“Visionary leadership through innovation” is the theme for the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance as it celebrates its Silver Anniversary in March, and four towering motorsport and auto-industry visionaries and innovations have been chosen to represent the concept.
Each of the four will be honored during the 25th annual edition of the Florida concours with judged classes and displays.
“In each instance, a culture has been created within these organizations that accept only the very best,” Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia concours, said in a news release. “The result is people who see themselves as members of an elite corps and work consistently to that high standard.”
The four visionaries include this year’s concours honoree, “The Captain” Roger Penske, the race driver turned owner of the Team Penske racing team with a remarkable record of wins that include 18 Indianapolis 500 victories.
Penske’s many successes as a driver, team owner and business leader will be highlighted, including a display of five Team Penske cars that won Indy.
Visionary honors also will be bestowed on the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow cars that dominated grand prix racing from 1937 to 1939, transcending the political chaos of Germany that would plunge the world into war. A new generation of Silver Arrows won the 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 1954 and 1955 Formula 1 World Championships and the 1955 World Sports Car Championship.
“Mercedes-Benz team management shaped a new code of race car development and team organization that still echoes in the 21st Century,” according to the Amelia concours news release.
A signature class of Silver Arrows of Mercedes-Benz will be featured at the concours.
A Cars of Harley Earl class will feature key examples from the legendary design chief for General Motors, best-known today for leading the development of the iconic tailfins of the 1950s.
“Eight decades ago, General Motors’ Art & Colour Section was the auto industry’s first attempt to invest the business of creating and selling automobiles with aesthetics as a marketable commodity,” the concours notes. “GM chief Alfred Sloan put Harley Earl in charge, and Earl changed the car business forever.”
The 50th anniversary of the first of 19 overall victories by Porsche in the world’s most important and prestigious sports car race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is the fourth piece of the visionary classes. The class marks the development and successes of such cars as the groundbreaking Porsche 917 that dominated Le Mans until the rules for endurance racing were rewritten for 1972.
After that, the mighty Porsche 917s made their mark in North America’s unlimited Can-Am Championship, partnered with Team Penske and with turbocharging that produced massive horsepower.
Other featured classes for the Amelia Island Concours, with events starting March 5 in the run up to the main concours on March 8, include the centenary of the birth of Italian coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti, whose famed designs include the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO; the Rolling Bones class focusing on the origins of American hot rodding; mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette concepts; Motorcycles of Complexity; and the “That’s Cute” class of stylish minicars.
For more information, visit the event website.
More Amelia Island Concours news
Winning Amelia, an hour-long TV program showcasing the 2019 Amelia concours, including clips from previous events, premieres January 28 at 9 pm EST with a replay at midnight on NBCSN, the NBC Sports Network. For more information, check local cable listings.
More Florida concours news
The 100th anniversary of Duesenberg will be featured as Marque of the Year for the 14th annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance, with events held February 7-9 in Boca Raton, Florida.
The concours is the world’s largest such event owned by charity, in this case, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, for which it has raised more than $10 million since its founding.
For more information, visit the event website.
Heading for the hills in Arizona
The 7th annual Concours in the Hills, the popular and diverse car show in Fountain Hills, Arizona, takes place on Saturday, February 8, with nearly 1,000 collector cars expected to group around the famous fountain, one of the tallest in the world.
The show is known for its wide-ranging entries, from pre-war classics and ’50s cruisers to 21st Century exotics from such brands as Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren.
Concours in the Hills is the largest show of its type in Arizona, according to organizers Scuderia Southwest, and it brings in cars from surrounding states as well as the local area. Fountain Hills is situated just east of Scottsdale on the edge of the Tonto National Forest.
The dramatic opening of the show takes place at 10 am with a group of famous race drivers who live in the Phoenix area – including two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, Daytona 24 Hour winner Didier Theys, F1 driver Derek Daly, Indycar drivers Paul Tracy and Lyn St. James, and Mirage driver and team owner Harley Cluxton – announcing “Gentlemen, and Ladies, Start Your Engines,” at which time all the cars fire up and rev their motors in a ground-shaking demonstration.
Admission is free for spectators. For more information, visit the event website.
AACA annual convention
The 84th annual convention of the Antique Automobile Club of America will be held February 6-8 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel in Philadelphia.
Events include a trade show, seminars, receptions and dinners, awards banquet, a tour of Philadelphia, youth programs and pinewood derby racing.
For more information, visit the club website.
‘Fast and Furious’ fan event
A massive fan event entitled “The Road to F9” takes place January 31 in Miami with a rolling party, featuring music by “global superstars” and celebrity appearances, as Universal Pictures releases the all-new trailer for the ninth chapter in the Fast and Furious franchise.
Performing their biggest hits will be Cardi B, Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth, Ozuna and Ludacris, with the multiplatform event hosted by F&F star Tyrese Gibson and Maria Menounos.
Special appearances will be made by “series godfather” Vin Diesel, F9 director Justin Lin and stars Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and Nathalie Emmanuel, along with newcomer John Cena.
F9 is scheduled to open nationwide on May 22. For more information, visit the event website.