Amelia 2021 | MG Classics of Jacksonville
Cars & Coffee at Amelia Concours 2021
Termed 'Cars & Coffee' it is somewhat different from your average local C&C. Attendance requires the submission of an application and approval by the organizers. The event is generally limited to approximately four hundred-fifty vehicles. However, for 2021 the field was purposely reduced by the organizers to mitigate COVID transmission.
Seventeen early-bird Club members submitted applications to attend the event immediately after applications opened. Thirteen were approved, and four placed on a waiting list. The reduction in the number of vehicles was evident by increased distance between parked cars on the Show Field and an area of the Field left without marked parking slots.
Show Day arrived and the lucky members who had entry stickers (and a running MG!) went through our tried and tested routine as in previous years. Key to parking together on the Show Field is arriving as a group. This required two caravan assembly points. The first at a Gate Garage just over the Dames Point Bridge on Heckscher Drive; assembly at 6.15am and roll-out to assembly point two at 6.30am.
Murphy struck and Richard Gross got tangled in a traffic jam resulting from an accident and involved a detour. Fortunately Richard's B has overdrive and when he got untangled he put the 'pedal to the metal' and raced up I95 to meet up with us at Assembly Point two.
Assembly at Gate was where the excitement started to build. It is an assembly point used by many groups heading north on Heckscher/A1A to the Show. Arriving early we watched many car groups assembling, however no vehicles from the other local British Car Clubs other than a handful of Classic Minis'.
The drive up Heckscher/A1A has always been spectacular driving to this event: A fantastic prelude for a perfect day is to see the sun appearing over the horizon to light up magnificent views of the river and sea shore as indicated by the first two photos in the Photo Album included as a part of this article.
Assembly point two was the parking lot of the large Harris Teeter store in Fernandina Beach. We pulled in on schedule around 7.10am. Richard was already there ahead of us. At Teeter we were joined by Geoff and Paula Ashcroft in their TD and Mark and Vanessa Albright in their B. A quick pit stop and then we started our engines to roll-out to the Show Field approximately one-half mile distance at 7.35am. We were the first group to roll-out from Teeter to clinch a good parking spot and avoid the chaos and lines of traffic that are normal a little later. This also afforded the opportunity to attack the free coffee and donuts and watch a parade of later arrivals roll past.
With their usual efficiency the parking officials helped us park our Classics in the order we had elected to line up. Immediately we cut our engines another MGB arrived and parked at the end of our line; the President of the SunCoast British Car Club making our total eleven. The officials had left one car space at the beginning of our line which was almost immediately filled by Bob Phillip's MGB GT. WOW! What a collection of colors gracing our line of MGs'! Dave Simes arrived in his MGA too late to join our line, and we met up with another B owner from the North Carolina MG Car Club. We swapped eMail addresses and will attempt to arrange to meet him at Harris Teeter for C&C at Amelia 2022.
Len Geiger did his usual excellent work taking a video of a part of our outbound run to the event and our parked line of MGs. The video clip on the Show Field was taken early during and just after our arrival before the heaving throng of spectators arrived and swamped the Field.
Time past at warp speed as we spoke with old friends from other car clubs we know from past memberships and car shows, kicked tires, soaked in the ambience, and spoke with spectators. We would be forgiven for thinking millions of MGs' were exported to the USA judging by the number of spectators who stated they owned a MG at High School or College.
Time to vacate the Field at 1pm and head out. The Officials and local Police did their usual amazing job getting us out and on the road to our next destination with a minimum of disruption.
Hopefully the organizers will allow us to register more of our Club's MGs' for the 2022 event and Glen Moore has the task of rousting members from the Classic MG Club of Orlando to join us for the event. What a spectacular group of MGs' if we can increase participation on the Field with MGs' from other Clubs.
In order to maintain and increase Club membership we must get our MGs' 'Out and About' to interest potential new members. We were not disappointed and increased our Club membership by one as a result of showing our MGs' at Amelia.