Amelia Island 2020
New 2020 Concours season starts with one of the most exciting ones — Amelia Island Concours D’elegance. This year Redline Restorations was invited to participate in the 25th Anniversary of the event with our freshly restored 1961 Chaparral Mark 1 race car.
Our team set off at 4 am Thursday with a 4 men team and a race car in the trailer. After a quick stop at Advance Auto Parts outside Philadelphia, we proceed to our first planned stop - the Keystone Antique Truck&Tractor Museum in Colonial Heights, VA . Founded by Keith Jones, a CEO of Abilene Motor Express, it houses a collection of more than 200 hundred tractors and trucks, vintage signs and tobacco paraphernalia in the building of now-defunct 70.000 sq feet factory. They also do some restorations on site and Mr. Jones was kind enough to show us around.
We arrived at Amelia Island on Friday afternoon and were greeted by chilly weather, road work and Concours traffic. Luckily, the great trailer parking spot was still available and we waited no time to claim it. After a quick lunch, we went on to check on the car and squared away some logistical issue in preparation for Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday started off early with the meeting with Jose Fernandez, the owner of the car and prepping the Chaparral documentation and history for the show judges. During lunch, Redline Restorations team stopped by the RM Sotheby’s to check out the best and the rarest cars from around the world — where else can you see the Ferrari F40, Ford GT40, and Fiat 8V on the same lawn?
Despite the low 50 degrees weather (not something you expect in Florida), Amelia Island was bustling with Concours visitors and participants. Also, as a part of the Amelia Island Concours schedule, Porsche Club of America hosted its Werks Reunion that same day and the back roads were filled with all kinds of air-cooled goodness.
Later in the day, we started prepping the car for the for entering into the concours field - Chaparral got a full detailing treatment and all the functions were checked before the road test. Was it loud when Chevy's famous V8 started? You bet it was - our parking lot neighbors can definitely attest to that!
Finally, the day of the Concours arrived! Up early, even before the sunset, we all got to the field — adding last touch-ups, and waiting anxiously for men in the wide-brimmed and thick folder to come around and nod approvingly at our car.
While competition is definitely important, it is worth remembering that Concours is also a celebration of automotive history, design, and culture. And just a short walk around the gold course where Amelia Island Concours was held will fill your mind and memory with the wonderful examples of the most beautiful and significant cars(and other vehicles) the humanity has ever produced.
And our Chaparral Mark I has found a younger sibling - mid-engined Chaparral Mark II!
This year Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance celebrated its 25th Anniversary and what event that was! Despite the fears of the brought about by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Amelia Island saw its highest number of visitors to date and more than 150 vehicles competing in various classes and categories.
As a part of the tradition, a lot of vehicles were leaving the show using the narrow road the went from the Concours field up to the Ritz Carlton Hotel, as a way of saying automotive “goodbye” and “see ya next year” with their revving engines.