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Amelia SanJon Gallery
Amelia Island Artists Workshop
Sandra Baker-Hinton
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034  904-491-8040,  904-557-1195 cell

Unabashed Plug!
Although it had been two years since I had been to the Concours de Elegance Automobile Show I got the chance this
year to attend thanks to a last minute call from my friend and sometimes partner in crime, Sharon.  She had lucked upon
two tickets, thanks to one of her clients, and wanted to know if I would like to join her in exploring the show.
Since this is one of the premier events on the island I jumped at the chance.  It is held hardly more than across the street from my
house.  I am very near the hustle and bustle, with cars parking in the edge of my yard, truck parking along the highway unloading
tables, lighting, tents, chairs, and not to mention the beautfiul automobiles trucked on to the island for the show.  As we entered
with the Mercedes Gullwings being the featured we find their best of the old and the newer versions.  Both the 1956
and the recent resurrection are beautiful with their bird like stance I was reminded of some of my fledglings stretching
their newly feather wings as they learn to fly.
I find the old cars works of art unlike the new generic versions which from my feminine eye I am hard put to tell the
difference except for color.  I remember what a big deal it was in the 50's and 60's to see what the car manufacturers had
in store for their new designs.  Ah, but these old fellows had style in a very elegant way.  Beauty was in just seeing
them restored to their former glory.
Colors ablaze and costumes to match the era, as these lucky folks lined up to receive their prize and strut their stuff
for the grand stand viewers.
One of my customers boasted that theirs was the only one from their car class (theirs was a 105 year old car) to be
able to start up, drive on the field, and off without any assistance.  As you can see #32 was in need of some attention
as were many of the others.
This was by far the most unusual car of the weekend.  It had caught my eye a couple of days prior when it drove by my
gallery.  It was propellor powered and was cranked with a pully very much like a lawn mower.
But it did run and was a breezy ride even when you were sitting still, which accounts for the airplane pilot gear with
goggles for eye protection.
The reflected patterns in the flawless paint jobs were of particular interest to me with my artists eye.
Most of all I became entranced with the art creations in the form of hood ornaments.  I have done them a great
disservice by making their photographs so small.  They each deserved their own feature but there were so many...
and the space to show them so limited.  I thought they were exquisitely beautiful and wondered who the artisans were
who came up with the designs.  Sometimes the years woud vary slightly in the same theme and animal or bird themes
were often the subject to express the power or the smoothness of flight, a symbol to suggest the capabilities of the vehicle.
Sometimes it was just a stylization of their name other times the grace and sleekness of a woman in motion.
Sometimes it was a suggestion of the name as in the Pearce Arrow or the Jaguar, but always beautful with the glow
of the chrome to show them off.
More beautiful reflections; almost purely abstract, much like the ones I see in the water at our port.
Exotic designs from past decades expressing what one would expect to see on the pages of a futuristic comic book.
For my good friend Lupe, who owns and judges
Rolls Royces I dedicate this photograph of her most favorite automobile.
The car show is not just about the old classic cars it is also about racing and motorcycles (although they are not my interest).
Who has not rooted for a certain driver to win or a favorite model car to beat out the others.  I, through my husband's
love of certain cars, have learned to enjoy the finer points of "Drag Racing" with Top Fuel and Funny Cars being some of the
special ones to enjoy because of their incredible speed.  Don Garlits, whose museum over around Ocala is an amazing place to
visit if you enjoy old cars of the racing or muscle car style era.  This is Garlits' 1956 racing car, The Multi-Cycle Special.
All kind of racers were featured and one of the NASCAR king pins, Richard Petty was this year's honored guest at the car show.
More the cars of my interest.  Now to the cars which I remember being on the streets of Kingsport and Johnson City
when I was in high school and college.  Even an occasional Maserati Ghiblia(?)... well maybe!
Richard Petty brought some of his many race cars to be featured in his traditional blue color. 
Loved the wing cars, (Plymouth Superbird here).
It is such a big deal that you will recognize many of the faces from the TV Car Shows and even watch the filming of
some on the on-site reports from those well known in the car world.
Amazing dash boards with wood and dials galore.
And engines of all designs detailed to a point beyond powerplants, into great pieces of modern sculpture.
This was a most unusual car with its exterior done all in exotic wood veneer. 
Just goes to show what a person can do when he sets his mind to it.
My thanks to my friend Sharon for making it possible for me to enjoy yet another year at the world class
Concours de Elegance and elegant it was.  Its a big deal here around the middle of March so make plans to come for it
next year.