25 Jan

Vintage race trophies to appear with cars that won them at Amelia Island March 13th

The Borg-Warner Trophy and Al Unser in the Johnny Lightning Special, twice winner Indy 500 Photos: Sarah Stierch and courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

The Borg-Warner Trophy and Al Unser in the Johnny Lightning Special, twice winner Indy 500. Photos: Sarah Stierch and courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Amelia Island, Fla. – Of course, race cars get all the attention: They’re fast, loud, oftentimes flashy, and driven by men of legend. But those men of legend don’t just race for the thrill of it. They race for the money, the recognition and, not least of all, the trophies. For the first time ever this year, some of the most prestigious and historic motorsports trophies will gather in one place as the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance pairs them with some of the most noteworthy cars that won them.

The idea for the pairings came, according to Amelia Island founder and chairman Bill Warner, over a couple of beers. “A bottle of Guinness with Donald Osborne at the Mille Miglia,” he said. “Seriously, Donald showed me a Mille Miglia trophy while I was over there, and I thought, why not get a collection of them and match them with the cars.”

So Warner went to work putting together a list of the most famous trophies in motorsports. Some seemed like no-brainers, like the Borg-Warner Trophy, which has gone to the winner of every Indianapolis 500 since 1936 and remains with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Warner decided to pair it with the Ford V-8-powered Johnny Lightning Special that Al Unser drove to victory in both 1970 and 1971 and that nowadays resides in the Unser Racing Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi, Dario Franchitti with Harley J. Earl and Borg-Warner Trophies Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi, Dario Franchitti with Harley J. Earl and Borg-Warner Trophies. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Frank Wheeler and three other local men opened the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909. Prior to the inauguration of the Indianapolis 500 in 1911, the Wheeler-Schebler company sponsored the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy Race at the track. The $10,000 trophy was sterling silver and designed by Tiffany. Descriptions of this masterpiece of silversmithing put its height at anywhere from seven to eight and a half feet. It was the traveling trophy for winning the premiere events of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s race meets in 1909 and 1910. The Trophy was retired briefly with the introduction of the Indianapolis 500 in 1911, but reinstated in 1913 as the prize for the team leading at the 400-mile mark. As the deed stipulated that the trophy would be permanently awarded to the team winning it for three consecutive years, it was presented to driver turned entrant Harry Hartz when his Miller-Hartz cars won the award in 1930, 31 and 32. It was returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 1950’s and stands proudly today at the Speedway’s Hall of Fame Museum. At Amelia Island, the trophy will be paired with the Old Number 10 Buick, winner of the 1909 race.

Harry Hartz with the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy in 1932

Harry Hartz with the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy in 1932

Other trophies that will go on display include the Harley J. Earl Perpetual Trophy, awarded to winners of the Daytona 500, which will be paired with the Richard Petty No. 43 Plymouth Road Runner that won the 1971 Daytona 500; the Stevens Challenge Trophy, awarded from 1927 to 1954 to any manufacturer capable of sustaining 60 miles per hour over a 24-hour period at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which will be paired with a Cord 812 speed record car; the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy, which will be paired with the Ferrari 250LM that Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt drove; the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy, which will be paired with the Ferrari 166MM that Luigi Chinetti and Peter Mitchell-Thomson drove; the 1914 French Grand Prix trophy, which will be paired with the Mercedes that Christian Lautenschlager drove; the Maurice G. Bauer Trophy, “awarded” to winners of the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, paired with the Ferrari Dino that Jack May and Rick Cline drove in 1975; and the trophy awarded to the winner of the Race of Two Worlds (500 Miglia di Monza), paired with the 1958 John Zink Leader Card Monza Special Watson-Offenhauser roadster that Jim Rathmann drove.

1909 Alco “Black Beast” two-time winner of the Vanderbilt Cup Photo: Hemmings

1909 Alco “Black Beast” two-time winner of the Vanderbilt Cup Photo: Hemmings

In addition, the display will pair a replica of the Challenge Cup presented by W.K. Vanderbilt Jr. (the original sits in storage at the Smithsonian) paired with the 1909 ALCO Black Beast; and the Alec Ulmann Trophy from the Sebring 12 Hour, which will be paired with an OSCA MT4, built by the Maserati brothers and overall winner of the 1954 race.

Warner said the trophies will go on display in the Ritz-Carlton hotel from Thursday through Saturday and then take their positions on the field with each car on Sunday, March 13th.

Article by Daniel Strohl, Hemmings Daily

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 on the second full weekend in March, ‘The Amelia’ draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. It is a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show’s Foundation has donated over $2.75 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc., Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, and other deserving charities. The 21st annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 11-13, 2016. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org

Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt’s Ferrari 250 LM lead an all-Ferrari podium in the last win for Ferrari at Le Mans to date in 1965 Photo: Le Mans (Sarthe France)

Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt’s Ferrari 250 LM lead an all-Ferrari podium in the last win for Ferrari at Le Mans to date in 1965 Photo: Le Mans (Sarthe France)

18 Jan

“Rain Man” Buick coming to Amelia Island Concours on March 13th

Restored 1949 convertible is considered a "styling landmark"

Restored 1949 convertible is considered a “styling landmark”

Amelia Island, Fla. – A late entry is coming to the 21st Annual Amelia Island Concours’ Post War American Production class March 16, 2016: The 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible, one of two used to make the film “Rain Man,” makes its international concours debut. Wayne Carini of Portland, Conn., star of Velocity TV’s “Chasing Classic Cars,” restored the car for the film’s director Barry Levinson.

You’ll recall Levinson’s 1988 film — it tells the story of Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), a car dealer in financial straits. When his estranged father dies, Babbitt learns the old man bequeathed his fortune to Charlie’s older autistic brother, Raymond (brilliantly played by Dustin Hoffman). All Cruise’s character gets is his father’s prized rosebushes and the Buick. Raymond and Charlie go on a cross-country road trip starring the Buick because Raymond refuses to fly.

Hoffman won an Oscar for his portrayal of Raymond, and Levinson for his direction of the Best Picture classic.

Dustin Hoffman & Tom Cruise in a scene from “Rain Man” with 1949 Buick Roadmaster

Dustin Hoffman & Tom Cruise in a scene from “Rain Man” with 1949 Buick Roadmaster

According to the movie’s production notes, Levinson chose the Roadmaster, with its “pipe organ” grille and art deco styling, because “there’s just something very classic about it,” he said.

With only 8,000 1949 Roadmasters produced, the filmmakers scoured the country before finding three that were in good enough condition to film. The car eventually restored by Levinson had its rear suspension modified to accommodate the extra weight of a camera rig and cameraman, who filmed Hoffman and Cruise from the trunk.

Amelia Island Concours founder and Chairman Bill Warner called the Buick a “styling landmark.” He points out the VentiPort — those holes in the fenders – debuted with the 1949s and is still part of Buick design. “We’re very pleased to have one of Wayne Carini’s restorations on the field once again,” Warner said.

This year’s Amelia Island Concours runs March 11-13, 2016 on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated more than $2.75 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida Inc. and other Florida charities since 1996.

For more concours information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call (904) 636-0027.
Article by Wes Raynal, Autoweek/Photos: MGM Studios

1949 Buick Convertible seen in “Rain Man” recently restored by Wayne Carini of Portland, Conn.

1949 Buick Convertible seen in “Rain Man” recently restored by Wayne Carini of Portland, Conn.

20 Oct

Pegaso Featured Marque at Amelia Island Concours 2016

Photo Amelia Island Concours

Photo Amelia Island Concours

Amelia Island, Fla. – The Spanish Pegaso marque will be celebrated at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, scheduled for March 11-13, 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Florida.

Pegaso is Spanish for Pegasus, the winged stallion usually depicted as pure white on the Pegaso insignia. Pegasus’ mythological role was to deliver thunderbolts to Zeus. Appropriate, because that was the effect the stunning Pegaso Thrill coupe had on the 1953 Turin Auto Show when the Spanish Touring-bodied grand touring coupe made its public debut.

“That such an elegant advanced design could come from a marketing plan promoting plebian commercial vehicles is a testament to the genius, vision and skill of engineer Wilfredo Ricart,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Ricart was the suave, articulate (he spoke five languages) and urbane creator of the Pegaso automobile. From his arrival at Alfa Romeo in 1936, Ricart was Enzo Ferrari’s nemesis, finally displacing him and creating a fleet of advanced and complex grand prix and competition sports and touring cars. World War II halted Ricart’s leading edge designs for Alfa Romeo and saw him return to his native Spain.

1955 Pegaso Z.102B at the Goodwood Festival of Speed - Photo Brian Snelson

1955 Pegaso Z.102B at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – Photo Brian Snelson

The Pegaso Z-102 was practically a grand touring coupe on a grand prix chassis; detailed with a supercharged, four-cam V-8 of 2.5 liters, a 5-speed constant mesh transaxle suspended by torsion bars and one of the most elegant de Dion rear suspensions conceived. Built in clean workshops by apprentices who were not troubled with the realities of modern mass production or the pressure of a time clock, the Pegaso roadsters and coupes were exotic road toys in the mid-1950s.

Only 84 Pegaso cars were created as nothing more than an advanced apprentice training program for the giant truck, bus and armored car manufacturing enterprise that took root, appropriately, in the former Hispano-Suiza factory in Barcelona, Spain. Nearly ten percent of Pegaso’s total car production will be on the field at the Amelia Island Concours 2016.

A Saoutchik-bodied 1952 Pegaso Z.102 - Factory promotional photo from John Lloyd

A Saoutchik-bodied 1952 Pegaso Z.102 – Factory promotional photo from John Lloyd

Carrozzeria Touring was contracted to produce alloy bodies for the Z.102, though customers could also request coachwork from Saoutchik or Serra. Beneath the skin, frame rails were drilled for added lightness, while the Pegaso used a rear transaxle and differential to optimize front-to-rear weight balance. Power output was initially rated at 165 horsepower, though later increases in displacement would produce as much as 300 horsepower from a 4.7-liter V-8. In between, the factory also offered a supercharger option, which produced 225 horsepower from the 3.2-liter V-8 introduced in 1954.

Given the Pegaso’s extreme pricing, customers expected performance on par with the cars of Ferrari and Jaguar, but the marque enjoyed little success in racing. As a showcase for Spanish manufacturing, however, the Pegaso excelled, and its build quality and attention to detail were reportedly second-to-none. By 1958, however, sports car production was creating an untenable financial drag on parent Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones SA (E.N.A.S.A.), so the Pegaso Z.102 and Z.103 models were killed off to focus on the firm’s commercial truck business.

“Pegasos are technically extravagant cars,” continued Warner. “It’s period Formula 1 technology for the road, wrapped in coachwork by the likes of Touring and Saoutchik. The Pegaso Z-102 did exactly what Ricart and the Spanish government wanted: it brought Spanish industry to the attention of the world, and did it in a very glamorous way.”

[Source: Sports Car Digest & Amelia Island Concours]

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
Now in its second 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 over 250 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. Since 1996, the show’s Foundation has donated over $2.5 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc., Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Shop with Cops, and other deserving charities. The 21st annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 11-13, 2016. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027.

02 Mar

SIR STIRLING MOSS’ SILVER ARROWS COME TO AMELIA ISLAND MARCH 13

moss1

Jacksonville, FL – Sir Stirling Moss has been named the Honoree of the20th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Sir Stirling was the honoree of the first Amelia Island Concours in 1996 and will again be the honoree in 2015 at the international concours season opener in northeast Florida. Moss is the only person to be honored twice by the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The cars that defined Sir Stirling’s career in 1955, the Mercedes-Benz racing cars that brought him his greatest fame, will serve as the centerpiece of the 20th anniversary Amelia display field
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On May 22, 1955 Moss and navigator Denis Jenkinson won the punishing Mille Miglia to score Mercedes-Benz’s first victory of the World Sports Car Championship season. The epic 1000mile open road race around the Italian peninsula took Moss nearly ten non-stop hours. The speed record he set 60 years ago still stands. Less than a month later Mercedes’ withdrew from the 24 Hours of Le Mans after an accident involving one of the team’s 300SLRs and an Austin-Healey. Moss and his co-driver, reigning World Champion Juan Fangio, were leading by nearly three laps when the decision to withdraw came from Germany. The retirement cost Moss another career first as the only man to win the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same season.

In July 1955 Sir Stirling won his home Grand Prix at Aintree, England in the 300SLR’s stablemate, the Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz W196. It was the first of 16 World Championship F1 victories for Moss. In October, Moss clinched the World Sports Car Championship for Mercedes-Benz winning the Targa Florio racing the same 300SLR that had carried him to victory in the Mille Miglia and the Tourist Trophy in Dundrod, Ireland. Moss and his 300SLR were the common denominator in the 1955 World Sports Car Championship season winning half the races of the six-race World Championship for Mercedes-Benz.

“Sir Stirling set us on our path in 1996,” said Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “To have Sir Stirling and his Mercedes-Benz racers from the 1955 double world championship season on the field is a fantasy come true for us. This is absolutely unprecedented. Mercedes-Benz Classic, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum and Sir Stirling have given us all a moment unequaled in motorsport history.” “Sir Stirling’s Mille Miglia, TT and Targa winning 300SSLR will join his W196 Monoposto and the Streamliner he raced and led with at Monza, his last Formula 1 race for Mercedes-Benz,” said Warner. “We’re honored to be able to present this extraordinary collection of Sir Stirling’s Mercedes-Benz World Champions.”

The 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be held March 13-15th on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $2.5 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996. In 2013 the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance won Octane Magazine’s EFG International Historic Motoring Event of the Year award.

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 over 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 20thannual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 13-15, 2015. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027.

Photos courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Photos courtesy Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

25 Nov

Amelia Concours Will Honor BMW’s Immortal 328 March 13 – 15, 2015

bmw

Jacksonville, FL – The 20th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will showcase the legend and legacy of the car that set BMW on its path to become known as the “ultimate driving machine.”

Experts, enthusiasts and fans of the Bavarian marque consider the BMW 328 the first sports car worthy of the title.

Eight decades ago BMW responded to a national call that Germany should build not only the world’s fastest and greatest pure racing cars, but the world’s best sports cars as well. While Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union carried Germany’s racing colors on the grand prix circuit, BMW became Germany’s primary flag carrier in international sports car competition.

The BMW 328 struck just the right balance with elegant and aerodynamic styling, impeccable road manners plus advanced and inspired engineering. Even BMW’s signature split grill that survives to this day as a BMW styling hallmark remains an important component of the 328 design package. So was real world open road performance.

 

 

“The 328 is the car that set BMW on its current course,” said Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “The poise, speed and stamina of the 328 and its descendants are the roots of BMW’s reputation and give genuine credibility to BMW’s ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ label.”

Competition was at the heart of the 328’s genesis. It debuted on the 14-mile Nurburgring’s 154-turn Nordschleife, winning the sports car class of the 1936 Eifel Race. That first BMW 328 prototype not only won the two-liter class (without supercharging), but also achieved the best time of all sports cars. The BMW 328 then won the Belgian Grand Prix des Frontieres in Chimay and the Bucharest Grand Prix.

“The star of the BMW 328 class for our 20th anniversary is the unique 328 Buegelfalte (‘trouser crease,’ for the razor edge fender styling) roadster,” said Warner, “It finished sixth in the 1940 Mille Miglia and is the only 328 special roadster built at the BMW factory. We’re honored to have it on the field for our 20th anniversary concours.”

The 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be held March 13-15th on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $2.5 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996. In 2013 the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance won Octane Magazine’s EFG International Historic Motoring Event of the Year award.

(Source: Vintage Motorsport)