McLaren M16B/Offenhauser of 1972 — will share Amelia’s field with Rick Mears’ all-conquering PC-17/Chevrolet of 1988, “The Beast,” the 1,000 horsepower Mercedes-Benz 500I V-8-powered 1994 Penske PC-23 driven by Al Unser Jr, Helio Castroneves’ third Indy 500 winning Dallara IR-06/Honda of 2009 and Simon Pagenaud’s 2019 500 winner, the Dallara DW-12/Chevrolet, that brought Team Penske its fastest and record-setting 18th Indy 500 victory last May.

In 1972 Mark Donohue won the 500 at record speed (162.962 mph) in Penske’s Sunoco blue McLaren M16B powered by a turbocharged version of Offenhauser’s venerable DOHC four-cylinder. That record stood for a dozen years until it was broken by Team Penske’s Rick Mears.

The 1988 PC-17 was the first Nigel Bennett design for Penske Cars. It ended an Indy dry spell for the marque when team leader Rick Mears took the pole in the 1988 season opener at Phoenix leading until a touch with a lapped car forced retirement. When Danny Sullivan took the pole with his Chevy-powered PC-17 at the Long Beach Grand Prix the writing seemed to be on the wall for the 1988 Indy’s Month Of May.

1988 Penske PC-23/Mercedes-Benz 500I Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

1988 Penske PC-23/Mercedes-Benz 500I Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

The 1988 Indy-winning PC-17 was a landmark car that swept the entire front row of the “500” grid for the first time in Indy history. Pole man Rick Mears and Penske teammates Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Sr. locked out the Lola’s and Marches and Rick Mears went on to win the third (and slowest) 500 of his extraordinary career. The trio of PC-17s led 192 of the 1988 500’s 200 laps in an unprecedented display of speedway dominance. It was Team Penske’s seventh Indy victory in their 20 th 500 appearance.

None of Team Penske’s 18 Indy 500 winners illustrates Penske’s famous “Unfair Advantage” like the 1994 500 winning PC-23 powered by the famed Mercedes-Benz 500I “pushrod” turbocharged V-8 engine. It was nicknamed “The Beast” because of its extraordinary power.

The turbocharged Mercedes-Benz V-8 500I, created and developed in secret, would exploit a loophole in the Indy 500 rulebook that was written to encourage American car manufacturers to provide race engines based on turbocharged pushrod “production-based” engines. Team Penske drove the 1000-plus horsepower 500I through that loophole and put their PC23 in Indy’s victory lane to score the legendary team’s tenth 500 victory with Penske drivers Al Unser Jr (the winner) and Emerson Fittipaldi leading all but six laps. Within weeks the 500I engine was effectively banned by new rules.

Within the year a new format for The 500 tried again to level the playing field with spec cars and spec engines. In the quarter century that has passed since that day Team Penske has won the 500 eight more times. The 1994 Indy 500 is still seen as a cautionary tale by those who compete with both Mercedes-Benz and Team Penske.

2009 Dallara IR-06/Honda Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

2009 Dallara IR-06/Honda Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

In 2009 Team Penske’s 15 th Indy 500 win was Helio Castroneves’ third “500” victory with the Brazilian becoming the first foreign-born three-time winner of the great race and tying a record by winning the race three times in the same decade (2001, 2002, and 2009). The victory came from the pole position and is uniquely memorable for Helio’s signature post-race victory celebration when he again climbed the safety fencing on the front straight. His crew joined in the climb, including Roger Penske! Perhaps The Captain was celebrating Castroneves’ record $3 million payday that bumped the Brazilian’s Indy career earnings mark over $10 million!

In 2019 Team Penske’s record-obliterating 18 th Indy 500 victory again came from the pole position. Simon Pagenaud’s Chevrolet-powered Dallara DW-12 led 116 laps, taking the lead for the final time with just over one lap to race. He became the first pole-sitter to win the 500 since 2009 when Helio Castroneves logged his third and Team Penske’s 15th victory.

2019 Dallara DW-12/Chevrolet. Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

2019 Dallara DW-12/Chevrolet. Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

“The cars of Team Penske have been a pivotal part of the Indy 500 for half a century,” said Bill Warner founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “These Team Penske cars made motorsport history; a few changed Indianapolis forever. Having these five Team Penske Indy 500 winners for the 25 th annual Amelia Concours is an honor.”

“Today a Penske company owns The Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Warner. “Penske’s stewardship of these and many other significant race cars speaks with eloquence and clarity to the future of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and The 500.”

Tickets for the 25th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance are now available online.
For more info and to purchase tickets visit https://www.ameliaconcours.org/shop/tickets

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

THE AMELIA will be held March 5-8, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.5 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local and national charities since 1996. To learn more about the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org .

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance| 904-636-0027 | E-mail | Website

13 Jan

GS IIB Breaks Cover in the Silver Anniversary Amelia Concours Mid-Engine Corvette Class March 8,2020

Chevrolet’s mid-engine 1964 GS IIB research vehicle. Photo courtesy of General Motors Heritage Center

Chevrolet’s mid-engine 1964 GS IIB research vehicle. Photo courtesy of General Motors Heritage Center

Jacksonville, FL — To celebrate the arrival of the Corvette C8, Chevrolet’s mid-engine 1964 GS IIB (Grand Sport IIB) research vehicle will join the Silver Anniversary Amelia Concours’ Mid-Engine Corvette class on March 8, 2020.

This will mark the first appearance of the one-off experimental 1964 GS IIB outside the Chaparral Gallery of the Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas.

Applying the name Corvette to the nose and flanks of the GS II likely disguised GM Chief Engineer Frank Winchell’s ambitions to create a state-of-the-art Chevy-powered prototype race car and successor to the Corvette Grand Sport.

The 1960s were years of revolution in motorsport. Engines moved behind the driver. Wide tires replaced the skinny high-profile rubber that had been Formula 1 and sports car orthodoxy.

Chevrolet’s mid-engine 1964 GS IIB research vehicle. Photo courtesy of General Motors Heritage Center.

Chevrolet’s mid-engine 1964 GS IIB research vehicle. Photo courtesy of General Motors Heritage Center.

Aerodynamics practically became a religion. And no one was more in tune with the new rhythms of race car design than Cal Tech engineering graduate, Chaparral creator and Rattlesnake Raceway owner Jim Hall. He opened his doors to Winchell & Co.

Hall’s remote Rattlesnake Raceway test facility offered Winchell the perfect cover to shield the GS II from prying eyes and lenses and cold winters.

In the wake of the American Manufacturer’s Association ban on direct factory racing participation, companies like Chevrolet were limited to creating research vehicles and assisting private teams. That’s precisely where the GS II fit perfectly.

The GS II was based loosely on Chevy’s Monza GT concept car that used Corvair running gear in Chevrolet’s first monocoque design. But unlike the Monza GT, the GS II took the theme several steps further by using thin-gauge steel and an experimental all-aluminum 327 V8 engine that was mated to a bespoke single-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet’s mid-engine 1964 GS IIB research vehicle. Photo courtesy of General Motors Heritage Center.

Chevrolet’s mid-engine 1964 GS IIB research vehicle. Photo courtesy of General Motors Heritage Center.

In the years that the Corvette Sting Ray was the latest design, the GS II was a bolt of engineering lightning created by an all-star squad: Larry Shinoda designed the GS II’s svelte body. The radical single-speed automatic transmission was developed by Chevy’s Jerry Mrlik. It was a confluence of the latest thinking and it looked and acted the part.

In 1964, after a brief testing period, the GS II was returned to Michigan and destroyed. An updated GS IIB was then built. The monocoque chassis was riveted and bonded together using .032″ sheet aluminum. The body was revised to accommodate wider tires.

GS IIB was then shipped to Midland where it underwent extensive testing. The Amelia’s 2003 honoree, Jim Hall, was behind the wheel for the majority of the GS IIB’s high-speed runs.

“The Mid-Engine Corvette Class is a dream class,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours. “Having a historically significant car at The Amelia that’s never been seen in a concours before is a dream for us. Thanks to Chaparral and the Petroleum Museum that dream has come true.”

The GS IIB will join the CERV I, CERV II, Corvette XP-819, XP-895, XP-897 GT, Aerovette, CERV III and the Indy Corvette on the Amelia Concours’ Silver Anniversary field on March 8, 2020 for an unprecedented Corvette reunion to celebrate the arrival of the mid-engine C8.

Discounted advance sale tickets for the Silver Anniversary Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance are available now for $100 at www.ameliaconcours.org.

Tickets for the 25th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance are now available online.

For more info and to purchase tickets visit https://www.ameliaconcours.org/shop/tickets

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

THE AMELIA is held March 5-8, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.5 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local and national charities since 1996. To learn more about the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org .

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance| 904-636-0027 | E-mail | Website

14 Dec

Amelia Island Concours will Celebrate Sergio Scaglietti March 5-8, 2020

scagJacksonville, Fla. – The cars of Sergio Scaglietti will be featured at the Amelia Island Concours 2020, scheduled for March 5-8 in Amelia Island, Florida. The 25th annual event will celebrate Scaglietti’s renowned cars on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Scaglietti’s bodies were usually found on racing cars. Racing was Ferrari’s passion during the 1950s and sixties. The most famous racer hammered to life by Scaglietti’s artisans was the 1962 update of Ferrari’s renowned 250 GT. At first it was named the “250 GT Comp/62 Berlinetta”, an ungainly yet accurate handle for the car that became known as the 250 GTO.

Ferrari even gave Scaglietti its commercial identity linking it to his hometown. Early in their relationship Ferrari produced a design of a new Scaglietti insignia that would adorn every Ferrari Mondial body: a vertical rectangle, yellow background wearing a stylized “S” above a blue field announcing “SCAGLIETTI & C. MODENA.” It seemed a blood relation of Ferrari’s own cavallino rampante insignia.

Scaglietti never did a drawing or even a sketch, reverting to his pre-war practice of erecting a lattice of metal tubes to determine the shape over which he hammered the metal panels. The din inside Scaglietti & C. must have been earsplitting.
The shapes Scaglietti created were often glamourous. Scaglietti’s silhouettes gave immortal form to the Ferrari legend with the 500 Mondial, 118/121 LM, 500 TR, 500 TRC, 625 LM, 250 TDF, 290 MM, the 315 and 335 S, 375MM, the iconic pontoon-fendered Testa Rossa — Scaglietti’s favorite — and the 250 GT California during the Modena carrozzeria’s opening rounds.

Scaglietti often built bodies to the designs of others. He even re-bodied a trio of Corvettes for American Chevy dealer Gary Laughlin in 1959. Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby each got one.

Scaglietti’s relationship with Ferrari’s son Dino Ferrari made him a de facto member of the Ferrari family. The bond was forged when Dino and Scaglietti fashioned headrests for a 4.5 liter V-12. Ferrari Senior was displeased with the result and told Scaglietti so in blunt language. It was originally Dino’s idea but Scaglietti took the blame and removed the headrests. Son confronted father. Dino asked his father what had happened to his headrests. The headrests were restored. For the rest of the era nearly every Ferrari sports/racer wore headrests.

At the end of Ferrari’s life Sergio Scaglietti became a daily presence in his routine. They would share old times and often a glass of Dom Perignon, Ferrari’s preferred Champagne. On August 13, 1988 Scaglietti spent most of the night with his old friend. When his phone rang the next morning Scaglietti was told of Ferrari’s passing, even before word reached second son Piero Lardi Ferrari.

Ferrari honored the special relationship between Scaglietti and Ferrari — the companies and the men — in 2004. Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo named the new Ferrari 612 2+2 after Sergio Scaglietti, a unique honor.

“He had a refined sense of proportion. Scaglietti’s bodies look like Ferrari’s engines sound,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “They’re the kind of voluptuous shapes boys are trying to draw when they sketch racing cars during study hall … instead of doing their homework.”

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

THE AMELIA is held March 5-8, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.5 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local and national charities since 1996. To learn more about the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org .

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance| 904-636-0027 | E-mail | Website

[Source: Amelia Island Concours]

13 Mar

1938 MERCEDES-BENZ 540K AUTOBAHN-KURIER AND 1957 FERRARI 335 S NAMED BEST IN SHOW AT THE 24 th ANNUAL AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE

2019 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Best in Show winners

2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Best in Show winners

Jacksonville, FL – The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier and 1957 Ferrari 335 S were crowned this year’s Best in Show on March 10, 2019 at the 24 th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance . The event once again brought together the best of the automotive world, including 2019 honoree, “Mr. Le Mans” Jacky Ickx. The legendary Ickx is a six-time Le Mans winner, 1979 Can-Am Champion, a Formula 1 victor and a Daytona, Sebring and Paris-Dakar winner.

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier. 2019 Best in Show, Concours d'Elegance

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier. 2019 Best in Show, Concours d’Elegance

The Best in Show Concours d’Elegance Trophy was given to a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier owned by The Keller Collection at the Pyramids.

A brief history of the 2019 Best in Show, Concours d’Elegance winner:

“In March of 1934, a new Mercedes debuted at the Berlin Car Show: “Autobahnen Kurierwagen 8-Zylinder Kompressor Typ 500.” Only one model existed and the brochures informed the public that this car was designed for incredibly high-speeds on the autobahns going as far to claim that the high winds at those speeds gave the car its defining shape. Mercedes built the new model on the existing W29 chassis. Mercedes clientele at the time were conservative buying only 761 W29 cars between February 1934 and November 1939. Of those, 342 were equipped with a 5-liter engine and 419 with a 5.4 liter engine as in this car. Both were equipped with a Kompressor. The remaining 70 chassis were sent to outside firms that would construct specials to client wishes.”

1957 Ferrari 335 S. Best in Show, Concours de Sport

1957 Ferrari 335 S. Best in Show, Concours de Sport

A 1957 Ferrari 355 S owned by Cavallino Investments took home the Best in Show Concours de Sport Trophy.

A brief history of the 2019 Best in Show, Concours de Sport:

“The 335 S was the most technologically advanced Ferrari in 1957. It featured a longitudinal 60-degree V-12 with 24 plugs, two valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank and it produced 360 horsepower.

The Scuderia Ferrari Factory team car started life as a 290 MM, was then upgraded to a 315 S and finally a 335 S. The car has a tremendous racing history spanning three seasons. The car participated in the major races such as Sebring, LeMans, the Mille Miglia, and 1,000 km events at the Nürburgring and in Caracas.

The car was piloted by some of the great drivers of its day including Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien, Alfonzo De Portago, W. Graf Berghe von Trips, Peter Collins, Maurice Trintignant, Mike Hawthorn, Luigi Musso, Stirling Moss and Gaston Andrey. This was in the period 1956 and 1957 when Ferrari won the World Sportscar Championship.”

“The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier and 1957 Ferrari 335 S both truly embody the sophistication of our awards,” said Bill Warner, Chairman and Founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “I was thrilled to watch the judges honor such esteemed automobiles and continue to recognize the best and most extraordinary vehicles in existence, right here in Northeast Florida.”

2019 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Best in Show winners

2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Best in Show winners

It is in The Amelia’s innovative nature to present new classes and the 2019 event did not disappoint. This year’s Concours included “Cars of the Rock Stars,” a class specially curated by John Oates of Hall & Oates. Pairing specific vehicles with guitars, the class consisted of Oates’ personal collection and featured additional vehicles owned or closely associated with well-known musicians. In addition, John Oates sang a moving rendition of The National Anthem.

The new and exciting classes didn’t stop there – a dignified fleet of limosines occupied the lawn in a class titled “Heads of State.” This fleet was made up of cars of Kings and Queens, Presidents, Popes and even a Dictator.

The Amelia joined forces with HistoricRacingNews.com to present the first-ever live stream of the event. The live online video content allowed viewers from all over the world to watch the Amelia unfold in real time.

Additional highlights included a distinct class of Ferrari 250 GT “SWB”, Jaguar XK 120, a celebration of Indy Innovations and a Custom Coachwork Volkswagen class to acknowledge the 70th anniversary of the VW Bug’s arrival in America.
“I am proud to say that this year’s Concours had some of the most innovative classes and interesting vehicles to date,” Warner said. “Our celebration of the automobile finds a way to evolve year after year, and we remain delighted to continue showcasing such rich automotive history through our event.”

Click here for a full list of the 2019 winners.

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

THE AMELIA will be held March 12-15, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. For the Amelia’s full events schedule, including Saturday’s Cars & Coffee at the Concours and Sunday’s premier Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org . The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.45 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance| 904-636-0027 | E-mail | Website

11 Jan

The 2019 Amelia Concours Will Honor Indy’s Revolutionary Innovations on March 10th

1926 Miller 91ci Front Drive – Photo courtesy of The Brumos Collection

1926 Miller 91ci Front Drive – Photo courtesy of The Brumos Collection

Article Courtesy Chris Brewer, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Jacksonville, FL – On the 110 th anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the
24 th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will celebrate the brilliant and radical ideas and the ground breaking cars that helped revolutionize America’s great race.

From its earliest days, the “500” was the cradle of innovation and the nursery of famous, sometimes obscure and occasionally infamous cars that drove the Indy 500 to become not just “the greatest spectacle in racing” but the most important auto race in the world.

Speed has always been the ultimate goal and the defining virtue of the cars that raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indy’s ceaseless technological innovations dated to the days before World War I when a Grand Prix Peugeot showed the sport the way forward with its seminal high-revving DOHC four-valve engine. It ended the age of the behemoth, bringing science and fresh technology to Indy’s pursuit of speed.

1968 Lotus 56 Indy Turbine- Photo courtesy of the Bruce Linsmeyer Collection

1968 Lotus 56 Indy Turbine- Photo courtesy of the Bruce Linsmeyer Collection

The brilliant and revolutionary Peugeot begat the exquisite Millers and the mighty Offenhauser that reigned at Indy from 1935, finally surrendering its crown after its 28th “500” victory in 1976. Across three decades — 1931 through 1952 — Diesel power, as epitomized by the 1934 Cummins 2-stroke Diesel defied and defeated not only Indy convention but draconian fuel consumption rules in 1934. Cummins Diesel power went on to claim Indy’s coveted pole position in 1952.

By then the “500” had changed speed, shape and style through the Miller front wheel drive era of the 1920s through 1949, the birth of the Roadster in 1952, the rear engine invasion of the 1960s with the introduction of Formula 1 technology and the arrival of Formula 1 World Champions Cooper and Lotus. Ground effects arrived at Indy from Formula 1 in 1979 and, as in 1961, everything changed with speeds climbing steeply.

Some innovations came along too far, too fast turning Indy’s engineering and design orthodoxy inside out. Turbine engines twice came close to Indy’s victory lane, none with more engineering flair than the Lotus four-wheel-drive Type 56 that, in 1968, retired from the lead less than 23 miles from the richest payday in motorsport. A year after Jim Hall’s Chaparral 2K became the first Indy 500 ground effects winner, Dan Gurney’s radical stock-block Chevy V-8 Eagle BLAT — Boundary Layer Adhesion Technology — blew established ground effects doctrine apart, started from the front row of the “500”, and a week later won the Milwaukee 150-miler from that last row. It was promptly legislated out of existence.

Al Unser Jr. drives the Penske-Mercedes PC 23 to victory at Indy in 1964 – Photo courtesy of Daimler-Mercedes-Benz

Al Unser Jr. drives the Penske-Mercedes PC 23 to victory at Indy in 1964 –
Photo courtesy of Daimler-Mercedes-Benz

Indy’s radical game changers got their ultimate revenge a quarter century ago when a new rulebook was written to lure major car manufacturers to the “500” with generous specifications for turbocharged stock block pushrod engines. Penske Racing’s brain trust read those rules with extraordinary care and the Penske-Mercedes PC 23 powered by the mega-horsepower Mercedes-Benz 500I V-8 was the result. It was such a leap that the 1,000-plus horsepower Mercedes 500I “pushrod” turbo V-8 became known as “The Beast”. It dominated the entire “Month of May”, upset Indy’s status quo and was, as the turbines and Dan Gurney’s BLAT Eagle before it, promptly banned.

To those who live for Indy’s Month of May, the “500” is the one race worth any cost. As race car technology advances the sanctioning bodies in some forms of motorsport have struggled to reduce speeds and expense in the name of fairness, economy and competition. To many of the brilliant, brave and creative people who design, build and drive Indy Cars such behavior is a kind of perverse technological sacrilege that is at odds with the vision of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s founders, the thousands who have raced there and the millions who, across two centuries, have cheered them at “the greatest spectacle in racing.”

Tickets for the 24th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance are available online.

Special event tickets, including Thursday’s Guardians of Porsche Wine Dinner and Sunday’s Club Amelia, are selling quickly.

For more info and to purchase tickets visit, https://www.ameliaconcours.org/shop/tickets

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

THE AMELIA will be held March 7-10, 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. For the Amelia’s full events schedule, including Saturday’s Cars & Coffee at the Concours and Sunday’s premier Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org . The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.45 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance| 904-636-0027 | E-mail | Website

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28 Nov

Amelia Island Concours to Salute Jaguar XK120 70th Anniversary in March 2019

amelia_19_1Amelia Island, Fla. – It was done in haste. It was to be an alluring delivery system to introduce Jaguar’s brilliant new XK engine intended to power the substantial Jaguar Mk VII luxury sedan.

But the Mk VII wasn’t ready, so Jaguar Chief William Lyons and his men created a quick solution. They shaped it on a shortened Mk VII chassis, painted it bronze, named it the “Open Two-Seat Super Sports” and took it to the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show just to show off their new XK engine.

Yet the elegant new engine that brimmed with twin-cam competition-bred sophistication played a supporting role when Jaguar’s “Open Two-Seat Super Sports” took to the Earls Court stage and stole the show.

amelia_19_2This year marks the 70th anniversary of the speed record and the first race victory that set the Jaguar XK120’s course and gave it its immortal name.

On a super highway in Belgium the new Jaguar (with full windshield and top erected) recorded a top speed of 126.448 mph. With the windshield and top removed it was timed at 132.6 mph. The XK120 became “the fastest production car in the world” eclipsing the existing record by over 22 mph.

Perhaps the XK120’s most impressive number was the price tag: for 1,000 Pounds Sterling one could own the fastest production car in the world. The XK120 had no equal on the road or in the showroom, standing alone atop a short list of aspirational cars.

Clark Gable told Jaguar Chief William Lyons he wanted the XK120 “. . . like a child wants candy.” Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Limited

Clark Gable told Jaguar Chief William Lyons he wanted the XK120 “. . . like a child wants candy.”
Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Limited

No one was immune to the XK120’s charms. Clark Gable got the first one to arrive in the United States. Then Gable had the legendary George Barris customize his second XK120 so he could drive in greater comfort.
Gable’s Barris-customized XK120 will be the “Hollywood Star” of the 2019 Amelia’s Jaguar XK120 class. The display will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the XK120’s coronation as the record-setting “fastest production car in the world.”

Al Keller’s XK120, winner of the 1954 Linden, NJ NASCAR road race Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Limited

Al Keller’s XK120, winner of the 1954 Linden, NJ NASCAR road race
Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Limited

The XK120’s competition record is as eclectic as it is deep. The record-setting XK120 was converted to right-hand drive. The car then raced to the type’s first victory, winning the Silverstone One-Hour Production Car Race. Future World Champion Phil Hill won the first Pebble Beach Cup with an XK120 in 1950. Jaguar XK-power won the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times in seven years from 1951 through 1957. In 1954, Al Keller’s XK120 coupe won the NASCAR road race at the Linden, NJ airport!

“Jaguar’s XK120 is a landmark car. It was the first sports car I ever rode in,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “I was just a kid but the smell of the leather and the wood has stayed with me. The XK120 is simply unforgettable.”

Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “The Amelia” draws more than 300 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. The 24th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 8-10, 2019. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org

Courtesy Vintage Road & Racecar Staff and Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

09 Oct

Porsche 962 to be honored at Amelia Island Concours in March, 2019

The Amelia Island Concours will celebrate the car’s 35th anniversary in 2019

962-1Amelia Island, Fla. – Racing is in Porsche’s blood and over the past 70 years the German sports car manufacturer has created some incredible racers; the 904, 917 and GT1 to name but a few. However, one of its creations stands as one of the most successful in all of motorsport and will be celebrated at the 2019 Amelia Island Concours. That car is, of course, the Porsche 962.

Next year the Porsche 962 will be 35 years-old, hard to believe when it still looks the part today. The 24th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is to honor the prototype racing car that dominated America’s IMSA series. In that formula, the 962 won no less than 54 races with 1985 being its golden year, taking the top step at every event bar one. The 962 also won the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hour race three times.

The 962 was born out of necessity as the Group C Porsche 956, that had won Le Mans in 1982, did not comply with IMSA safety regulations. This issue led Porsche to evolve the design of its first monocoque racer and create the compliant 962. When international rules changed in 1985, the 962C ended up replacing the 956 globally.

962-2

Porsche’s 962 was ahead of its time with its extensive use of ground effects, something that kept it competitive for an unusually long period. Star drivers such as Mario Andretti and his son Michael, Indy 500 winner Al Unser and his son Al Jr., Derek Bell, and AJ Foyt have all claimed victory behind the wheel of a 962.

An amazing fact is that with victory at Le Mans as well as Daytona in 1986 and ’87, the 962 had technically been undefeated in 96 hours of endurance racing. Between its first IMSA win in 1984 and the final competitive victory in 1999, Porsche’s 962 tallied 142 victories and won 35 international championships.

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “The Amelia” draws more than 300 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. The 24th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 8-10, 2019. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027.

Courtesy Tyler Heatley, autoclassics.com

15 Jan

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance celebrates Ferrari ‘Daytona’ March 11, 2018

“The last road car that might legitimately be considered a true Ferrari is the 365GTB/4 Daytona.” – Brock Yates, Enzo Ferrari (Doubleday, 1991)

It’s been a half-century since Pininfarina created the timeless shape of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4. On March 11, 2018 that happy anniversary will be celebrated at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance with a special class of the rare and significant Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” automobiles.

am_day2It was revenge, not Ferrari that gave the 365 GTB/4 its popular nickname. The name of America’s first superspeedway clung to the big Italian GT after Ferrari prototypes avenged themselves on American soil following their stinging defeat at Le Mans in 1966. Three victorious Ferrari P4 and P3 prototypes executed a perfectly choreographed photo finish winning the 1967 Rolex 24 at Daytona. It mocked Ford’s botched photo finish at Le Mans the previous June. There was little subtlety in it and everyone got the point. And the name Daytona stuck to the 365 GTB/4 almost at once.

am_day3So the mighty 365 GTB/4 became known as “Daytona” even though Ferrari never made it official. Some historians claim that the project was labeled “Daytona” internally during its gestation following the 1967 Daytona 24 Hour sweep. Then the internal nickname “Daytona” leaked. Ferrari himself was said to have squelched the use of the name when it became public.
Today the Daytona has a special place in Ferrari’s lustrous history. Automotive tastes and the traditional designs that had served Ferrari so well for two decades were under assault in the late sixties. So Ferrari made one last thunderous declaration regarding the creation of the thoroughbred grand touring car. They labeling it in traditional Ferrari fashion: 365 ccs per cylinder, Grand Tourismo Berlinetta, four overhead camshafts; 365 GTB/4.

am_day4Nearly 1,400 Daytona’s were built in coupe and convertible configurations. It outgunned its pricier and rarer 3-liter predecessors with a muscular 4-cam 4.4 liter V-12 fed by six enormous 40 mm Weber carburetors. This exotic recipe makes 380 hp and propels the big two-seater to nearly 180 mph; a sobering number for a 3,600 pound GT.
Despite its weight the Daytona made a fine race car. Ferrari created 15 special Competition 365 GTB/4s from 1971 through 1973. They scored class victories at Daytona, Watkins Glen and Le Mans and won the 1972 Tour de France outright. Second overall (with class victories) at the 1973 and 1979 Rolex 24 at Daytona, appropriately, are the Daytona’s North American racing high water marks.

am_day5“The Daytona has traditional Ferrari provenance, presence and poise.” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “The Daytona is the last of the true ‘Enzo’ Ferraris created before the Fiat influence arrived in Maranello in 1969. The howl of that big V-12 should be part of Il Canto degli Italiani, the Italian national anthem. The big Daytona is a car, a name and a legacy worth celebrating in grand style.”
Courtesy: Mike Eppinger, OldCarsWeekly.com
Photos courtesy of Bill Warner, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
About the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

am_day1Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “Amelia” draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island, The Ritz-Carlton at Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. The 23rd Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 9-11, 2018. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027

01 Jan

IMSA GTP cars to be celebrated at 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance March 11, 2018

The Miller High Life-sponsored Porsche 962 of Holbert Racing. Photos by Bill Warner, courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

The Miller High Life-sponsored Porsche 962 of Holbert Racing. Photos by Bill Warner, courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

IMSA’s GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) class was founded in 1981, in response to the FIA’s Group C class for sports-car prototype racing cars. Like the Can-Am cars that preceded them, the IMSA GTPs were among the fastest and most-advanced cars of their day, and a quarter-century after the class was discontinued, fans still mourn its passing. At the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, IMSA GTP cars will be celebrated with a dedicated class and a seminar that recalls the glory days of prototype racing in North America.

Group C and GTP cars were similar, but not the same. IMSA focused less on fuel economy and a bit more on driver safety than the FIA, a distinction than can be seen in difference between the Group C Porsche 956 and its longer-wheelbase fraternal twin, the Porsche 962, which dominated IMSA GTP racing from 1985-’87. In addition to adding nearly five inches to the wheelbase to prevent impact injuries to the driver’s feet, the IMSA 962s carried a 120-liter fuel cell, as compared to the 100-liter limit mandated by the FIA’s Group C. In terms of performance, both the 956 and the 962 were capable of speeds above 350 km/h (218 mph), and the 962 proved even faster than the revered Porsche 917/30 Can-Am car up Watkins Glenn’s Wedgewood Straight.

Both GTP and Group C cars featured enclosed cockpits, with aluminum, carbon fiber, and Kevlar generally used to construct the monocoque and body. Though labeled as “prototypes,” the cars resembled absolutely nothing in a dealer’s showroom, but instead were built solely for the purpose of lapping a circuit as quickly as possible. Most IMSA tracks required more downforce for higher cornering speeds, while European circuits run in FIA Group C competition were often more about top speeds, requiring less downforce and lower drag.

The Kreepy Krauly Porsche-powered March 83G leads the Porsche 935 of Hen’s Swap Shop

The Kreepy Krauly Porsche-powered March 83G leads the Porsche 935 of Hen’s Swap Shop

As with Can-Am, engine displacement and configuration weren’t regulated by IMSA GTP rules. Forced induction was permitted, and favored by many teams for its lower fuel consumption, since even under IMSA rules the amount of fuel supplied for a race was limited. Privateer teams were an important component of IMSA racing, so every effort was made—in the beginning, anyway—to level the playing field in terms of cost, power, and driver safety.

The first full season of GTP racing was 1982, when the championship was won by John Paul Jr. in a Porsche 935. The March 83G was the chassis to beat for the next two years, with Al Holbert clinching the title in a Porsche-powered March in 1983, followed by Randy Lanier’s championship in a Chevy-powered March in 1984. Holbert repeated as champion, this time behind the wheel of a Porsche 962, in 1985 and 1986, while Chip Robinson took top honors with a 962 in 1987.

As quickly as it began, the reign of the Porsche 962 ended in 1988, when Nissan entered the series with its GTP ZX-Turbo. Geoff Brabham took this car to championships in 1988-’89, repeating with its successor, the Nissan NPT-90, during the 1990-’91 seasons. A new champion was waiting in the wings, however: Introduced during the 1991 season, the Toyota-powered AAR Eagle Mk III was about to rewrite the record book on winning.

The Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo

The Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo

During the 1992 IMSA GTP season, Juan Manual Fangio II racked up an impressive seven wins in 15 races behind the wheel of the #99 AAR Eagle Mk III, while his teammate, P.J. Jones, put up another two victories, easily handing the championship to AAR and Toyota. Impressive though the performance was, it paled in comparison to 1993, when the Toyota-powered team earned victories in every race contested, even taking the top two steps on the podium at Miami, Atlanta, Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, Portland, and Phoenix.

The dominance of the AAR Eagle Mk III was one of the factors that led to the demise of the GTP class. By the final season, privateer teams could no longer compete with factory efforts from Toyota and Nissan, reducing the overall number of GTP cars in the field and hence, spectator interest. Across the Pacific, the Japanese economy was in shambles, and by 1994 even manufacturers could no longer justify the expense of multiple racing programs. Like the Can-Am series before it, a combination of external forces and the overbearing success of a single team signaled the end of IMSA GTP racing.

Though the cars to be shown at Amelia Island have not yet been confirmed, it’s safe to bet that the Porsche 962 will be well-represented, along with the AAR Eagle Mk III and Nissan’s ZX-Turbo and NPT-90. Jaguar won its share of races in GTP, as did the March 83G chassis with several engine manufacturers, so it’s likely examples of these will be displayed, too. The panel discussion will be hosted by Bob Varsha, and expected participants include Hurley Haywood, David Hobbs, Davy Jones, Tommy Kendall, Brian Redman, Chip Robinson, and Mark Raffauf, IMSA’s executive VP during the Camel GTP years.

The 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance takes place from March 9-11 at The Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida. For additional details, visit AmeliaConcours.org.

Courtesy Kurt Ernst, Hemmings.com

14 Dec

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth cars to assemble at Amelia Island Concours on March 11, 2018

Beatnik Bandit -Photo courtesy National Automobile Museum

Beatnik Bandit -Photo courtesy National Automobile Museum

Amelia Island, Fla. – Futurist and visionary, or instigator and Weirdo? Ed Roth might have preferred the latter two terms as compliments, but as culture consumes counterculture, his legacy as an artist has grown over the last few decades, to the point that some have labeled him with the former two compliments and to the point that the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will showcase several Roth-built cars at its 2018 show.
As early as the 1980s, as David LaChance pointed out in his profile on Roth in the July 2017 issue of Hemmings Classic Car, art galleries and museums began to take notice of the work Roth had done 20 years earlier, likely due to the fact that some of the many, many children who bought Rat Fink stickers, wore Mother’s Worry T-shirts, and built AMT-produced Outlaw models had grown up to become influencers in the world of high art.
“He lived long enough to see his work rediscovered… and to be toasted by the mayor of San Francisco with a day in his honor,” LaChance wrote.

Outlaw - Photo by Alan Mayes, courtesy Spritz by Fritz

Outlaw – Photo by Alan Mayes, courtesy Spritz by Fritz

Roth began building hot rods, then painting and pinstriping them himself, long before his art propelled him to a national stage. However, with his fiberglass-bodied Outlaw, built in 1959, he discovered not only that crazy custom car creations could earn him a few bucks from car show promoters eager to use the cars to bring in crowds (who would then pass by Roth’s booth and buy a T-shirt or two), they could also earn him some free publicity via the car magazines of the day, equally eager to spotlight something wacky.
“He wanted to build cars but Roth didn’t want to build just any cars, or even any hot rods,” Ken Gross said in the write-up for the 2007 RM Icons of Speed and Style auction, which featured several Roth vehicles. “It took fantastic cars, conceived and built outside the mold of convention to satisfy Roth.”

Mysterion - Photo courtesy Beau Boeckmann.

Mysterion – Photo courtesy Beau Boeckmann.

Roth then followed the Outlaw with the Beatnik Bandit in 1961, the Rotar in 1962, the Mysterion in 1963, both the Road Agent and the Orbitron in 1964, the Surfite in 1965, the Druid Princess in 1966, and the Mega Cycle (a.k.a. Captain Pepi’s Motorcycle and Zeppelin Repair) in 1967 before turning his attention to choppers and trikes. Only in the late Eighties would he build more cars, among them L.A. Zoom, the 1995 Beatnik Bandit II, and the Stealth 2000. Each car Roth completed with his famed spitwad-and-plaster method progressively pushed the boundaries of automotive design and engineering; almost all of them were immensely impractical for street driving, but most of them could at least roll in and out of auditoriums and show halls under their own power.

Orbitron - Photo courtesy Beau Boeckmann

Orbitron – Photo courtesy Beau Boeckmann

As Rat Fink mania died down in the latter half of the Sixties and Roth shuttered his studio, however, the various cars he built scattered to the four winds. Some went on display at the Cars of the Stars museum and ended up in the Brucker brothers’ collection, the original Outlaw has ended up at the Petersen Museum, and Roth personally donated the Beatnik Bandit to the National Automobile Museum in Reno. Others, including the Road Agent, the Druid Princess, and the Tweedy Pie T-bucket, passed through the hands of collectors such as Mark Moriarty and Ralph Whitworth. The Mysterion has disappeared and thus inspired at least two replicas while the Orbitron, long thought vanished, turned up in 2007 serving as a trash bin outside an adult bookstore in Mexico.

Druid Princess - Photo courtesy RM Auctions

Druid Princess – Photo courtesy RM Auctions

While some of the cars have gathered at events in the past — notably the 2006 Detroit Autorama — the Amelia class represents the first such concours class honoring Roth, who died in 2001. Other featured classes at the Amelia Island Concours will focus on the Porsche Carrera, Auburns, the Jaguar XKE, the cars of Martini Racing, the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari Daytona, pre-war MGs, early electric cars, and cars built for hunting.
The 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will take place March 9-11. For more information, visit AmeliaConcours.org.
Courtesy Daniel Strohl, Hemmings.com