Whatever the New Normal might be in 2021, plans are being made for it to include the annual concours d’elegance d’opposite coasts at Amelia Island in Florida and Pebble Beach in California.
Among other features, Amelia Island plans to celebrate the Porsche 935 at its 26th event March 7, 2021.
“Porsche’s landmark 935 made its debut 45 years ago in a world that was reeling from the Oil Embargo,” concours officials note. “The auto industry and motorsport were especially hard hit. The 1974 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring were cancelled outright.”
Sounds sort of like what we’ve been experiencing in 2020 because of a virus, doesn’t it?
“The economic and political consequences of the embargo summoned new realities and fresh rules for international motorsport. Bravely, Porsche chose this moment to create the famous Porsche Turbo, a more powerful, more luxurious version of their landmark 911. It became an icon. As did the race car that evolved from it and the new set of racing rules that shifted the emphasis of endurance racing fro pure prototypes to modified ‘silhouette’ GT cars. Porsche read those rules with exquisite care and the radical turbocharged Group 5 turbo 935 was the ultimate and exotic result.”
With its new “slopenose” cutting through the air, the 935 proved faster on the Mistral straight than the Tyrrell Formula 1 car in testing, and the 935 would dominate sports car racing for nearly a decade and, Amelia added, in 1979 became the first production-based car to win overall in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“The 935’s legend and legacy remains fresh in the minds and fantasies of all who saw them race,” concours officials add.
Later in 2021, on August 15, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance finally will get to celebrate its 70th anniversary and among special anniversary classes will be a display featuring the five cars that won the post-war road race through the Del Monte Forest before that event ended and racing moved in 1957 to a purpose-built track at Laguna Seca.
The cars that won overall through the forest were: 1950 — Phil Hill’s 1950 Jaguar XK120, 1951 and 1952 — Bill Pollack’s 1951 Allard J2, 1953 — Hill in a 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Spyder, 1954 — Sterling Edwards in a 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Vignale Spyder, 1955 and 1956 — Hill and then Carroll Shelby in a 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti Spyder.
By the way, that first Pebble Beach automotive event was staged on November 5, 1950.
“This history of the Pebble Beach Concours began with the history of road racing on the West Coast of the United States,” said concours chairman Sandra Button, noting that Pebble Beach began with tandem events — a concours and a race, “and we want to recognize that heritage when we come together for our 70th celebration. We want to pay tribute to the people that founded the event and the cars that made their mark here.”
Caffeine and Octane shows resume
The Caffeine and Octane car shows have resumed, both those held the first Sunday of each month at the Perimeter Mall in Atlanta, Georgia, and those televised on the NBC Sports Network.
The car shows at the mall have become the largest such monthly events in the country, though now with social distancing and other restrictions in place.
As for the television shows, the new season will feature more documentary-style offsite coverage. New episodes will be featured Tuesday nights through the rest of this year.
Seeing the future more clearly
EyesOn Design is the annual car show staged at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford estate on the shores of Lake St. Clair just east of Detroit. It is organized by car company designers and the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology. Although its primary show was canceled by the virus in 2020, EyesOn staged a pair of driving tours and starting November 11, and on the 18th and December 2 will stage an online seminar, “The Eye, The Brain and The Auto,” featuring a series of panel discussions “exploring the relationship between technology enabling autonomous mobility and health care.”
The series leads up to the 9th world congress on vision and driving, scheduled to take place online December 7-8. For details, visit the DIO website.
RAC honors books on Ginther, Shadow
Britain’s Royal Automobile Club has announced its motoring book of the year awards. Book of the year is Richie Ginther: Motor Racing’s Free Thinker, by Richard Jenkins, and specialist book of the year is Shadow: The Magnificent Machines of a Many of Mystery, by Pete Lyons.
Ginther was one of only five Americans to win a Formula 1 race, and in addition to scoring Honda’s first F1 victory, helped BRM and Ferrari win championships.
Shadow was the name put on cars he built by former US D-day paratrooper and Army counter-intelligence officer Don Nichols, whose team was the only US-based effort to win a Can-Am championships and one of only three to win an F1 race.
Hilton Head offers book discount
Matt Hranek’s book, A Man & His Car, is a compilation of stories about iconic cars and “the men who love them,” and those men include the likes of Jay Leno, Kevin Costner and Snoop Dogg. The book and the subject was the topic of a recent online presentation staged by the Hilton Head Concours & Motoring Festival.
If you missed that presentation, it’s available on YouTube.