2016 Amelia Island Concours dElegance Exodus
Ritz Carlton, Fernandina Beach
Amelia Island, Florida
What cars can you name?
The Amelia Island Concours dElegance is an automotive charitable event held each year during the second weekend in March at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Amelia Island, Florida. A New York Times article about celebrity car ownership listed “the nations top Concours dElegance: Pebble Beach in California, Meadow Brook in Michigan, Amelia Island in Florida and the Louis Vuitton Classic in midtown Manhattan.
A Concours dElegance (French, literally “a competition of Elegance“) is according to New York Times writer Keith Martin like a “beauty pageant for rare and elegant cars,”. Each entry is rated for authenticity, function, history, style and quality of restoration by a team of judges that includes specialists for each car type. A perfect score is 100, but any imperfection, no matter how slight, requires a fractional point deduction. Classes are arranged by type, marque, coachbuilder, country of origin, or time period.
Judges select first-, second-, and third-place finishers for each class in the event, and the judges confer the “Best of Show” award on one car from the group of first-place winners. In addition, a group of honorary judges — typically individuals who have made significant contributions to the automotive industry or motorsports — give subjective awards to recognize standout vehicles regardless of class ribbons, as well as memorial awards created to honor automotive industry personages.
Businessman and car collector Bill Warner, a photographer and writer for Road & Track magazine since 1971, founded the Amelia Island Concours dElegance in 1996 at the urging of other northeast Florida auto enthusiasts who wanted a classic car show in Florida like the Pebble Beach Concours dElegance in California. Warner selected Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, which had provided service to his parents as well as his wife, as the beneficiary of the event. The first event was held April 6, 1996 at Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. Warner assembled a group of 163 cars and attendance was around 2,200.
By 1999 attendance had increased to 8,500; 205 cars were exhibited; and $268,000 was raised for Community Hospice. The New York Times assigned a reporter to write a story. In his full-page feature article, Keith Martin stated, “The Amelia Island event, which is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, is the only one in its region to aspire to the same standard of excellence (as the) Concours dElegance at Pebble Beach, in California, as well as the Louis Vuitton Classic at Rockefeller Center
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