The Amelia

One of the world’s great automotive events, “The Amelia” celebrates 29 years of the best in motoring with 2024 Honoree Rick Hendrick, Cars & Community, and Sunday’s Concours.

Are you ready to experience the very best of all things automotive? Join motoring aficionados from all over the world for “The Amelia,” a four-day extravaganza packed with seminars, films, parties, auctions, and the renowned Concours d’Elegance, where you’ll get an up-close look at hundreds of vehicles you won’t see anywhere else.

The Amelia is an annual award-winning event held February 29 through March 3 this year at The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Luxury shopping, auctions, new vehicle reveals, experiential drives, exclusive gatherings, and engaging seminars surround Saturday’s Cars & Community and Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance. Each year, The Amelia honors a racing legend and attracts celebrities from across the automotive landscape.

A Jacksonville native, Bill Warner, had a lengthy and successful career in the automotive industry before The Amelia even began. In 1996, after working as an automotive photographer, journalist, and driver, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island reached out to Warner in hopes of finding a champion to build an automotive event for the resort. Warner didn’t really consider himself a “Concours guy,” but he agreed to help as long as part of the proceeds from the event went back into the community.

The inaugural event, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, took place in April 1996. Warner used his connections in the automotive world to advertise, report on, and sponsor the weekend of motoring. The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance attracted personalities from across the automotive world, from legendary drivers who would serve as the event’s yearly honorees to automotive designers, television personalities, and industry executives. Without Warner, along with his small, dedicated staff and a dedicated group of volunteers, The Amelia would never have been what it was then or what it has become today.

With decades of experience hosting car-centric events and a mission to save driving and car culture for future generations, Hagerty took over as the host of the event, rechristened The Amelia, in 2021. The Amelia Island Concours staff joined the Hagerty team, providing their expertise and historic knowledge on planning this legendary automotive event.

“Our objective is to knit the enthusiast community together in a way that supports and protects the future of car culture,” says McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “Amelia Island is synonymous with Concours and motorsports heritage due to the steadfast efforts of Bill Warner and his team. We are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to build upon and scale Bill’s vision.”

Warner and his team’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Amelia won the coveted “Motoring Event of the Year” distinction from the International Historic Motoring Awards both in 2013 and 2016. But The Amelia is not just about cars. Since it began, the team has donated over $4 million to Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, Community Hospice & Palliative Care, the Jane and Bill Warner Center for Caring in Fernandina Beach, Shop with Cops, and other deserving charities from Florida’s First Coast.

NASCAR LEGEND RICK HENDRICK IS THE 2024 HONOREE AT THE AMELIA
Each year, The Amelia honors a legend from the racing community. 14-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, and Chairman/CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group, Rick Hendrick joins The Amelia this year with a special display from his collection, including the Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 prepared especially for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“For my entire life, I’ve loved automobiles and racing” says Hendrick. “The Amelia is truly a celebration of both of those passions. The list of past honorees is filled with names I respect and admire, and it’s incredibly humbling to be mentioned in the same breath. The wonderful success our organization has enjoyed has only been possible because of the many, many people who helped build it over the years. I look forward to experiencing The Amelia and sharing this very special honor with all of them.”

The Amelia will feature dozens of special classes again this year, including Japanese performance cars of the 90s, Cars of Pike’s Peak, Porsche: 911 The Original Owners Club, Sport Customs: America’s Boulevard Cruisers, and #001 Race Chassis. The week will also feature an expanded RADwood event on Saturday, March 2. Each of these special classes will display some of the best in their respective field and will be shown alongside traditional classes.

BROAD ARROW’S RADIUS AUCTION AND EIGHT FLAGS ROAD TOUR
Broad Arrow’s Radius Auction returns to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island on March 1 and 2, offering more than 130 motor cars during their two-day auction. An early highlight of this year’s auction is the delivery mileage and stunning 2020 McLaren Speedtail, estimated at $2,000,000 to $2,300,000. Additional highlights include both pre- and post-war American and European classics, along with sports, supercars, and additional hypercars. For more information and up-to-date entries, visit www.broadarrowauctions.com.

“The Amelia is more than just the show field on Saturday and Sunday, it’s now a 4-day celebration of everything automotive,” says Concours Vice Chairman Matt Orendac. “Our guests will experience the cars from behind the wheel, at the auction block, and on the fairways. You’ll also be able to meet and learn from the legends who raced them in period. In addition, we’ve made some changes on the field that enhance the energy of this event, including two-Jumbotrons, more comfortable seating, and more space for better viewing.” The Amelia is expected to draw 25,000 guests or more this year.

The Amelia kicks off on Thursday, February 29 with Broad Arrow Auction’s Preview, held in the ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Later that evening from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. is the beloved Porsche Winemaker’s Dinner. This event features a celebrated sommelier who pairs each course with wines complementary to the menu. The dinner yearly has been known to attract drivers and celebrities from across the Porsche landscape. Tickets are required, and cocktail attire is recommended.

On Friday, March 1, The Amelia is in full swing with its Reliable Carriers Eight Flags Road Tour. The tour stops at various points on and around Amelia Island, concluding with a public display in historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Centre Street around noon. This driving tour includes breakfast, a coffee stop, and lunch, and is reserved for Concours entrants and special guests only.

Also on the docket is the Porsche Driving Experience presented by Porsche Cars NA. Held from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., drivers and an optional passenger will travel in their personal vehicles to Fernandina Beach Airport for check-in, coffee, donuts, and the day’s briefing. Participants will be split into groups to enjoy automotive activities, including an autocross in one of the latest Porsches and a spirited ride with a professional driver, a tour of the Brumos Collection Museum and Race Shop, and a provided lunch and seminar about Porsche. Tickets are required.

RIDE & DRIVE AND CARS & COMMUNITY
Friday, March 1 also features Ride & Drive, where you can get behind the wheel of a cool car and cruise on a guided drive around the area. This event is free and open to the public, first come, first served. Find the Ride & Drive booth at the entrance to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The Amelia’s Silent Auction takes place Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Throughout the day, you’ll have an opportunity to bid on a collection of unique, rare, and eclectic film, television, automotive and motorsports-related items as well as fine jewelry, collectible watches, original art and autographed limited-edition prints.

The Amelia Silent Auction items will be displayed in the Cumberland Room of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, but bidding is virtual and bidders do not need to be present. Proceeds support The Amelia’s legacy non-profit partners.

In addition, you won’t want to miss a special seminar at 3 p.m.: Close Finishes and Controversies. They call it a photo finish for a reason! This seminar will be an intimate discussion of some of NASCAR’s greatest nail biters, featuring NASCAR Hall of Fame Crew Chief Ray Evernham and four acclaimed current and former drivers, including Paul Tracy, Danny Sullivan, Terry LaBonte, and Ricky Craven. At 7 p.m. on Friday, Pike’s Peak: Short Films & Tales from the Summit will be featured, also moderated by Ray Evernham, with panelists David Donahue, Jeff Zwart, and Fred Veitch.

On Saturday, March 2, The Amelia presents Cars & Community, held at The Golf Club of Amelia Island. This unique day of automotive family fun includes Cars & Caffeine, a 1980s and ’90s-focused RADwood display, and The Amelia’s Future Drivers Club, all for the price of a single ticket.

Saturday’s seminar entitled 40 Years of Hendrick Motorsports celebrates 2024 Amelia Honoree, Rick Hendrick. Join race legends and Hall of Famers for an intimate conversation about the team that has won 14 championships and 301 points-paying victories, making Hendrick the winningest team owner in NASCAR Cup Series history. Panelists include Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Terry LaBonte, and Ken Schrader. Moderated by Ray Evernham, the seminar will be held at 10:30 a.m.

A second seminar, Concours Judging 101, will cover the many types of Concours Judging, including ICJAG, Marque Specific, and French Judging. The event is open to all ages and levels of experience and will be held in The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island’s Talbot Ballroom.

The Hangar Amelia will return on the eve of the 29th annual Amelia Concours d’Elegance on Saturday March 2 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the spectacular Bent Wing Flight Services, Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. Join with fellow car-lovers for a sunset aperitivo featuring exceptional cuisine, fine wines and spirits, live music, and an exhibition featuring a broad spectrum of exciting and rare classic and collector cars ranging from vintage to hyper.

THE AMELIA CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE ON SUNDAY, MARCH 3
On Sunday, March 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., it’s what we’ve all been waiting for: The Amelia Concours d’Elegance, featuring over 275 historically-significant vehicles from collections around the world for a celebration of the automobile like no other! Some of the car classes featured this year include the Ferrari 250 Touring, Bugatti Type 57, Cars of Pike’s Peak, plus thirty more classes of fabulous American, European, and Japanese automobiles.

Built between 1952 to 1964 for both the streets and the races, Ferrari 250s quickly won hearts and podiums. The 250 S was the first in the long lineage of Ferrari 250 road and race cars powered by a ubiquitous 3.0-litre Colombo V12 engine. In 1952, the 250 S won the Mille Miglia and 12 Hours of Pescara. At the Le Mans the same year, it clocked the fastest race lap time. No wonder this series still represents some of the most coveted automobiles in the world!

Also featured at Sunday’s Concours is Bugatti Type 57, considered the magnum opus in an already illustrious pre-war catalogue. Type 57 was introduced in 1934 and would form the mainstay of the company’s production through the 1930s. The Type 57 was the first new model constructed under the direction of Jean and was endowed with numerous features that were new to Bugatti. Coachwork was created by the factory or on commission by outside coachbuilders. Much of the commercial success of the Type 57 was attributed to Jean Bugatti’s elegantly flowing and graceful designs that were bestowed upon many examples.

Throughout the show, be sure to check out the Bavarian beer garden, live music, and various cuisines and concessions. For more information and complete schedule, and to purchase tickets for their various events, visit The Amelia’s website at www.ameliaconcours.com. You’ll find the most up-to-date announcements about the 2024 show as well as what has happened over The Amelia Concours d’Elegance’s past 29 years. Since 1996, The Amelia has featured some very significant cars, drivers, and concepts. Go back in time and relive the highlights!