Cars and Stars, The Amelia Island Experience

by | Mar 17, 2020

Sport and Specialty - John Saccameno blog

Not many automotive events short of a Formula One race can boast of participants and attendees the likes of this years honoree, Roger Penske.

I’m still recovering from the automotive love fest and spectacle that is the Amelia Concours d’Elegance 2020. It’s been held rain or shine for 25 years now. Amazing!

Estimates for the first event in 1995 was 2,000 people, I read they expected 20,000 for this year. It sure looked as if they met their expectations. The Chairman and founder of the event, Bill Warner, has developed a vision and flavor for this event that is unique amongst similar shows around the world. Long-time major sponsors, Mercedes Benz, and the Ritz Carlton, add a certain panache to the event where all proceeds are donated to charity.

This isn’t a show only about the eras of styles and technology, Bill also makes sure he honors and salutes the people who have helped steer the industry and sport we true believers study and follow. Industry leaders, team owners, and championship drivers all participate in the weekend events. Not only are the cars up close and personal, but also many of our admired visionaries, corporate mavericks, and the brave drivers that made so many of these cars legendary on the road and track.

Not many automotive events, short of a Formula One race, can boast of participants and attendees the likes of this years honoree, Roger Penske. Others included, in no particular order; Derek Bell, Justin Bell, Johnny Rutherford, Lyn St James, George Follmer, Jochen Mass, Jackie Ickx, David Hobbs, Bobby Rahal, Bobby Unser, Hurley Haywood, Brian Redmond, Peter Cunningham, and Scott Pruitt. These are just the people I remember seeing. You never know who you may be sitting next to at lunch or while having a beer.

So happy 25th birthday to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance! Thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors that come out to support us faithful who relish the automobile, and the many people who make it so exciting. Cheers, and thank you, Bill and Jane Warner!

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