GORDON BUEHRIG’S TASCO HEADLINES 26TH ANNUAL AMELIA CONCOURS’ WEIRD & WONDERFUL CLASS 
Jacksonville, FL - On May 23, 2021 one special class will highlight The Amelia’s fondness for embracing a broader perspective of the established and traditional concours concept. To quote a well known (and maybe even famous) car designer, “Hey, Bill, what kind of weird class are you gonna have in 2021?”
1948 Tasco Prototype displayed courtesy of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum
A perfect question as The Amelia’s “Cars of the Cowboys” and “What Were They Thinking” classes were well received despite their non-traditional status. This year that class actually has the key word “weird” in the title! But when you host a March event in May, weird seems like the perfect adjective and announcing said class a few days after the date change feels like impeccable timing.

So without any further ado, mark your calendars for MAY 23, 2021 and join us in celebrating The 26th Annual Amelia’s "Weird & Wonderful" special class.

It starts in the forties with a design and styling genius. Gordon Buehrig is the renowned designer of the Auburn 851 Speedster and the “coffin-nose” Cord 810/812. His Tasco – an acronym for “The American Sportscar Company – was a postwar (1948) project that followed the emerging fashion of investing automobile designs with aircraft themes. It was the year Cadillacs grew tailfins inspired by the P-38 and that sports cars first raced through the streets of Watkins Glen. 

The plan was for Tasco to be a contender in those races that were usually well populated by imported pre-war models. Buehrig extended the aircraft theme beyond the exterior, filling the two-place cockpit with a binnacle and hand controls. The front wheels wore individual, steerable fairings recalling the style of the 1932 Boeing P26 “Peashooter” fighter.
Talk about "weird and wonderful" how about the 2009 Monopoly Speedster courtesy of Lane Motor Museum
The contours of the Tasco’s greenhouse bore familiar aviation perspectives viewed from inside or out. With a pair of transparent, lift-off roof panels Buehrig may have taken some conceptual cues from the prewar Coachcraft/Stengel Ford and Tom Tjaarda’s personal 1940 Lincoln Zephyr cabriolet. Yet Buehrig’s design went beyond both with a pair of removable transparent roof panels anchored to a solid center section. He had invented – and patented – the T-Top. Two decades later when Chevrolet introduced their T-Top on the 1968 Corvette, Buehrig showed them his US Patent # US2556062A (1951) for his "roof with movable parts." Money changed hands.

Buehrig denigrated his lone prototype claiming that it was designed more by a “committee of investors” than his own (supremely gifted) hand. Tasco’s nose led him to joke that it was “my Edsel.” Built on a 1947 Mercury chassis and engine the Tasco never reached production let alone Franklin Street in Watkins Glen. Yet its long hood/short cabin proportions mirrored the profiles of classic pre-war European GTs. 

Fast forward seven decades: Mike Vetter claims he never had a design course in his life but created his Extraterrestrial ETV by hand (in Florida) and sells them to those who are weary of automobiles of traditional proportions. Unlike the Tasco the ETV’s fiberglass body lacks a flat surface or a straight line. Like the Tasco there’s a real car under that skin; actually, more than one. Besides the donor car there are bits from a Chevy Cobalt, Chevy Cobalt SS, Chevy Aveo, Toyota Echo, Honda Insight, Toyota MR2 and a Porsche Boxster.

Weird, but most definitely wonderful, 2008 Vetter Extra Terrestrial Vehicle. Image courtesy of Mike Vetter.
Meant to be a real car with real car utility, Vetter admits the shape may not be aerodynamically optimal, especially at its rounded rear. But its hatchback layout does allow normal-car utility without the dynamic compromises many custom cars demand. The verdict? Concept = weird, execution = wonderful, especially as Vetter has the skills and the courage to create a car to satisfy himself first . . . and for those who crave the sort of attention that a car that seems to be floating on air delivers. Every description of the ETV seems to include the word “futuristic”, as if public taste is linear and predictable. 
Chasing Classic Cars' Wayne Carini stares at his wonderfully weird 1963 Covair Futura. Photo courtesy of Wayne Carini. Meet Wayne and see his Futura May 23, 2021 at the 26th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
The Corvair Futura seems to be the answer to the question nobody asked. That makes it a perfect match for the 26th annual Amelia’s Weird & Wonderful class. Based on a Corvair Greenbriar van the center-steer Futura fits no known automotive category: it is part station wagon and part soon-to-be-invented minivan. The Futura seems to be the project of an automotive enthusiast who didn’t like cars very much. Triggered by a sales concept of Kaiser Aluminum to sell more aluminum by building aluminum-bodied cars, the Futura leaves even hard core “car guys” scratching their heads. In other words, perfect for Weird & Wonderful and a contender in the unofficial “What Is That?” contest. Maybe a myopic glimpse into some alternate future where cars become appliances. Extra heavy on the weird.

“I love unusual cars that no one else has,” said Wayne Carini, long-time Amelia judge, owner of F40 Motorsports and host of MotorTrend's "Chasing Classic Cars." “The weirder the better.”
AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW
Thursday, May 20, 2021

Guardians of Porsche Wine Maker's Dinner 
6:30 - 10:30 PM at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Talbot Ballroom
Begin your AMELIA weekend with an intimate four-course dining experience. A sommelier pairs each course with wines complementary to the menu.

Cocktail Attire
Advance Reservations, Limited Seating
Friday, May 21, 2021

Porsche Driving Experience 
7:00 AM - 4:30 PM Departs from the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport

The Porsche Driving Experience departs from the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport immediately following the 7:00 a.m. check-in and 7:30 a.m. drivers meeting with coffee and donuts. Participants will travel in their personal vehicles to a yet to be determined location where they will enjoy activities to include an autocross in one of the latest Porsches and a spirited ride with a professional driver. The tour will also make a stop at the fabulous new Brumos Collection which began as an eclectic private automotive collection that was stored on-site at the Brumos car dealerships in Jacksonville, Florida. Many international and national award-winning cars, historical documents, and racing artifacts are housed in their new location.  

  • Limited to 125 cars
  • Must be at least 21 years of age to participate in the event
  • Required documents:
  • valid driver's license
  • Need not own a Porsche to participate

Friday Seminar - Chevy Thunder
A seminar hosted by NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief Ray Evernham to celebrate Chevy Thunder, which was the GM Racing tagline during the 80s. Panelists scheduled to appear include: Herb Fishel – Director of GM Racing for 40 years; George Follmer – UOP Shadow Racing; David Hobbs – 1972 SCCA F5000 and SCCA Trans-Am Champion and Brian Redman – 3 time SCCA F5000 Champion and IMSA GTP Champion, all in Chevy powered cars. (Panelists are subject to change)
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM The Awards Tent on the Showfield

McLaren Dinner
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm The Ritz-Carlton, Talbot Ballroom Talbot Ballroom

Cocktail Attire
Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday Seminar - The All Conquering Porsche 935
A seminar hosted by NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief Ray Evernham to tell stories of racing, preparing and writing rules for the all-conquering Porsche 935 when it raced in IMSA. Panelists scheduled to appear include: Hurley Haywood – Interscope, Bayside and Brumos Racing; Bob Garretson – Garretson Enterprises and Dick Barbour Racing; Jack Atkinson – Brumos Racing crew chief; Kevin Jeannette – Swap Shop Racing crew chief; Mark Raffauf – VP of Competition at IMSA; Brian Redman – Dick Barbour Racing and Alwin Springer – ANDIAL. (Panelists are subject to change)
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM The Awards Tent on the Showfield
Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance 
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM The Golf Club Amelia Island 10th & 18th Fairways 
2020 showfield
2021 Honoree Lyn St. James
  • General Admission Adult: $100 – July 6, 2020 - March 31, 2021
  • General Admission Adult: $125 –  April 1, - May 22, 2021
  • General Admission Adult: $150 – Purchased at the Gate/Day of Event
  • General Admission Youth 13-17 years old: $60 (12 and under free w/paying adult)
  • Active Duty Military and Dependents with Active Duty ID: $60 each available on-site only
Concours and More 
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM The Golf Club of Amelia Island

  • Ticket includes early entry into the show field at 8:30 AM
  • A private lunch inside the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island(11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) in the Talbot Ballroom
  • Event Poster (to be distributed at lunch)
  • Tickets not available day of show
Club Amelia 
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Club Amelia Pavilion on the Showfield

Your Club Amelia Ticket includes:

  1. Early Admission onto the show field at 8:30 AM (One hour prior to gates opening to public)
  2. Collectible Program
  3. Collectible Poster
  4. Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Snack
  5. Hosted Bar
  6. Covered seating located in the Awards Presentation area
  7. Private restrooms for Club Amelia Patrons
  8. Parking decal provided.

It is not necessary to purchase General Admission tickets for entry onto the show field. Your Club Amelia ticket is your entry into the show field.
All images are property of The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance / Deremer Studios unless otherwise noted

About The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
  
THE AMELIA is held May 20-23, 2021 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.75 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