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Pod Rods - The Amelia has more events, cars and people to see; Geneva has more reveals; and Jeff gets even

Posted: February 28, 2014 - 5:30pm
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Jochen Mass is the honoree at the 19th annual Amelia island Concours d'Elegance, which will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of his 24 Hours of Le mans win in this Sauber-Mercedes C9.   AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS
AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS
Jochen Mass is the honoree at the 19th annual Amelia island Concours d'Elegance, which will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of his 24 Hours of Le mans win in this Sauber-Mercedes C9.

This weekend's Pod Rods focuses on the upcoming Geneva motor show, and adds more info on all the events occurring closer to home on Florida's Amelia Island next weekend. We've learned about more stuff coming to the 19th annual Amelia island Concours, its art show and everywhere else at its venues. And there's all the info you need to check out the Festivals of Speed, also on the island March 7 and 8.
Here's Pod Rods.....

The 19th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, Octane Magazine's EFG International Historic Motoring Event of the Year winner, is less than a week away, so let's take a deep breath and tell you a bit more about what's coming to the event:
 This year's Motorcycle Class at the 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday March 9 concours will include a 1908 Apache owned by Dale Walksler, curator of the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley, N.C. Walksler was asked to put together some of the invited motorcycles in the concours, according to his museum website.
 Concours honoree Jochen Mass will drive onto the show field in one of his race cars at 9:45 a.m. Sunday.
 Cars wearing Zagato's "lightning Z" badge will be honored at the Concours, as well as the brilliance and creativity of Ugo Zagato and his heirs as they redesigned Zagato-bodied cars on Ferrari, Maserati, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Hispano-Suiza, FIAT, Rolls-Royce, Lancia, Lamborghini, MG, Bentley, Porsche, Spyker and even Aston Martins.
Alfa Romeo's racing department during the 1930s saw its racers wearing Zagato's functional and beautiful coachwork as they won. Sons Elio and Gianni Zagato instantly grasped their father's elegant and simple philosophy, and the "lightning Z" badge still rides on the flanks of many of the world's most exotic, desirable, successful, beautiful and fast cars.
 The University of North Florida's Osprey Racing is part of the Concours this year, showing off "Swoopdie2," its single-seat racer annual Formula SAE competition car. The student engineers built the car to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers competition at Michigan International Raceway. A narrower and lighter car with a wing is being built for this year's competition, but the team and current car will be on the 18th fairway along with other race cars on Sunday at the concours display.
 Jack Juratovic, a founding member of Automotive Fine Arts Society, debut the third painting in his Lincoln heritage series at the Concours. Called "C.C. Riders – Hurry Sundown," it is a 30" x 20" image of the Super Chief, the first Santa Fe streamlined diesel passenger train, and the first production Lincoln Continental racing against the setting sun. The Automotive Fine Arts Society show has been part of the Concours since the start, and will be in the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Friday and Saturday, then on the show field Sunday.
 A fun class at the Concours will be the Beach Car, displaying everything from FIAT's tiny 600-based buggy as modified by Ghia with wicker seats and a fringed canvas top.
"There was an entire industry built around creating custom bodies for the Fiat 600," said Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, "The Jollys are the whimsical ones we remember. This is a perfect class for a beach Concours."
America's contribution to the beach car scene will be there, along with its creator - California surfer, engineer and artist Bruce Meyers and the Meyers Manx dune buggy. Meyers sectioned the floor-pan of a VW Beetle and mounted a cool fiberglass body with massive ground clearance. It broke the Baja 1000 record by four hours. Also on hand will be the 1948 Ford Dune Mobile and Pinin Farina's Eden Roc.
 Famous English privateer racer David Piper will join the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Merchants of Speed Seminar at 10:30 a.m. Saturday March 8, in the Talbot Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. Piper is the only privateer entrant on the panel.
 Mercedes-Benz Bentley, BMW, BMW Breitling, Brumos Motor Cars, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, Porsche and SRT will be displaying new product during the weekend event. That also includes the North American debut of the new Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, named after a courageous fighting bull that earned the title of Bull of the Century.
"The Amelia's" many events run from Friday through Sunday in and around the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and in Fernandina Beach. General admission to the 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday concours is $80 for adults, $40 for children 12 to 18, and $40 for active duty military and immediate family. For more information on all activities, including seminars, the RM Auction and Automotive Fine Arts Society display, go to www.ameliaconcours.org.

The second annual Festivals of Speed luxury lifestyle show comes to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort at 39 Beach Lagoon on Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8.
Organizer Joe Sabatini says their luxury lifestyle reception ($125 per) is from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, with proceeds to benefit Communities In Schools of Nassau County. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, about 140 cars are scheduled for the Festivals of Speed Motorsports Display ($20 per) on the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort's ninth fairway. About 100 cars will be for sale at the Select Motorcars and More Auction, ($20 per) inside the Omni ballrooms from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 8. The auction includes a rare 1954 Watson Roadster Indy race car, a collection of five (1957 to 1961) Chrysler Imperial Crown Convertibles and "Fonzie's motorcycle" - a 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 Scrambler Custom used on the iconic ABC-TV sitcom.
For information and tickets, visit www.festivalsofspeed.com. For a listing of auction vehicles, visit www.ameliaislandselect.com.

Do you remember that Pepsi MAX TV add a while back where a disguised Jeff Gordon – yes, the NASCAR champ – takes a Camaro on a test drive and scares the heck out of the car salesman? Well, as I and many others said when we blogged it, the commercial was a fake designed to sell cola.
Jalopnik writer Travis Okulski said the same thing, dissecting the commercial to prove it was all set up with actors. Jeff Gordon didn't like that, we are told, and here's the video showing how he was allowed to punk Okulski back with this stunt involving Gordon made up as an ex-con in a taxi. 
It's great, and so is Okulski's column on what happened to him. 

Hennessey has taken its 1,244-hp Venom GT to what it claims is a new speed record, and in Florida.
The 2-seat car was driven by Brian Smith to a top speed of 270.49 mph on Feb. 14 at the 3.22-mile space shuttle landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center. The speed was confirmed by a Racelogic Vbox telemetry system, and just beats it a recorded Bugatti Veyron Super Sport speed of 267.81 mph.

The new Audi TT makes its world debut in a week the Geneva Motor Show, and its maker has released a sketch of the third-generation of the compact sports car born in 1998. The front end of the new Audi TT has dominant horizontals, while the position of the four rings are central on the hood, echoing the R8. Audi can supply the headlights with LED technology or its new Matrix LED technology, where controllable individual light-emitting diodes generate the main beam. There's some other design details but nothing about what's under the skin. We shall see.

Other Geneva intros:
 Lexus debuts the RC F GT3 racing concept, based on the recently revealed RC F performance coupe. The RC F GT3 was developed to meet Group GT3 international racing standards. It weighs 2,755.8 lbs. and comes with a V-8 producing 540-plus horsepower. Lexus will supply them to racing teams starting in 2015.
The street car it's based on will also be at Geneva – the third F SPORT offering called the RC 350 F SPORT. It will join the recently introduced RC 350 sport coupe and RC F performance model. The RC is a stand-alone model built on the GS sedan platform with a shorter wheelbase than the IS sedan. It has Adaptive Variable Suspension and Lexus Dynamic Handling.
 Volkswagen shows off its T-ROC concept, showing a hint at a new SUV model series with removable roof halves, digital instruments, LED headlights and integrated cameras front and rear, supported by LED spotlights in darkness. It has a turbodiesel engine and 7-speed DSG transmission, with 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive with a Haldex-5 coupling.
 The MINI Clubman Concept will be shown with classic design features such as the hexagonal radiator grille, side scuttles, the black band, short overhangs and elliptical front and rear headlights.
 Volvo will show off the third part of its newly-designed trio of concepts that began with the Concept Coupe at the Frankfurt show and the Concept XC Coupe in Detroit. The Volvo Concept Estate is sure one beautiful station wagon, and it will showcase the car company's new in-car control system with iPad-like touch screen that
replaces buttons with one touch panel. The system will be put into production later this year.
 You know that new McLaren 650S Coupe we have been talking about. Well, the British company whose 50th anniversary will be celebrated at next weekend's Amelia Island Concours just announced that it can accelerate to124 mph) in just 8.4 seconds. The new Coupe and Spider variants will be available from launch, the first versions now coming out of McLaren's Production Centre in Woking, England. McLaren Automotive has released performance numbers and confirmed pricing ahead of the global debut at the 84th International Geneva Motor Show.
The car also gets to 62mph in just 3 seconds.

More car events as the weather warms up this weekend, and the basics on next weekend's Amelia Island events, of which there are many:

Florida events:
• Sixth annual Olde Florida Cafe Car Show - 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Avonlea Antique Mall at 8101 Philips Highway. Free for spectators and $15 per show car.
• First Coast Car Council Road Web Rally - Registration is $10 per vehicle, and the rally starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Home Depot, 855 Lane Ave. S. A clipboard, pen, and digital camera are suggested, as is a co-pilot. Prizes will be awarded at the final secret location. Proceeds benefit the First Coast Car Council website and the Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville.
• 68th Annual Florida Azalea Festival car show - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Palatka Riverfront Park on U.S. 17 and the St. Johns River. Free to spectators and $20 per show vehicle.
• Car, Truck and Bike Show - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Adamec Harley-Davidson, 8909 Baymeadows Road. Free to spectators and $10 for show vehicles.
• 19th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance - Multiple events run Friday through Monday, March 7 to 9, at and around the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The actual concours display of about 250 classic cars and motorcycles, with honoree Jochen Mass, is 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at The Golf Club of Amelia Island. General admission Sunday is $80 for adults and $40 for children 12 to 18 and active duty military and immediate family. Proceeds benefit Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local charities. For information on all activities, including seminars, the RM Auction and Automotive Fine Arts Society display, go to www.ameliaconcours.org.
• Gooding & Co. Amelia Island Auction - 11 a.m. Friday March 7 at the Racquet Park at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation at 6800 First Coast Highway. Information and tickets ($30 per person) - www.goodingco.com.
• RM Auctions' 16th annual Amelia Island sale - 11 a.m. Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway. Information and bidder registration ($200 for two) - www.rmauctions.com.
• Second annual Festivals of Speed luxury lifestyle show - Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort at 39 Beach Lagoon. The luxury lifestyle reception is from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, $125 per person, with proceeds to benefit Communities In Schools of Nassau County. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, it is the Festivals of Speed Motorsports Display on the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort's ninth fairway, $20 per person. For information and tickets, visit www.festivalsofspeed.com.
• Select Motorcars and More Auction - 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday March 8 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation at 6800 First Coast Highway. Admission is $20 per person. Information - http://hollywoodcarauctions.com.

Florida cruise-ins:
• Informal cruise-in - 7 to 9 a.m. every Saturday at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop at 11117 San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin.
• Historic Main Street Cruise-In — 5 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday on Jacksonville's Main Street from 1st to 12th streets.
• Amelia Cruizers – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at The Loop restaurant, 869 Sadler Road. Please, no parking in front of the Loop to reserve space for diners. Then they hold a cruise-in from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the shopping center at 474323 E. Florida 200 in Fernandina Beach.
• Southeast Georgia Car and Truck Club cruise-ins - 6 p.m. the second Saturday of each month at Sonic's, 395 Charlie Smith Senior Highway, St. Marys; and 6 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month at the Millhouse Steakhouse, 1215 East King Ave. in Kingsland, next to Interstate 95.
• Bike Enthusiasts show - 7 p.m. the first and third Thursdays, Cavagnaro's restaurant at 1810 South GA Parkway W. in Waycross.

Please send information on cruise-ins and automotive and motorcycle events to dan.scanlan@jacksonville.com or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, Fla. 32202

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