This weekend’s playoff edition of Pod Rods says farewell to two legends, one local; checks out two muscle cars with a Bullit; learns of a featured display at the upcoming Amelia Isand Concours; and goes for a wild snowmiata ride.
Plus we have the car event calendar:
— Auto racing lost two icons this week.
Legendary racer Daniel Sexton Gurney died at age 86 due to complications from pneumonia, according to sources. Born April 13, 1931 in Port Jefferson, N.Y, Gurney started his racing career in 1955 with a Triumph TR2, then rose to become a top road racing star in America as well as one of the most popular F1 drivers of the era, according to his official biography. Gurney won seven Formula One races, seven Indy Car races, five NASCAR and two second-place finishes at the Indy 500. BBC Sports tweeted that Gurney invented champagne-spraying celebrations when he and A.J. Foyt won the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ford GT40. And Ford Performance tweeted a statement by executive chairman Bill Ford that said in part, that “his legacy as a racer and innovator may be unmatched in the history of the sport,” accompanied by an image of Gurney driving his GT40 after the historic Le Mans win.
Gurney was the honoree at the 2002 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, his champagne spray recreated in the event program’s cover as well as at the end of the event.
Closer to home, Marolyn Rogers, a member of the International Motor Racing Research Center’s Governing Council for 15 years, died Jan. 8 in Fernandina Beach at age 85. Rogers’ late husband, Rear Adm. Bob Rogers, U.S. Navy (Ret.), led the initial campaign to raise funds to build Watkins Glen’s Racing Research Center, which opened in 1999. She was a significant partner in that effort, according to research center officials. Marolyn Rogers also served on the center’s Governing Council, starting in 2001. Rogers worked in registration for IMSA for 13 years, including several years as chief registrar. She retired from IMSA in 1992. Rogers also worked for the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in its first years, and with the RM Auctions at that event.
— The 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (March 9-11) will honor the 60th anniversary of the iconic Jaguar XKE, a sports car that changed the world of sports cars forever. A full class of XKEs will take to “The Amelia’s” field nearly six decades after its glamorous public debut by Jaguar founder and Chairman Sir William Lyons at the Hotel du Parc des Eaux-Vives on Lake Geneva on March 15, 1961. It was a design Enzo Ferrari declared“the most beautiful car ever made.” In 1996, The Museum of Modern Art added an E-Type roadster to its permanent collection.
“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. “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.”
Information and tickets for the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island are available at ameliaconcours.org.
— An iconic British off-roader rides again, this time with a more powerful V-8. But you can;’t get it here.
Land Rover announced a limited-edition high-performance version of the iconic Defender, with up to 150 V8-powered examples re-engineered to celebrate the Land Rover marque’s 70th anniversary in 2018. The Defender Works V8 pays homage to the early high-powered engines in both the Series III Stage 1 V8 from 1979 and subsequent Defenders including the 50th Anniversary Edition, which are highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors today. The 5-liter naturally-aspirated gas V-8 powertrain lets it accelerate to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
— Ford had a dynamic duo at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week — its new special edition 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt, and the original 1968 Mustang GT fastback that starred with Steve McQueen in the movie of the same name. It’s discovery and unveiling ends a 40-year mystery of its whereabouts, according to the Historic Vehicle Register and a video it has produced to explain some of the mystery and history.
The original signature Highland Green Bullit Mustang movie car had been in single-family ownership since 1974. Sean Kiernan of Nashville, Tenn., is the owner of the “Bullitt” car, the “hero car” in the iconic 11-minute chase scene.
“There were two Bullitt movie cars,” Kiernan said. “The ‘558’ car was the heavily damaged ‘jump car,’ which was recently discovered in Mexico. Our ‘559 hero car’ was the vehicle that McQueen drove in many of the movie scenes.”
The family found it in a classified ad from the October 1974 issue of Road & Track. The seats, interior, trunk space and camera mounts remain unaltered and consistent with its prior movie life.
The family and Ford decided the best time to reveal the car would be in Detroit with the new 475-horsepower Bullit Mustang to commemorate both the 50th anniversary of the year the car was produced, and the 50th anniversary of the Bullitt movie. The full story on the original is on Hagerty classic car insurance’s website at hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/01/14/mustang-bullitt-found-real-mcqueen. And Ford’s modern recreation of the original Bullit scene with a 2019 Bullit Mustang dicing with a new black Dodge Charger can be seen here at youtube.com/watch?time_continue=64&v=7s-64GmXB2E.
— This just in about that new Bullit Mustang - Ford and the Steve McQueen estate are auctioning the first new Mustang Bullitt off the factory line to benefit the California-based Boys Republic, a nonprofit, nonsectarian school and treatment community for troubled youngsters. McQueen graduated from Boys Republic in 1946 before becoming a successful actor starring in the movie “Bullitt,” about troubled police detective Frank Bullitt, who also “made it.” All of the 2019 Mustang Bullitt auction proceeds will be provided to Boys Republic to help children in desperate need find within themselves the resources and skills to begin meaningful lives on their own.
— The Nissan Xmotion concept garnered the “Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials” award at the 2018 North American International Auto Show this week, the award bestowed by a group of automotive designers known as EyesOn Design. The Xmotion concept, a preview of the next generation of Nissan compact SUVs, made its world debut this week during a media event at the auto show. It is the second consecutive time Nissan has won this award, following last year’s Vmotion 2.0 concept, which also was named as “Best Concept Vehicle.”
— INFINITI will introduce new vehicles with electrified powertrains from 2021, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa at the Automotive News World Congress. He said customers can expect “beautifully designed vehicles” like the Q Inspiration concept shown in Detroit, with a whole new level of electrified driving performance as an evolution of INFINITI’s current powertrains. And INFINITI expects more than half its global sales to be comprised of electric vehicles by 2025.
— Finally, let’s end on an appropriately wintery note with a nice top-down drive in a Miata.
But not any Miata - here’s what the folks at EPICC INDUSTRIES did in Canada. They wanted a new way to transport around in winter. So they “recycled some ski’s from an old snowmobile. Mounted them on the car, and went for a test ride.”
“There are a few flaws that we have to work out. Edison found 2,000 ways how NOT to make a light bulb. We found one way how not to make ski’s for a Miata,” they wrote on their YouTube channel with a video of the skiing Miata in motion..
They also ask if anyone has tracks they can borrow for a day. And yes, they want to do a V-8 version? The Eppic Industries Forum has a full build thread on this car at its Miata-centric website at eppicindustries.com.
Yes, we know there’s a football game this weekend, but there’s also some car events - here’s our weekly calendar:
• Florida International Rally and Motorsport Park Track Attacks days: Most Saturdays at the on-road and off-road racing and testing facility located at 7266 Airport Road in Starke. The track days allow car owners to test their setup and improve driving skills. The cost is $214 per driver in advance, or $250 the day of the event. Guests and crew pay $10 each to enter. Online registration ends at 11 p.m. the day prior to each event. For more information on all events at The FIRM, go to gorally.com.
• Jacksonville Boat Show: Friday to Jan. 28 at the Prime F. Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St. The 71st annual show, presented by the Jacksonville Marine Association, will have a large variety of boats on display, plus children’s activities. For information, visit boatjax.com.
• Resurrection Catholic Church Winterfest and Car Show: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Jan. 30, at Resurrection Catholic Church, 3383 University Blvd. N., created for Modern Mustangs of Jacksonville. Free for spectators and $20 per show vehicle.
• K-9 for Kayston Benefit Car Show: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at The Barn at Live Oak Ranh, Jesup, Ga. Free for spectators and $25 day of show for show vehicles.
• Fourth annual Bryceville Car Show: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at behind the fire station at 7280 Motes Road. Free to spectators and $20 for show vehicles, presented by the Callahan Cruisers to benefit the Bryceville Sports Association.
• Jacksonville RV MegaShow: Feb. 8 to 11 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, 13611 Normandy Blvd. More than 400 new recreational vehicles of all types, including motor homes, travel trailers, fifth-wheels and tent campers, will be on display. For more information, visit the Florida RV Trade Association’s website at frvta.org.
• Jacksonville International Auto Show: Feb. 16 to 18 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center; sponsored by the Jacksonville Automobile Dealers Association. For more information, visit jaxautoshow.com.
• Mandarin now has two weekly Saturday morning informal cruise-ins: The newest is 7 to 9 a.m. at Village Bread Cafe at the Crown Point Plaza, located at 10111 San Jose Blvd. The original has re-formed from 6 to 9 a.m. in the parking lot outside Panera Bread at 11111 San Jose Blvd.
• Sunshine State Chevelles’ third Saturday cruise-in: 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday at PDQ restaurant, 194 Florida 13 in Saint Johns.
• Amelia Cruizers: 5 to 8 p.m. each third and fifth Saturday at Dick’s Wings and Grill, 474313 Florida A1A, in Yulee. Info: ameliacruizers.org/NewSite.
• Callahan Cruisers: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Dick’s Wings, 450077 Florida A1A in Callahan. The club also holds a third-Saturday cruise-in from 5-8 p.m. at the Sonic Drive-In, located at 7045 Normandy Blvd. in Jacksonville.
• Cars & Coffee Indoors: 8 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Vaughn Motorgroup, 11350 San Jose Blvd.
Send information on automotive and motorcycle events to email@example.com or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville FL 32202.