ChrisBrewer
ChrisBrewer
2/1/19 1:51 p.m.


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Story by Chris Brewer • Photography Courtesy The Amelia Island Concours

Any doubts that the 2017 Amelia Island concours shouldn’t have been rescheduled at the 11th hour were washed away by the pouring rain and 30 mph gusts that lashed the Ritz-Carlton resort, the event’s host hotel, the planned Sunday of the event. Earlier in the week, forecasters had predicted heavy rain and tropical force winds, prompting The Amelia’s founder and chairman, Bill Warner, to shift the concours to Saturday.

The move would require Warner’s staff and 700 volunteers to condense an already tight schedule. Rather than cancelling Saturday’s cars and coffee and displacing Automobile’s All-Star Awards, Warner would look to his team to find the space and create a schedule where a crowded Saturday and Sunday lineup could co-exist in the same eight hours without anything getting lost in the shuffle.

Thanks to late hours and heroic efforts by a valiant group of volunteers, as well as a flurry of e-mails and social media posts, by 9 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, March 11, the show fields were set and the crowds arrived to spend a picture-perfect day in the Florida sunshine. Attendees and entrants alike noted the seamless transition, which went so well that a handful of sponsors asked if the show could always be held on Saturday. Forbes magazine would write that Warner “came off looking like a soothsayer with a very good crystal ball.”

It is that insight, that ability to know what’s best for his event, that sets Bill Warner apart. Where many companies assemble focus groups and pay consultants to do surveys, Warner follows his passions and invites others along for the ride.

“It isn’t the cars I’ve bought for investment purposes that have made me money; it’s the ones I’ve bought with my heart that have provided the best return,” Warner said. Following his heart has rewarded him with three Road & Track covers, success on the race track, a beautiful family and an award-winning Concours d’Elegance.

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moggiedog
moggiedog New Reader
2/4/19 11:55 a.m.

Chris Brewer, you are a fine writer with a big hert to show Bill Wqner in such a greqt light.  Good work. 

Although I'v never met him nor attended his show, I'll be sure not to miss it this year.  

Thanks for the article and hi to Tim.

 

Dave Sawyer

MGTOMMM
MGTOMMM New Reader
2/4/19 3:54 p.m.

Great article showcasing a great event and great person. Displaying a car there is the highlight of my year. 

Thanks to Bill for making great memories for a huge number of car people. It's a real spectacle now!!

And thanks to all those volunteers - who make it possible - to donate so much time to the event, and untimately dollars to charities. 

Tom Metcalf

 

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