Amelia Concours d’Elegance kicks off its 26th year

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Car lover’s unit: One of the nation’s biggest automotive shows returns to Amelia Island this weekend.

The Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance is celebrating its 26th year.

“It’s electric. It’s standing next to people who are going to bid on million dollar cars,” Debbie Shamyer said.

There are fewer cars this year at the Concours because of COVID-19, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing some of your favorite cars.

We watched as the road tour took off just before 9 a.m. heading to downtown Fernandina and back, with more than two dozen rare and antique collectable cars.

Ford Heacock drove his 1961 Sunbeam Harrington Alpine.

“Its history is that it raced in Sebring in the 12 hours of endurance twice and finished both times in 1962 and 1963,” Ford Heacock said.

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And the Concours is so much more than a car show.

Bill Warner the founder and chairman told me when he started this event 26 years ago he wanted to make sure it supported local charities.

Over the years, it’s been able to raise around $4 million and counting.

“So we’ve been raising funds for Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, Community Hospice, the Shop with Cops Program for Fernandina Beach and Nassau County, so we try to keep the money in the area and raise money for various good charitable causes,” Warner said.

This year, the Concours d’ Elegance was supposed to start on March 3, but it was pushed back to May because of the pandemic.

Warner said the extra time did give staff and volunteers more time to get vaccinated.

For Shamyer, going to an event like this is a sign that things are starting to get back to normal.

“It’s exciting and there’s adrenaline starting to build and it’s fabulous,” she said.

Car lovers interested in going to the event can buy tickets HERE.

Tickets are $125 online and will raise to $150 on the day of the event.