Jacksonville, FL - Buick’s unique and obscure Century X styling department custom will make its international concours debut in the Silver Anniversary Amelia Concours d’Elegance’s Cars of Harley Earl class on March 8, 2020.
Buick Century X. Photo courtesy of Steve Plunkett .
Bill Mitchell was Harley Earl’s hand-picked successor at GM Design and Styling. Their association seemed to go beyond the standard boss-employee dynamic. Many called it a father-son relationship.

Mitchell was just 23 when Earl appointed him chief designer of Cadillac. His design of the 1938 Cadillac 60 Special was a landmark. But Mitchell was a “Buick man” long before he became a man. His father was a Pennsylvania Buick dealer, and despite being the design prodigy given the reins of the Corporation’s premier car division and style leader, Mitchell ached to draw Buicks.
Buick Century X. Photo courtesy of Steve Plunkett.
Few were surprised when, on May 1, 1953, Mitchell left Earl’s private design firm -- Harley Earl Corp. -- returning to GM becoming General Motors Director of Styling.

Mitchell drove over 50 “personalized” vehicles during his GM career and was best known for his love of Corvettes and Camaros. But his heart belonged to Buick and three years after returning to GM he created the factory custom Buick Century X. It wasn’t a landmark dream car like Earl’s Buick Y-Job or the 1951 GM Le Sabre, but a modified production car-- “special order 90022” -- a true factory custom. 
Buick Century X. Photo courtesy of Steve Plunkett.
Buick show cars were the glamour models of the Corporation. Much was expected from the Century X. Buick delivered . Mitchell’s 225 changes were more subtle than startling, hardly the usual fare for a GM “dream car” of the fifties. Dual side exhausts exited through the rocker panels requiring holes cut in the frame with plates welded around the orifices for added strength. Century X also wore twin telescoping power headrests, Skylark-style wire wheels, Mitchell’s signature red chassis, and a tachometer. Chrome accelerator and brake pedal trim told anyone who knew the design section’s secret internal language that this was indeed Bill Mitchell’s car.

Being a racer at heart and taking a page from his mentor’s corporate playbook, Mitchell had the Century X driven to Elkhart Lake, WI for the Road America races in 1956. His timing was good. A new V-8 Corvette -- another Mitchell favorite -- defeated a throng of Jaguars to notch the mighty V-8 Corvette’s first victory at Road America. Mitchell spent race weekend cruising around the resort village much as Harley Earl had done at Watkins Glen during 1951 Grand Prix week with the Le Sabre dream car.
Buick Century X interior details. Photo courtesy of Steve Plunkett.
“Having the Century X on the field in the Cars of Harley Earl Class is the sort of thing we love to do,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia island Concours d’Elegance. “Finding a rare and often obscure car that’s a solid part of automotive history entertains and educates. The Century X was found in pieces. Its restoration is an ‘Indiana Jones’ Class adventure story in automotive archeology. We’re grateful to the owner for allowing us to show it in the Cars of Harley Earl Class.”
Buick Century X. Photo courtesy of Steve Plunkett.
The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is proud to announce the national premiere of "Winning Amelia." The hour-long television program showcases the 2019 Amelia, includes footage from previous events and a preview of the silver anniversary 2020 celebration.

Network and Air Times:

NBC Sports Network (NBCSN)
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 9 PM EST, replay at midnight EST.
(Check local cable listings for details)

Presenting Sponsor:

Amelia Island Tourist Development Council
Jaguar Land Rover
Reliable Carriers
Borla Performance Industries

Tickets for the 25th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance are now available online.

Tickets for special events including The Porsche Driving Experience, Friday and Saturday Seminars and select Concours ticket packages are selling out quickly. Reserve your spot now.

For more info and to purchase tickets visit https://www.ameliaconcours.org/shop/tickets  

2020 Ticket Sales Locations

  • Claude Nolan Cadillac, 4700 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216
  • Jaguar Land Rover Jacksonville, 11211 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
  • Mercedes-Benz of Orange Park, 7018 Blanding Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32244
  • Mercedes-Benz of Jacksonville, 10231 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
  • Lexus of Jacksonville, 10259 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
  • Lexus of Orange Park, 7040 Blanding Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32244
  • Porsche Jacksonville, 10100 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
  • Fields Cadillac Jacksonville, 7999 Blanding Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32244
  • Fields Cadillac St Augustine, 375 Outlet Mall Blvd, St Augustine, FL 32084
  • Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce, 961687 Gateway Blvd, ste. 101G, Amelia Island, FL 32034
  • Amelia Island Welcome Center, 102 Center St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
  • Golf Club of Amelia Island, 4700 Amelia Island Pkwy, Amelia Island, FL 32034

About The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
THE AMELIA will be held March 5-8, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.5 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local and national charities since 1996. To learn more about the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org .

The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance| 904-636-0027 | E-mail | Website