The LAST and the FIRST
In reviewing my 4/1/20 Challenge article about the Amelia Island Concours, I see that COVID-19 was not mentioned. While we were there, the outbreak was a passing topic of discussion and many were using elbow-bumps as greetings, but that was the extent. The event was clearly successful in all aspects. Well, shortly after my article, we went into full lockdown!
Amelia Island was the LAST worldwide Concours in 2020! ALL other concours were cancelled. In fact, Classic Motorsports Magazine and Hagerty sponsored the online worldwide Concours d’Cancelation (https://canceledconcours.com/) event in support of all the cancelled concours. I won the Porsche Class but that’s another topic.
Fast forward to January 2021. The Amelia Island Concours was still scheduled to be held on its normal first weekend in March. The Concours had to make the tough decision to move the event to May 20-23, 2021 given COVID restrictions in Florida and their concern for participation and safety of the event.
Amelia 2021 came off with the usual excitement and became the FIRST Concours of 2021.
Hence, the significance of being the LAST and FIRST.
Given enthusiast pent up demand for auto events, the Amelia event was only slightly muted from past years. The Concours field was full of great cars, as usual. The PCA Werks event was held with a record number of participants in the judged field, the corrals and spectators. The Concours Saturday Cars & Coffee event was sold out, as usual, with the usual large field of Porsche’s.
The Porsche Wine Dinner was limited in the number of attendees but still a great event. The highlight of the evening was Concours Founder and Chairman Bill Warner’s interview of Hurley Haywood. The dinner ended with Pedro Mota, PCNA Vice President of Marketing and the dinner’s host, presenting Hurley with an award for his 50 year association with Porsche, which continues today as a Brand Ambassador.
The PCA Werks event was tremendous with the expected display of judged cars as well as a huge corral organized by model. The large PCNA display of current models featured the Porsche Motorsport 99X Electric race car.
No CVR members were on the concours field this year, but Porsche’s were well represented, including a very nice fiberglass bodied 904 GTS owned by Ted Kuser (in hat) of New Jersey who is a close friend of Prescott Kelly and our deeply missed CVR friend Ernst Benizen.
This year’s special Porsche class was of comprised of 14 935 historic race cars including the 2020 version from the Ingraham Collection, which was raced by Jeff Zwart in the Pikes Peak challenge. As part of honoring the 935 cars, a seminar was held with key gentlemen that developed, raced, promoted and ran the races series.
As in the past, Ray Evernham was the moderator (Ray is co-founder of the new SPX race series which recently premiered at the Stafford Motor Speedway in CT). The panel talked about the history and “secrets” of the 935 car. Every car’s secret was OK given the “lax” rules during the 1977 to 1984 period of wins.
One interesting fact discussed was the” bus stop chicane” at the Dayton Race Track which came about to slow the 935s on the steep banking. The narrow 935 tires were deemed not safe at speed on the high banking.
Porsche’s in the field included the following, most of which were winners:
As usual, the Concours has some unique class. This year’s Weird and Wonderful class had many 1-off “entries” including the class winner
The Amelia Concours is a yearly must attend!