1905 COLUMBIA. Photo courtesy of Hyman LTD.
Jacksonville, FL - To 21st Century eyes they are curious looking contraptions. The Columbia Mk XXXV is one of the earliest examples entered in The Amelia’s IT’S ELECTRIC class. It’s architecture betrays the electric car’s mission and social origin.

The first electrics were mainly horseless carriages meant for the convenient transportation of the upper classes across the urban-scapes of the early 20th Century: a quiet, quick and odorless replacement for the horse drawn carriages they often resemble.

Much of their speed advantage lays in the economy of time required getting underway, a complex and potentially hazardous task when dealing with horses. And much more dignified than the occasionally painful ignition rituals of early internal combustion engines: what some steam and electric car merchants called, derisively, “explosion cars.” Little wonder electrics were also popular among doctors in the days of house calls.

The Electric Vehicle Company of Hartford, CT built both gasoline and electric autos from 1897 until 1913 when Columbia became a division of the United States Motor Company. The twin motor, 88 volt wet cell battery-powered 1905 MK XXXV Brougham was capable of speeds up to 18 mph through a 5-speed transmission.
1905 COLUMBIA. Photo courtesy of Hyman LTD.
It’s neither error nor coincidence that Columbia named its top of the line electric “Brougham” after the most popular closed carriage of the recent Victorian era. The Columbia Electric Brougham was conceived and built to transport “The Haves” with luxury and privacy. In dignified language that bordered on snobbery Columbia said so in restrained but unmistakably haughty terms in their catalog, booklet and print ads. . .

“Columbia electric town carriages of the coach type are built for private service only from plans and specifications approved by the most critical and discriminating class of vehicle owners.”

“Fashion is autocratic in the manner of town carriages for private service. This is why it means so much that social leaders have approved of the Columbia Extension Front and Straight Front Electric Broughams which you may see standing before the doors of many exclusive homes in our large cities.”

The Columbia Brougham reveals the mission of the earliest electric cars. The short duty cycles of turn of the century electrics made for relatively fast -- compared to the equine pace of the gilded age -- safe, quiet, dignified and comfortable (standard Michelin pneumatic tires) urban transport for the right sort of people. At $3000 Columbia was certainly not courting those who would become customers of Henry Ford when he turned the Model T loose on the world in 1908.
1901 WAVERLY ELECTRIC. Photo courtesy of Hyman LTD.
Columbia no doubt hoped that the social patina of the Brougham Mk XXXV might affix itself to Columbia’s other electric offerings; the Surrey ($1700 with underslung battery) or the entry level, two-place $900 Runabout. Columbia was able to resist broadcasting that their stylish $1,600 “Elberon” Victoria Mk XXXI was the personal car of Mrs. Edith Bolling Galt, the second wife (1915-1924) of President Woodrow Wilson. She was called “the secret president” and was said to be the first woman to own and drive such a vehicle.

Aspiring tradesmen could impress their customers with one of Columbia’s electric delivery wagons by spending a lofty $4,000 for the Columbia electric truck.

“Columbia had offices in major American cities. An electric -- personal or commercial -- could cross those cities many times on a single battery charge. That made electrics practical and gave them real utility at the turn of the last century,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “In America, railroads, not highways, connected far flung cities. In that world electrics made a lot of sense.

“Early electric car owners could be content knowing they were likely seen as members of the upper class,” Warner continued. “So, not much has changed on that front in the last 115 years.”
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 - Details TBA
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM The Ritz-Carlton, Talbot Ballroom 

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

Cocktail Attire
Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday Seminar - Details TBA
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM The Ritz-Carlton, Talbot Ballroom 
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 – Purchased July 6, 2020 - March 31, 2021
  • General Admission Adult: $125 – Purchased 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

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

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