Any car guy and gal worth his/her salt knows The Amelia is one of America’s premier Concours d’Elegances, having established itself as part of a troika that includes the Detroit Concours and Pebble Beach. Every year, The Amelia has featured a motorsports honoree, with past honorees being Sir Stirling Moss, Al Unser, Jacky Ickx, Roger Penske and, most recently, Chip Ganassi. Now, with a nod to the modern era, The Amelia’s 2023 honoree will be none other than three-time NASCAR Cup Champion Jeff Gordon.
The Amelia is unlike any Concours in the United States. Set to be in its second year under Hagerty stewardship, The Amelia is a tends to have a focus on race cars — Friday’s Concours field always features an aggregation of the most historic race cars in the world. The racing theme continues with several seminars that often include panels made up of the greatest drivers, engineers and team owners that have created the history of the cars we enthusiasts see on the field.
“Jeff embodies the spirit of The Amelia, often referred to as ‘the racer’s concours.’ His incredible success on the track has made him a household name, but Jeff is more than a legendary driver,” says McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. His charitable heart is on display at Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, where he has led the battle to find a cure for childhood cancer for more than two decades.”
Gordon’s former crew chief, Ray Evernham, will also lead a discussion on Gordon’s incredible career at Saturday’s seminar, “Jeff Gordon: The Hendrick Motorsports Years.” It is being called “an invitation to relive a few of the duo’s greatest moments.”
“Ray and I have talked about me attending The Amelia for years,” says Gordon. “It’s an honor to be recognized at such an incredible event that blends car culture, car enthusiasts, beautiful cars and high-performance vehicles. And for us to be able to showcase cars that have been such a huge part of my career will make the weekend that much more memorable for me.”
Gordon was one of the most versatile drivers of his era and is credited with helping bring NASCAR even more into the mainstream in the 1990s. He changed the face of the sport by breaking stereotypes and drawing legions of new fans with his talent, poise and approachability. From November 1992 through November 2015, Gordon drove for Hendrick Motorsports, winning 93 races and 81 pole positions while scoring 325 top-five finishes and 475 top-tens, adding up to four NASCAR Cup Series championships (1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001). With his first title in 1995, Gordon became the youngest champion in NASCAR’s modern era.
Additionally, Gordon is NASCAR’s winningest driver on road courses (nine wins) and restrictor-plate tracks (12). In January 2017, he became the first NASCAR Cup Series champion to win overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona, joining A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and Jamie McMurray as the only drivers to win both the prestigious sports car race and the Daytona 500. Gordon also was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in February 2019.
For more information on the 2023 Amelia Island Concours, including tickets for the event, are available at www.ameliaconcours.com.