The 20th anniversary Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Jacksonville, Florida, will march well outside the boundaries of concours orthodoxy on Sunday, March 15, with Hot Rods: East Meets West, a celebration of the most dynamic and democratic of the automotive arts.
The American hot rod phenomenon exploded after World War II. Following a decade of depression and four years of war, America was suffering an automotive famine, according to an event announcement. New car showrooms were practically empty, save a precious few holdovers, leftovers and new cars with decade-old styling and dated mechanics.
Following World War II, the American hot rodder was born. Many were ex-GIs who were used to doing the impossible with nothing but simple hand tools, ingenuity and imagination.
A class of 16 period American hot rods will be displayed at the Amelia Concours d’Elegance field. Eight East Coast rods will line up on the east side of the field, anchored by Posies East Coast Aeroliner Sport, while Eric Zausner’s Moal Coachworks Falcon will anchor the West Coast rods on the west.
“Italy has Zagato, Bertone and Scaglietti; France has Figoni et Falashi; England has Gurney Nutting and Park Ward,” said Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “We’ve got Posies in the east and Moal out west; they’re our Yankee ‘Carrozzerias.'”
Both hot rods from the United States Postal Service’s Hot Rod commemorative stamps will be part of the Amelia’s Hot Rod class as well. Bruce Meyer’s red 1932 Bob McGee Ford roadster, cover car for the October 1948 issue of HOT ROD Magazine, will share the field with Mark Graham’s black High Boy, built by Vern Tardel.
“The American Hot Rod is a rogue animal. That’s a huge part of its appeal,” said Warner. “While the Carrozzeria designs and creates a body for an existing platform, the current American hot rodder usually makes the whole car from the wheels up. Sometimes they even make the wheels.”
The 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be held March 13-15 on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The show’s foundation has donated over $2.5 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida and other charities since its inception in 1996, according to the organization.