The Big Day at Amelia

The day has finally arrived, where the crème de la crème have made it through the pre-judging rounds and now strut their stuff on the show field for the coveted Best In Show at Amelia award.

But first, there’s so much more going on before the final afternoon judging. This is Roger Penskes weekend, and the Cars of Roger Penske are on display in the bright, Florida sun.

The Cars of Roger Penske

What do you say about the man who has done it all? Race car driver, team owner, business man, entrepreneur, and this years Honoree at Amelia. I’ll let his cars do the talking.

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Since we’re on the subject of racing celebs, here we are at the Chopard watch display, drinking wine graciously offered by Chopard, and ogling their $12,000 watches (I want one), when who do we spot standing four feet from us? Can you name this racing icon and 2019 Amelia Honoree?


Roo caught sight of him first. “It’s Jackie Icyx!” she screamed. She knows her race car drivers.

Another Amelia regular is known far and wide for his knowledge of Ford GT’s and Aston Martins. If you watch his show on Amazon Prime, Legends of Design, then you know Mr. New Jersey, GT Joey.

So many cars, so little time. The afternoon was waning as the finalists for the coveted Best In Show title began parading toward the show field, lining up in anticipation for the judges final ruling. I couldn’t help think how similar this is to a dog show!

The Amelia Concours has long had a racing heritage. As such, Best In Show awards are given to both a road car and a race car. Everyone was waiting for the final announcement………………..

2020 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Best In Show

1929 Duesenberg J-218 Town Car Limousine and 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder

What a fantastic event! Quite frankly, it was all a bit overwhelming. There just wasn’t enough time to see and do everything that was offered. But, it was thoroughly enjoyable, even our $126.00 lunch at the Golf Club at Amelia!

This was the only event we could participate in this year. Two days after we arrived back home, the bottom fell out due to Covid 19, and all events we typically do were cancelled one by one. At least we have Amelia to talk about all summer!

Isolating Myself from Isolation

“I need to get out of this place, if it’s the last thing I ever do………”.

I sing that line to Roo whenever I have had enough of domestic life, which lately, has been quite often. Friday came around with a beautiful, cool, sunshine morning. I dropped the top on “Matchbox”, and took a three hour tour into the mountains.

But it wasn’t enough.

Covid19 has had us self isolating now since March, and bit by bit, has been taking it’s toll on us. Roo has been coping with it better than I, she being more of a homebody. I however, am not. I needed to regain some sense of normalcy in my life.

I had ridden my motorbike exactly 400 measly miles since March. My reason for not doing so? Fear. Fear of having a wreck and landing in a hospital. Bad time to be in a hospital, I reasoned. Fear of financial ruin. Our business had been forced closed by state order. Fear. No income, and huge medical bills. Fear.

All this time, Roo had been insistent that I go. She couldn’t take me anymore! But she knew how therapeutic riding is for me.

So finally, last week I went. I said “screw it”, and took off on a 100 mile ride in the mountains of North Carolina.

I returned home with a big grin on my face. Roo asked how my ride was.

“Wonderful!” I said. “I was so focused, so very in the moment the whole time. Alone, in my helmet, the rest of the world and all the bullshit going on was ‘out there’. I didn’t realize how much I needed to isolate myself from isolation.”

Cars & Coffee at the Concours

Well, here we are. It’s Saturday morning and we are amped about driving down to Amelia Island for Cars & Coffee at the Concours. Our hotel parking lot is full of folks and their cars who, like us, are staying here for the cheap rate: Porsches, Triumph TR6’s, MG’s, Nissan Versa (whaaaat? Oh, that’s us).

A short 25 minute hop in beautiful sunshine has us parked and heading to the main gate. Man, it’s great to feel that Florida sun. Following the crowd in brings us right to the entrance of the Ritz-Carlton, the host hotel for 25 years. This place is absolutely beautiful. More on that later. It’s Cars & coffee time. But before we get to that, take a look at some of the vehicular beauties parked at the Ritz:

This is not your hometown weekend Cars & Coffee. Yes, it is the peoples car show, to parade your own wheels in front of the masses. Coffee, of course, can be purchased. But that is where the similarity ends. Here, one must apply to show your ride, pay an entry fee, and your vehicle must be accepted by the governing committee. This is Amelia after all.

Everything is here: Vintage, classics, supercars, not-so-super cars. Cars of the people?

Well, let’s say some people.

The crowds were massive all weekend

The Corvair Club had quite a contingent here. Somehow, I didn’t get many pictures of them.

While walking along the lineup of Corvairs, Roo stopped, and deadpanned, “It’s not safe here. Let’s move on.” Ha! I get it!

This goes beyond vintage.

The Italian flag was flying! Alfa Romeo pulled out all the stops. I would love to see that Alfa 4C (top left & right) in my driveway.

The local Corvette Club was here. Most all models of the various Vettes were displayed from the C1 to C7. And yes, the new C8’s (there were tree of them), garnered the most attention.

What can you say about McLaren? The peoples car? No. But they had a permanent display here all weekend.

Other vehicles we came across at C&C

Before and after? Nah. Two different Porsches. Preservation and Restoration.

The rear quarter window of the real Peoples Car. This one has been to Laguna Seca! Slowest lap time?

All too soon Cars & Coffee was over. As mentioned, so many vehicles here to see, we didn’t have the time to get to them all. Just another reason to come back!

Next Post: The crème de la crème take to the show field. The 2020 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.






Petrol Heads Paradise at Amelia

Well, with the COVID-19 virus in full swing here in the States and around the world, we’re stuck home with time to catch up on some needed house projects (yecchh!), but more importantly, to share with you all a fantastic event we recently attended.

Winter here in the Upstate of South Carolina has really sucked this year. Cold, wet, windy. Five out of seven days it rains, all day. The other two: dark, gloomy, and cold. I always wondered how the folks in the Pacific Northwest could stand living somewhere it rains all the time. Now we’re living it.

And so, the first event of the year on our calendar had a date of the first weekend in March. Best of all, the venue was in sunny and warm-ish Florida. Yeah! If nothing else, that big yellow ball in the sky will be smiling down on us. Haven’t seen ol’ Sol for weeks.

This event has been on our, dare I say, bucket list (hate that term), for a few years now.  We finally decided to pull the trigger and just go, having saved up enough sheckles to enjoy ourselves without buyers remorse. Road trip!

Our lodging for the weekend is in the small town of Kingsland, GA, just a 25 minute hop/skip to Amelia Island. Every hotel on Amelia is booked one year in advance of the next years Concours. Even if any rooms were available, prices are just stratospheric. Ranging from around $300.00 per night for the lowly Days Inn, to upwards of $1000.00 (you read that right), per night for a lovely room at the Ritz-Carlton host hotel. Next year, we’re “putting on the Ritz!” Ha! That always reminds me of the hilarious scene in Young Frankenstein with Peter Boyle as the Monster singing “Putting on the Ritz.” Never gets old.

Back to Amelia. We parked our car at a lovely residence that graciously opened their property to attendees to park for $20 (a bargain) adjacent to the 9th hole of the Amelia Island Golf Course, the venue show field for the gorgeous vehicles on display.

Walking along the golf cart path to the main gate, rounding a bend, we were greeted by these beautiful works of art:

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The Concours d’Elegance at Amelia Island is a high end collector car show. It is one of two Concours events in the USA, the other being Pebble Beach in California, that attract the crème de la crème of collector car excellence and the people that spend their money to purchase them. Amelia also hosts Sotheby’s and Bonham’s auctions so those same folks can add to their invaluable collections.

This being our first time attending, we didn’t quite know what to expect. There is so much to see and do here over the four days that it was quite overwhelming…in a good way. Besides ogling the cars and bikes, you could pay to drive a supercar (Ferrari, McLaren, C8 Corvette, among others), hot laps in a Porsche on a mini road course, dine with Roger Penske, this years Honoree, and just too much more to mention. But the crowds, and the people watching to go with it, was almost as fun as scrutinizing the cars! Folks strutting their stuff dressed to the nines competing with the cars on display. People watching at it’s finest!

Saturday and Sunday are the big days at Amelia. Saturday is Cars & Coffee at the Concours, and Sunday is the grand finale: the Concours itself, where Collector Cars vie for Best in Show (just like a dog show!).

Next post: Cars & Coffee at The Concours


Tryon Rolling Art Festival Part Two-The Cars

There were some beautiful pieces of rolling art in the form of automobiles at the Tryon Rolling Art Festival. Sports cars, supercars, British cars, German, American and others all managed to find their way to this small southern town. And let’s not leave out the weird and outlandish. Here is a sampling of what showed up.

No explanation needed. Ugly back in the day, very cool now.

Sports cars…then and now

1980’s stylin’.  Remember Magnum P.I.? That’s THE Ferrari 308 GTS

Now this is cool!

How about some cars from the good ol’ USA!

Smile, baby. SMILE!

The quintessential 1960’s shaggin’ wagon. Compliments of VW.

I promised you weird. Here it is. Weird even for a Rat Rod (which are way cool, btw)

Another great auto/motorcycle show in a wonderful little southern town. The setting was great, the food was delicious and the vehicles were fabulous! Way too many bikes and cars to portray here. See them all in November 2020 in Tryon, North Carolina.