Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

by Willy Vinton

Sunshine, old cars and green grass were a treat after a long Fairbanks winter. My wife, Wilma, and I left Fairbanks on March 9 to head to Florida, arriving on the 10th. We checked into the hotel, had dinner and got some rest after 16 hours of airplanes and airports. The following morning we scoped out the concours grounds and inspected our '32 Cadillac 452-B Imperial limousine to make sure it was ready for the show. The car looked great and only needed minor cleaning, thanks to Sean Brayton and Red Star Auto's extra effort to get it ready.

We spent the rest of the day checking out the cars at the Gooding auction and making sure we knew where to park the Cadillac on the golf course. Auctions on both Friday and Saturday consumed the night and day; we left the RM auction on Saturday afternoon to get the Cadillac onto the field by 5 pm. It started with no problems and we left the parking area where all the transport trucks park, following a concours official who was driving a golf cart. Everything went well until halfway there the car ran out of gas (oops). With the help of the staff we got two gallons of gas, put it in the V16, got it started and made it to the field.

Sunday morning found us with lots to do--remember now--we had to turn the clocks ahead one hour, and be on the field by 7 am. Upon arriving we found the car was covered with a very heavy layer of dew, requiring lots of drying and cleaning to make it ready. At 9 am the judges came and inspected the car, asked lots of questions (luckily never one I couldn't answer--pure luck!) and spent about 15 minutes with us. At right is a view from the Cadillac deck overlooking part of the field before it got crowded.

Toward the end of the show our pager went off indicating we had to drive up to the grandstand area to recieve an award. Now that's all well and good,
but remember this is a gas-guzzling V16 carrying only two gallons of fuel. I drove to the staging area and shut the car off (conserving gas) then drove up to receive the award. We were presented with a nice trophy and ribbon for the "Amelia Island Award for the Most Elegant Formal Sedan or Town Car." Not only an honor, but also great recognition for the museum! After that I wondered if we would have enough gas to get back to the show field, let alone back to the truck area, but luck was with us and we had no problems.

The weather was great and we even got to spend a little time on the beach, enjoying some of the white sand and a nice walk.

Next stop - Chicksha Pre-War Swap Meet

1 comment:

  1. Great automobile collection. Will definitely plan a visit on my upcoming trip.


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