Amelia Island

Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance


A full class of the outrageous customs of "Big Daddy" Ed Roth will be featured at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on March 11, 2018.

Ed Roth was a legend and an iconoclast. He created some of the most outrageous, reality bending customs of an era that thrived on American individualism run delightfully amok.

Roth was born in 1932; the year FDR was elected; the year that Ford created the immortal V-8 and the "Deuce Coupe."  Ed Roth was born into a world in transition and upheaval. It was a theme that underlined his life and his career and he embraced it. It seems natural that his first car was a 1933 Ford coupe bought at the tender age of 13. After a tour in the Air Force he married and became the father of five sons. So the "Big Daddy" nickname came naturally .

His custom cars, his T-shirts and his art defined what came to be known as "counter culture." Ed was part engineer, part mad scientist and artist all at once, and well ahead of the power curve of his time. His Rat Fink character -- a drooling, bug-eyed rodent -- was, he claimed, his anti-Mickey Mouse. 

It was his T-Shirts starring Rat Fink that brought fame and enough fortune to create his custom cars. Roth's cars took the term "custom" beyond the edge. His signature Beatnik Bandit, Orbitron and Surfite all enjoyed successful movie cameos in addition to their star status in hot rod and custom car magazines. 

"The custom car era of the 1950s and 1960s was an interesting mutation of the 'dream car' epoch that swept through the Big Three and the hot rod scene of that time," said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance "Roth pushed things well beyond the edge of the envelope. Then he tore up the envelope. His customs were three dimensional versions of his cartoons.  This is going to be fun. Weird, but fun."

The Amelia would like to thank  the collection of Beau Boeckmann, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA and the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada for providing the vehicles for display.

Sixty years ago a legend was born in secrecy. The first Jaguar XKE prototype, a roadster, was assigned an official chassis number; 850001.

On March 11, 2018 the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will celebrate and honor the British icon that changed the world of sports cars forever. A full class of Jaguar XKEs will take to "The Amelia's" field nearly six decades after the XKE's glamorous public debut by Jaguar founder and Chairman Sir William Lyons at the  Hotel du Parc des Eaux-Vives on Lake Geneva. Jaguar unleashed its new E-Type upon an unsuspecting world on March 15, 1961. It was an engineering, marketing and design masterpiece. The E-type, named XKE in America, was at least one full design cycle ahead of the other glamorous players in the premium high performance grand touring category.

Enzo Ferrari declared Jaguar's E-Type was "the most beautiful car ever made." In 1996, The Museum of Modern Art added an E-Type roadster to its permanent collection. The XKE was just the second car ever installed in the prestigious and highly selective Manhattan institution.       The XKE is a pure blood descendant of Jaguar's three-time Le Mans winner, the legendary D-Type.  The potent D-Type's design DNA flows through the svelte contours of the XKE courtesy of Malcolm Sayer, the aerodynamicist who also drew the sublime shapes of the Le Mans-winning C and D-Types. Even today, the E-Type's silhouette, born in the 180 mph cauldron of Le Mans during the fifties, looks fresh and modern.      Beneath those breathtaking contours lurks an inventory of race-bred engineering and advanced design that set the E-Type apart from its contemporaries; monocoque construction, rack and pinion steering, independent front and rear suspension, disc brakes and Jaguar's renowned and beautiful Le Mans-bred DOHC straight-six cylinder XK engine. The recipe delivers a top speed of 150 mph, sub-seven second zero-to-60 times with poised and athletic road manners. All at a price that was less than half of a contemporary Ferrari or Aston Martin. The impact of the E-Type was esthetically and commercially seismic'

 Upon its introduction in 1961 the XKE became the standard bearer for a revived and renewed Britain: The Beatles began performing in Liverpool, James Bond and Dr. No wowed   American movie audiences and The Avengers became a trans-Atlantic television sensation. This new age led by the 1961 introduction of the XKE became known as "Cool Britannia".    

Though it was never meant to be a racer in the mold of its immediate ancestor, Jaguar's triple Le Mans-winning D-Type, the XKE won its first race just a month after its Geneva introduction vanquishing both Aston Martin and Ferrari. In their first entry at Le Mans, E-Types finished fourth and fifth overall in the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans! A decade-and-a-half after its debut and a year after production finally ceased, Jaguar's XKE was still winning:  Bob Tullius won the 1975 SCCA National B Production national championship with a Group 44-prepared V-12- XKE.

 "The XKE isn't simply one of the greatest car designs of the 20th century, it's one of the greatest designs of all time," said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. "The XKE is so beautiful and perfectly proportioned that Jaguar's American ad agency simply put pictures of a red coupe and roadster on a white background in their magazine ads with the tag line 'This is the new Jaguar XK-E!'. The shape sold the car. No gimmicks, no slogans, just that perfect XKE shape."

 For more information, visit

Amelia Auctions

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2018  The Shop at the Concours 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Santa Maria 1  RM Sotheby's Amelia Island Sale Preview  10 a.m. – 8 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, Ocean Front Lawn & Courtyard For more information: or call (800) 211-4371 or (519) 352-4575 Open to Public  The Amelia Island Concours Silent Auction  3:00 p.m. – 6 p.m. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Plaza 1  Guardians of Porsche Wine Maker’s Dinner 6:30 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Talbot Ballroom   $325 per person. Reservations required:   FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018  The Porsche Driving Experience 7 a.m.   Departs from the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. Driver’s meeting at 7 a.m. Activities to include a spirited ride with a professional driver and an entrant participation autocross. $250 per car (2 people included). Open to the Public – Reservations Required:  *Ownership of a Porsche is not required. Must be 21 years of age to participate.  Reliable Carriers Eight Flags Road Tour 8:30 a.m.  Departs from The Ritz-Carlton main driveway. The tour stops at various points on and around Amelia Island and concludes with a public display and lunch in downtown Fernandina Beach. Open to Concours Registered Vehicles Only  The Shop at the Concours 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Santa Maria 1  Test Drives – Various Manufacturers 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton & The Golf Club of Amelia Island, Front Driveway  Complimentary  Automobilia and Luxury Lifestyle Merchants  9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Open to Public  RM Sotheby's Amelia Island Sale Preview 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, Ocean Front Lawn & Courtyard  For more information: or call (800) 211-4371 or (519) 352-4575 Open to Public  The Amelia Island Concours Silent Auction 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Plaza 1  TDC / AIG Range of the Jaguar Special Tour  10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.  An invitation only tour for Jaguar's to the Jacksonville Zoo and private tour of The Range of the Jaguar By Invitation Only  Book Signings Various times throughout the day  The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Talbot Pre-Function  Watts Next……Design Challenges of the Electric Car 3 p.m.  Stewart Reed, Chair Transportation Design Department, Art Center College of Design hosts a seminar to include: Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design, Nissan Motor Co.; Moray Callum, VP of Design, Ford Motor Company; Ralph Gilles, VP of Design, FCA; Grant Larson, Exterior Design, Porsche; Michael Simcoe, VP Global Design, GM; Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz     The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Talbot Ballroom $35 per person –Tickets can be purchased online or at the door on the day of the event. Open to the Public. Limited Seating.  Poster signing follows seminar  RM Sotheby’s Cocktail Reception  4 p.m. - 5 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom. Admission is for  registered bidders, consignors and qualified media only;                                   For more information: or call  800-211-4371  / 519-352-4575   RM Sotheby’s A Gentleman’s Collection  5 p.m.  The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom. Admission is for  registered bidders, consignors and qualified media only;                                          For more information: or call  800-211-4371  / 519-352-4575  .


Tons of great pictures by Clark Daily: Island 2018

One lap of Fernandina Airport