RRDC members were out in force at the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida last weekend, a magnificent event conceived by RRDC member Bill Warner. The all-for-charity automotive extravaganza continues to grow in attendance and splendor each year. Our man Sam Posey was this year’s Grand Marshal.The Amelia Island annual gathering features motorsports seminars, cocktail parties, car auctions, galas, a silent auction, autograph signings, drives in luxury marques, such as Aston-Martin, Porsche, Lamborghini and Maserati, and showcases some of the most important vintage cars in the world.
The weather was perfect and the Ritz-Carlton on the Atlantic Ocean was a gracious host to the many racing celebrities and automotive dignitaries in attendance. More than 20,000 people were on hand to view 287 cars and 21 motorcycles at the Concours on Sunday, which also featured the “Cars of Sam Posey” and an array of historic Ford GT40s. The event benefited the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc.
RRDC member Posey – a racing driver, artist, designer, author and TV commentator – was the event Grand Marshal and was honored at the Saturday night gala, where he and his old friend (and RRDC member) David Hobbs continued their friendly rivalry that began in the ’70s. As expected, the barbs between them flew, entertaining the capacity crowd.
RRDC member Bob Varsha was the emcee and RRDC member Skip Barber stunned Posey and his family (including brothers David and Nick Moore, with their wives Debbie and Leslie and children, Sam’s wife Ellen Griesedieck and their children Judy and John) with a proclamation that from this day forward the front straight at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut would be called the “Sam Posey Straight” – a deserving accolade for the man who began his racing career at that track and was the first to break the one-minute mark on the 1.5-mile course.
The Design Analysis of the Corvette Sting Ray, the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Porsche 911, and the Celebration of Ford’s GT40 were the subjects of the three seminars, which attracted over 400 people at each of the talks, filling the Ritz-Carlton’s Talbot ballroom to capacity.
RRDC member Pete Brock, the original Sting Ray designer, was on stage with VP Global Design General Motors, Ed Welburn, discussing the Sting Ray’s history. Welburn then presided over the unveiling of the all-new 2014 Corvette C7.
At the Porsche 911 seminar, RRDC members Vic Elford, Patrick Long, Hurley Haywood and our president Bobby Rahal joined Jack Atkinson (former Brumos Porsche mechanic) and Porsche’s Harm Lagaaij, Peter Schutz, Alwin Springer, and Pikes Peak champion Jeff Zwart, in an energetic discussion about Porsche’s racing history which included many back stories never before heard.
Hobbs and RRDC members Brian Redman, Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant were on the panel for the Ford GT40 seminar and rest assured there were many racing war stories that were shared among these A-list racers. Gurney didn’t fail to place jabs into Hobbs’ side as they revealed the inside stories of their Le Mans’ experiences. They were joined on the panel by John Wyer team manager John Horsman, and Lee Holman of Holman Moody.
Other RRDC members attending the event, some as judges and entrants, included George Drolsom, Marolyn Rogers, Michael Keyser, Johnny Rutherford, Carl Jensen, Tom McIntyre, Denise McCluggage, David Cowart, Charles Mendez, Harley Cluxton, Dario Franchitti, Ted Wenz, Bob Leitzinger, Ken Squier, Ross Bremer, Bruce Canepa, Charlie Kemp, Archie Urciuoli, Stirling Moss, Judy Stropus, Joe Freeman, Murray Smith, Chris McAllister, John Higgins and Oscar Koveleski. We apologize if we missed any other RRDC members who were there.
We congratulate Bill Warner on another magnificent weekend. The passion and energy he expends to put on this extremely well-run show annually is clearly evident in the faces and laudatory remarks of the attendees. With so many volunteers eager to be a part of this spectacular affair year after year, the charities are the beneficiaries. We applaud all of Bill’s efforts.