As we approach the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, my in-box is filling up with updated information. What cars are coming, who has agreed to be a guest speaker, and information about a new, less expensive event, the Festivals of Speed, benefiting Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, for only $20.00 per ticket.
The Amelia now includes “Coffee and Cars,” on Saturday for FREE! The Festivals of Speed is Saturday for only $20.00 (though I saw a two-for-one Groupon somewhere), and of course, The Amelia takes place on Sunday with tickets going for only $75.00 each.
I don’t know what you are thinking, but apparently, NE Florida, namely Amelia Island, is the place to show off classic cars and the finer things in life!
Whether you attend one event or all of them, the money raised for Hospice of NE Florida by The Amelia, or for Spina Bifida by the Festivals of Speed, you are contributing to wonderful causes.
Here is one of the latest emails from The Amelia:
Amelia Island, FL – Edsel Ford’s “continental car”, a custom boattail speedster, will take its rightful place in the Sports Car Class of the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. In the shape of Edsel’s seminal speedster is the genesis of Ford’s legendary design department.
Edsel Ford was hardly “a chip off the old block”. The acorn fell well away from the mighty oak that was Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. Edsel was not just the President of Ford, he was a car guy to his core. His tastes and passions still resonate in the lines of Ford’s contemporary cars.
Edsel was enchanted by European sports cars. His trips to Europe, he called it “the continent”, triggered visions of Fords with “continental” styling. In 1934 what would become Ford’s in-house design department created his first “long, low and rakish continental car” (as Edsel described it to his designer and confederate E.T “Bob” Gregorie) on a ’32 Ford chassis.
His boattail speedster had Ford V-8 power and running gear wrapped in a sleek, all-aluminum boattail body made by Ford’s aircraft division. It was just what Edsel Ford wanted and had described. No running boards and a steeply raked split windshield that disguised Edsel’s continental car’s humble assembly line origins.
The Continental name stuck. Within the decade, the radical new Lincoln Continental was a stylish world class luxury contender. When the 1939 Lincoln Continental debuted, the world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright called it “the most beautiful car in the world”. All because Edsel Ford wanted a sports car when he came home from Europe.
When Edsel’s boattail speedster was resurrected and restored more than seven decades later, the new owners, Jim and Bonnie Gombos, spent five years returning it to Edsel’s original specifications. They even painted it “gunmetal gray”, Edsel’s favorite color.