16th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance To Celebrate A Century of Chevy
The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will hold its 6th annual event March 11-13, 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. This year's event will celebrate 100 years of Chevrolet and will include an appearance of the 1955 Biscayne, considered one of Harley Earl's most intriguing designs. The concept vehicle will be on hand courtesy of Joe Bortz of the Bortz Auto Collection in Highland Park, Illinois.
The Biscayne was a four-passenger car with a pillar-less hard top design complete with suicide doors, indented side panels, and "Stratospheric" windshield. Swivel front seats allowed the front passengers easy exit from the low-slung car and front and rear ashtrays and lighters were located on the driveshaft tunnel between the passengers. The Biscayne was produced for the popular Motorama shows of the 50s, which were sponsored coast-to-coast by the automotive manufacturer and to showcase a forward-thinking approach to automotive styling and production. All of the Motorama cars were built by hand and most had no engine, electrics or interiors. The Biscayne featured a fiberglass body.
"This is one of the really rare concept cars that luckily survived after the Motorama shows ended," says Bill Warner, Amelia Founder and Chairman. "One of the unique features of the Biscayne was that it was a motor car – meaning it had full running gear and was not a 'push mobile' like so many of the Motorama cars."
This one nearly ended up crushed. It was found in 1988 by Joe Bortz in the Warhoop Junkyard in Sterling Heights, Michigan and it had been cut into eight pieces as a preparation for its date with destruction. Bortz began to restore the car using files found in a file cabinet at GM's Tech Center, which enabled Bortz to fully recreate the Biscayne's chassis and running gear to original specifications. The restored Biscayne debuted at the 2010 Concours d'Elegance of America at Meadow Brook. The Bortz Auto Collection will also be displaying the Glenn Johnson 1937 Ford that was the cover car for Hot Rod Magazine's April 1952 issue.
Tickets for the 16th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance are $45 for adults purchased in advance and $50 the day of the show. A VIP ticket for $300 offers admission to the Concours, VIP parking, food & beverages, cash bar, preferred viewing tent for the awards, commemorative gifts, and a poster signing with the show honoree. At the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance website you can also order tickets for the Rolls-Royce Wine Makers Dinner on March 10 for $250 or buy a ticket for the Porsche Driving Experience on March 11. That event departs from the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport and participants will travel to Mayport Naval Station in their personal vehicles (you do not need to drive a Porsche to participate in this event) where they will enjoy various activities to include a high-speed ride in the latest Porsche. The day will conclude with a reception and costs $175.