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Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Moving To May Because Of Pandemic

A view of the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance at the Ritz-Carlton.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS
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A view of the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance at the Ritz-Carlton.

Organizers of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance announced Monday the annual classic car show and its related events at the Ritz-Carlton and surrounding area are being moved to May 20 - May 23 this year.

“That gives us a little more time for the vaccine to get distributed,” Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance spokesman Chris Brewer told WJCT News Monday.

This year's Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was originally scheduled for March 4-7. It's historically been held on the first full weekend of March.

Brewer said when the pandemic hit they made a promise to put the safety of staff, volunteers and spectators first.

“Every day since, our team has consulted experts, followed local and national developments and weighed our options. We worked tirelessly to create a plan that would allow us to move forward. We also set benchmarks that would require us to pause,” organizers said.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, now in its third decade, is recognized as one of the top automotive events in the world, drawing more than 300 rare vehicles from collections across the globe.

This year's honoree will be racer, writer, broadcaster, entrepreneur and motivational speaker Lyn St. James.  She began her racing career in a Ford Pinto in the '70s and quickly moved up in the sport, including racing a Corvette at Sebring, Palm Beach and Daytona. 

She's scored a number of records, including an Indy 500 qualifying lap of 227.32 mph, which stood as a record for women until 2002, according to Vintage Motorsport.

This year some relatively modern rarities will also on the field in a display called the "Supercars of the 80s and 90s."

"These are some of the cars that I grew up wanting. You know - the posters in my room - but it'll be really exciting," said Brewer. Among them will be a Porsche 959, Ferrari F50 and a Lamborghini Countach that served as a Monaco Grand Prix pace car.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation has donated more than $3.75 million since 1996 to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, Shop with Cops,  and other charitable organizations across North Florida. 

Tickets already purchased will be honored on the new dates and Brewer expects the existing schedule to carry forward, including events like the Porsche Driving Experience, RM Sotheby's auction and Cars & Coffee at the Concours.

"So really, it should be very similar to what you would have seen in March, but hopefully with a little more," said Brewer.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.