Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Oates. Photo by Sean Hagwell. Courtesy of John Oates

   In 2019, The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will partner with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, John Oates, to celebrate the relationship between the automobile and the guitar. Cars and Guitars will center on vehicles and instruments from John's personal collection. The display will allow fans unprecedented access to the guitars Oates has played onstage with the best-selling rock duo of all time, Hall & Oates. The event will also include opportunities to meet John in person.

Photo courtesy of John Oates

   The relationship between cars and music can be traced to the early days of the automobile. The mechanical rhythms and the romance of the open road have inspired musicians and songwriters for decades. The world's infatuation with the car and the new freedom it created were celebrated in songs like Vincent Bryan and Gus Edwards' 1905 hit, "In My Merry Oldsmobile."

"To the church we'll swiftly steal,
Then our wedding bells will peal,
You can go as far as you like with me,
In my merry Oldsmobile."

1976 Gibson Firebird Bi-centennial Reissue paired with a 1981 Vox V15 Combo. Photo Courtesy of

   The automobile also influenced the design of musical instruments. Guitar manufacturers looked to the automotive industry for direction. Fender would paint instruments with vibrant colors taken straight from Detroit's big three. Gibson hired renowned coach builder Ray Dietrich to create the iconic "reverse" Firebird in 1963. Gibson's new shape would take styling cues from Detroit's lusty fin era.

Photo courtesy of John Oates

   "Throughout my life I have always had two major passions: Driving cars and playing guitars. Both the machine and the instrument are paragons of inspired and purposeful design. Both tell their unique story historically and culturally. Both have their roots in the late 19th century, evolving and continuing to fascinate and excite through the 20th and now into the 21st centuries," said Oates. "I'm very proud to have the opportunity to collaborate and curate this unique collection with Chris Brewer and the Amelia Island folks...we hope you enjoy it."

The once Janis Joplin owned 1964 Porsche 356C at The Amelia in 2016

   Additionally, The Amelia will gather a small number of historically-significant vehicles previously or currently owned by musicians. John will work with The Amelia to pair each vehicle with a carefully selected guitar for the field.

   "John Oates is a masterful songwriter and musician. John is also a car guy with a long connection to the automobile and racing," said Chris Brewer, guitar collector and The Amelia's Director of Communications. "It was our honor to have him participate at The Amelia in 2018 as a judge. We are thrilled to celebrate John in 2019."

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, 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 7-10, 2019. For more information, visit or call 904-636-0027.


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