AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS d’ELEGANCE ANNOUNCES
SPECIAL CLASSES FOR 2021
Jacksonville, FL - Announcing the special classes for the 26th Annual Amelia Concours d’Elegance, May 20-23, 2021.
1938 Hispano Suiza DuBonnet Xenia. Photo by Michael Furman.
Hispano-Suiza
The fabled Spanish-Swiss grand marque remains the only car named for a king, Alfonso XIII of Spain, himself a Hispano enthusiast, who owned as many as 30. His enthusiasm for the marque and its reputation for exquisite engineering made it a favorite of royals, celebrities, heroes of all stripes and even a few literary characters who drove Hispanos across the pages of bestselling fiction when the need to project a sense of wealth and style was required. Every famous European coachbuilder of the custom body epoch dressed Hispanos. Their V-8 engines helped win the air war in WWI. That elegant engineering blood gave the cars that wore the “flying stork” mascot, as the sales brochure put it . . . “vitesse, securite, confort, silence, elegance.” It wasn’t hyperbole. Even today the reputation of Hispano-Suiza ranks it with the greatest, most respected and revered names at the pinnacle of the auto industry. 
The Porsche 935. Photo courtesy of The Brumos Collection.
Porsche 935
“The Racers’ Concours” honors and celebrates the 45th anniversary of the long-lived, fire-belching 200-plus mph Porsche 935 turbos that once ruled international endurance racing. The 935 was the backbone of international endurance racing for nearly a decade and owned championship titles from Daytona to Le Mans and back. Its popularity remains so potent that nearly five decades after its debut Porsche is creating 77 tribute cars to the 935/78 Moby Dick Le Mans racer based on the 911 GT2 RS.
1977 Chevrolet Corvette Supervette. Photo courtesy of Canepa Motorsport.
Chevy Thunder
Truly the “heartbeat of America” from Indy, Sebring, Daytona, Le Mans, Pro Stock, Can-Am, Trans-Am, club racers, Sprint Cars, Baja & Desert racers, IROC, F5000, Swamp Buggies, Dune Buggies, Hot-Rods, Kit Cars and even to off-shore powerboats, Chevy’s small blocks, big-blocks and pure racing engines set records, crushed competitors and dominated practically every type of motorsport for well over half a century. Chevy’s small block V-8 of 1955 was the elegantly simple engineering masterpiece that inspired hot rodders and race car builders alike. Chevy small block power even sat on the front row of the Indy 500 (1981), outran the fabled Offys on dirt tracks, ruled NASCAR’s high banks, short tracks and road courses, won the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and owned the Can-Am (at one point winning 33 races in a row). 

Chevy Thunder is the soundtrack of NHRA Pro Stock competition winning the championship 24 times, more than any other manufacturer. Its impact on American culture even extends to popular music; in 1962 the Beach Boys composed a song commemorating the power of Chevy’s big block Turbo-Thrust V-8 entitled, appropriately, “409.” Specifically songwriter Gary Usher’s “ . . . 4-speed, dual-quad, positraction four-oh-nine!” Since its first V-8 in 1917, Chevy V-8 power has touched practically every facet of American life towing trailers, delivering groceries or taking the likes of McLaren, Scarab, Lola, Chaparral, Eagle, Corvette and Camaro to scores of racing victories and championships; some Chevy V-8s even replaced those legendary Italian V-12s in American sports car racing.
Ferrari 275 GTB. Photo Courtesy of Peter Harholdt.
Ferrari 275 GTB
It’s hard to imagine a tougher automotive act to follow than Ferrari’s landmark 250 GTs. From the mid-fifties to the immortal GTO of 1962, Ferrari 250 GTs set the standard, won the races and were the fast moving targets of every GT builder from Los Angeles to Coventry to Stuttgart. Unveiled in Paris in 1964 the 275 GTB became Ferrari’s first GT to fit modern alloy wheels and wear independent suspension at each corner. It proved itself in June 1965 with the Belgian racing yellow #24 275 GTB/C finishing third overall and eclipsing the Le Mans distance record of every previous class-winning GTO.

The 275 won Le Mans’ GT class again in 1966 and 1967. Easily the most famous 275 GTB -- one of just ten NART Spiders built -- was Steve McQueen’s signature ride in the 1968 double academy award nominated film The Thomas Crown Affair.
1970 Dodge Charger R/T. Photo Courtesy of Peter Harholdt.
1970s Muscle Cars
Purely American, the Muscle Car brought horsepower to the people with low monthly payments and practically unlimited brute force. Every manufacturer from Chevrolet to Ford, from Buick to Dodge offered an alternative and competitor to the Pontiac GTO, the car that started it all in the mid-sixties. The peak of the Muscle Car Era was 1970, just before emission laws and the fuel crisis hobbled Detroit’s horsepower warriors. Amelia 2021 will host a special display class from the renowned Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexander City, AL including a Muscle Car from every manufacturer that played Detroit’s high stakes high horsepower game at the overpowered breed’s showroom apogee in 1970. 
The 1909 Columbia Electric. Photo courtesy of Hyman LTD.
It’s Electric
The Amelia’s “It’s Electric” Class showcases the development of the electric car from the beginning of the automotive age when it was a viable alternative to steam and internal combustion automotive power. Fast evolving highway and road infrastructure and the rise of the petroleum industry eased the electric car aside turning its advantages and strengths into liabilities. Times and technologies have changed. So have the mission and operational envelope of the automobile and its place in society. Fast evolving technologies and acute civic awareness of environmental trends stand poised to return the electric car to mainstream motoring life well beyond its original duty as short range urban transportation. 
1989 Ferrari F40. Photo by Deremer Studios LLC/Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
Supercars of the 80s and 90s
While the term "supercar" dates back to 1920, the descriptor is often associated with the debut of the mid-engine Lamborghini Miura in 1966. The rules to play the supercar game were simple: big exotic engines between the driver and the rear wheels and a body shape that echoed Le Mans prototype contours: the wilder the better. Enter the Lamborghini Countach, Porsche 959, Ferrari F40, Bugatti EB110, Jaguar XJR-15 and the Ferrari F50.

Over time the term "supercar" expanded to describe an elite group of sports cars that stand apart in terms of design, performance, technology and price. For 2021, The Amelia will gather some of the world's most iconic supercars of the 1980s and 1990s onto the main showfield.
Shadow DN4. Photo courtesy of Peter Harholdt.
Shadow
In 1970, the wildest year of Can-Am competition, everybody seemed to have a better, wilder or weirder idea. None more so than a radical, bizarre, unloved and evil handling little doorstop of a race car spawning a family that would claim the Can-Am Championship, deliver a future World Champion his first F1 victory and compete at the top level of Grand Prix racing. Don Nichols, Shadow Cars chief and a genuine international man of mystery, loved the Shadow radio serials and named his cars and team accordingly. The 2021 Amelia Concours will feature a special Shadow class including the bizarre and radical AVS -- Advanced Vehicle Systems -- Shadow Mk 1 of 1970, the 1974 Can-Am champion DN4 and Alan Jones’ 1977 Austrian Grand Prix winner, the Shadow DN8A. Shadow designers were an all-star team with world class credentials and imaginations: Trevor Harris, Peter Bryant and Tony Southgate drew the sinister shapes that were instantly recognizable as Shadows, right down to the team’s famous cloaked spy logo.
Tickets for the 26th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance are now available online.
For more info and to purchase tickets visit:

The Amelia is currently accepting applications for Cars & Coffee at the Concours 2021.
Don't delay, applications are limited.
“Motorsports Book of the Year” has strong Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance connection!
 
Author/racer Burt Levy and Amelia Island founder/chairman Bill Warner have been friends and fellow-enthusiasts for decades, including driving with and against each other at racetracks all over the country. Burt’s also a familiar sight at the concours, signing copies of his books as one of our regularly featured authors. His Think Fast Ink publishing company has sponsored and presented our “Buddy Palumbo Award” every year since 2007. It’s a special award, named after the gas-station mechanic narrator/hero of his books, and honors an entrant who does most of the mechanical and presentation work with his, her or their own hands.

But Burt is best known for his “The Last Open Road” book series, which trace the on-track, in-the-garage and over-the-road adventures of an amazing cast of real and imagined characters engaged in the world of open-road sports car racing during the Eisenhower fifties. Originally self-published after being rejected by mainstream publishers, The Last Open Road is now in its 10th hardcover printing, has earned rave reviews world-wide, has spawned five (soon to be six) sequels and is on the recommended reading lists at many high schools, colleges, libraries and book clubs. It’s also become a genuine cult-classic on the motorsports and collector-car scenes, and you’ve likely seen “The Last Open Road” decals on many racing and collector cars all over North America.

Last year, Burt released a highly unusual audiobook version of The Last Open Road. It was unique in that Burt re-imagined and re-wrote his story in the style of a 1950’s radio play, complete with different character voices, sound effects, period music and authentic car and racing sounds recorded at vintage events and car museums all over the country. Professional Hollywood voice actors were engaged for the major roles, but famous motoring personalities, including our own founder and chairman Bill Warner, past Amelia Island Concours Grand Marshals David Hobbs and Brian Redman, NASCAR hall-of-fame crew chief and Amelia Island seminar emcee Ray Evernham, racing school-founder and Lime Rock Park owner Skip Barber, reigning IMSA president John Doonan, American racing champions Tommy Kendall, Patrick Long, John Morton, Spencer Pumpelly and P.D. Cunningham, Sebring 12-Hour winner Marino Franchitti, “Cars, Yeah” podcast host Mark Greene and many more appear as “Mystery Celebrity Guest Voices” in the audiobook presentation.

It was a massive, three-year undertaking, but Burt and the Amelia Island Concours are thrilled to announce that The Last Open Road audiobook was selected as “Best Motorsports Book of 2019” by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. It’s the first time a work of fiction or an audiobook has received that award. For more information, to hear excerpts or to order a copy, visit www.lastopenroad.com.
About The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
  
THE AMELIA will be held May 20-23, 2021 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 $3.5 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.

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