By: Chris Brewer, Director of Public Relations, The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
When I moved to northeast Florida the main deciding factor was to be closer to my parents. However, it didn’t hurt that moving to Jacksonville would allow me to reside in the same part of the country as my favorite automotive event, The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Even in 2001, The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance had earned a reputation of excellence, often referred to as the best motoring event on the east coast of the United States. Now, in 2017, The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance has grown to include 41 different classes with more than 300 rare and historically significant collector vehicles from eleven different countries on display. The one day show has expanded to include the entire weekend, including a free-to-the-public Saturday Cars and Coffee at the Concours that has earned a solid reputation in its own right, with more than 450 collectible cars taking the field.
When you account for the surrounding Concours-related events, Concours-related festivities now fill the better part of a week or more.
I’ve worked as an automotive journalist and covered The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance for years. More recently, I served as a volunteer and saw the dedication of nearly 700 individuals working tirelessly to make the event a success.
Seeing the dedication of Team Amelia was inspiring, something that I could believe in. So when Bill Warner asked if I’d be interested in coming on full-time as the director of public relations and working with the volunteers, I jumped at the chance.
This year marks the 22nd Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Every year The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance celebrates a motoring legend and for 2017, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Sr., will be celebrated as our honoree. The team has worked to gather thirteen of the cars that he raced and won in, the product of many hours of planning and preparation.
There will be a little something for everyone on the show field on Sunday. Featured classes include the iconic Jaguar D-TYPE, the cars of Marmon, Mercedes-Benz Gullwings, Streamliners, Japanese Power and Performance, and The Cars of the Movies. Jacksonville locals will recognize the Brumos racing cars and our team has pulled together 13 of the group’s finest to showcase on Sunday.
Bill Warner doesn’t simply pick cars that look great, he prefers to tell stories. Each car selected is more than a clean example; most have historical significance that extends far beyond the day it left the assembly line. Many have been driven by legendary drivers or owned and customized by pop stars and historical figures including one of my musical favorites, Elvis Presley.
While my passion for cars makes the second weekend in March feel like a second holiday season, you don’t have to be automotive fanatic to enjoy The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Somehow the cars seem to come alive on the fairways of the Golf Club of Amelia Island and the appeal extends far beyond the sheet metal, rubber, gasoline and motor oil.
I want to invite you to join us March 10-12, 2017 for the 22nd Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Bring the entire family and help us celebrate the automobile while simultaneously raising money for Northeast Florida charities, including Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and Shop with Cops.
See you March 10-12, 2017!
Editor’s note: The Florida Times Union is reporting a change in date.