March 15, 2012  |   By Mark Dill

Celebration of Automobiles Entrant Wins Amelia Island Concours

An immaculate 1938 Bugatti 57 from the Off Brothers Collection of Richland, Michigan won Best of Show at the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance  event March 11. The deep green beauty, owned by Bill Johnston and Ron Elenbaas, is one of the top contenders for awards at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Celebration of Automobiles vintage and historic car show coming up May 12 – opening day of practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500.

“It was a thrill to win Amelia Island’s Best of Show and we are looking forward to bringing our winning Bugatti to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete,” said Elenbaas.

“The Speedway is an iconic venue that is so unique it will make winning any award there truly special," noted Johnston.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is one of the premier events of its kind in the world. This year’s 17th annual contest saw more than 300 classic cars, special interest and race cars staged on the 10th and 18th fairways of the Golf Club of Amelia Island adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton Resort. The Off Brothers Bugatti is indicative of the quality of cars to be featured in the Speedway’s vintage and historic car show. Other Amelia Island competitors also entered in the IMS show include Joseph and Margie Cassini (1933 Duesenberg),  Bill and Barbara Parfet (1932 Lincoln KB Dietrich Coupe and a 1924 Marmon 34-C Speedster) and Linda and Richard Kughn (1946 Cadillac and a 1928 Pierce-Arrow).

Honorary Head Judge for the Celebration of Automobiles will be Indianapolis 500 legend Roger Penske, 15 times a winner of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Former Penske drivers to be announced soon will lead the selection of a coveted Driver’s Choice Award – one of the top honors to be distributed at an awards dinner the night of the event. A field of nearly 200 vintage and classic automobiles will vie for 70 trophies including seven special awards in judged competition.

About The Celebration of Automobiles:

A Vintage and Historic Car Show featuring some of the most beautiful and rare cars from 1920-70 once again will be the focal point of the 2012 Celebration of Automobiles, with an Emerging Tech Showcase also being integrated into the event. The new addition is an Automobile Festival, featuring hundreds of current and late model vehicles, and displays from aftermarket accessory and automotive product companies.

The Celebration of Automobiles takes place from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Opening Day for the 96th Indianapolis 500, with the new IZOD IndyCar Series car also making its IMS competitive on-track debut. All activities are included in public gate admission of $10, with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

All three components of the Celebration of Automobiles offer intriguing sights and sounds for car fans of all ages:

Vintage and Historic Car Show: This year’s show will feature 200 vehicles from 1920-70 produced by manufacturers participating in the Indianapolis 500 during that era and other manufacturers. Vehicles on display around the Pagoda Plaza area will include winners from prestigious Concours competitions at Pebble Beach and Amelia Island. A panel of judges, including classic/vintage car experts, past Indianapolis 500 winners and other auto racing legends, will evaluate each car in an automotive beauty competition.

Emerging Tech Showcase: This event features many activities showing the future of automotive sustainability including the Purdue Collegiate evGrand Prix featuring many teams of students from colleges and universities across the United States competing in electric-powered karts on a course near the IMS Hall of Fame Museum. In addition, owners of electric-powered passenger cars can participate in the EV Rally, which includes driving their cars on a lap around the famous IMS oval, and manufacturers of electric-powered cars will offer Ride and Drive opportunities for consumers interested in taking these unique vehicles for a spin at IMS.

Automobile Festival: This exciting new segment of the Celebration of Automobiles will feature current and late model vehicles on display in manufacturer- and model-specific groups inside Turn 4 of the famous IMS oval. American sports, muscle and pony car models on display will include Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. Foreign cars will include models from BMW, Porsche, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Jaguar and more.
Rare, exotic and unique marques and models also will take center stage, including DeLorean and Mini.