by Bernard Martin
It was fitting that a 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Convertible won Best in Show at the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance to be followed in 2022 with the North American brand re-introduction of this iconic marque at the freshly rebranded "The Amelia". Honor the old, in with the new.
Similar to The Amelia event, now owned by Hagerty, many of the design cues of the new Hispano-Suiza brand hearken back to the well founded design of a previous era. More on that later.
I had to opportunity to sit down with Sergio Campos, CEO of Hispano Suiza, and talk about the Hispano-Suiza Carmen, their new 100% electric “Hypercar”, and specifically about the just unveiled Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne, of which a total of 24 exclusive and limited units will be produced.
The Hispano -Suiza
According to Bernard Martin at Concours LLC, the Coastal Motoring Tour evolved into from a couple cars driving along to coast to a full blown event:
"We started talking about how we needed to do a drive up the coast and thought we could do that and then head to the Grand Motoring Hanger Night & film festival. Then some others said they hadn't been to Brumos Collection yet. As I started digging into it we decided to just wrap it all in package, plan the thing & invite some friends. Then it grew legs!"
After enjoying the incredible displays at the Brumos Collection, the tour group began the drive up the coast.
The evening took flight at the Fernandina Municipal Airport with hors d'oeuvres, a special 'Floribbian' dinner, a cash bar, and most importantly, a beautiful display of our touring cars at the Amelia Aerodrome as the sun set at the airport. We where served dinner before the public arrived which gave our touring group plenty of time to take in the cars and ambiance.
The evening culminated at the Amelia Aerodrome with a unique experience for automotive enthusiasts as we enjoyed the Grand Motoring Hanger Night Film Festival!
The 2021 Tour Itinerary
Ralph Gilles is a Canadian-American automobile designer and executive. Gilles was the President and CEO of Chrysler's SRT brand and Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler before being promoted to Head of Design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in April 2015. Following FCA's merger into the Stellantis group in 2021, he became chief design officer for the newly merged company.
Doris Gilles manages Ralph as he attests to in the video interview below.
How it Started, How it's going
Ralph was auto-crossing Volkswagen Corrado's when he started his design career at Chrysler which is where he met his met his wife Doris as the result of an Eagle Talon.
Doris and Ralph both started at Chrysler right out of college. Doris started going to auto events with Ralph, instead of being home alone on weekends, and found herself doing timing and scoring and then organizing and doing much of the planning for events. As was said above, Doris manages Ralph and they are very much a team.
Doris and Ralph talk how they both have spent the last few decades around cars, racing and concours events, which should give you so nice insight and perspective into what has influenced the current head of design at Stellantis.
Ralph talks about the "Passion points" of the new electric design including the opportunities of having so much room to design without the hinderance of an fuel powered engine taking up so much space. He goes into some detail about how sound is going to be so important at the advent of this new electric era.
According to Ralph, "Every other time you to talk to a car guy they talk about the sound of the engine, the feeling, the guttural thing a car has. How do we bring some of that? We're employing sound designers and talking to agencies that work for the movie industry... So there are things we can do as designers to influence the experience. Driving an electric car without any of those things would be antiseptic. Then the whole relationship with you and car is over with, it's just a device. So how do we make an electric car touch your soul, tickle your heartstrings, make you smile when you drive it rear you with "wow I put effort into it" and the car speaks back to me"
Ralph explains some of his design team influences and how he sends them out to Concours and Auto events to learn from the iconic designs of the past so they can integrate them into current design.
"Lets look at cars 3 to 4 times our cost point. Let's look at the best vintage cars that tug our souls. That's what we did." ~ Ralph Gilles, Chief design Officer, Stellantis
Check out the video below!
Mark is the founder of Hyman Ltd. Hyman Ltd searches the world to seek out and acquire rare and unusual cars of exceptional quality. Their clientele consists of collectors, museums, and enthusiasts throughout the world who come to them for assistance in buying, selling, and in refining their automotive collections. Their extensive inventory – typically exceeding 200 vehicles — caters to many segments of the collector car industry.
Whether your interest is in a Pebble Beach Concours winner, an automotive investment or a weekend driver, Hyman Ltd has become one of the premier automotive collectors and brokers in the world.
According to Erica "I've been extremely passionate about marketing, advertising, and social media for my whole life. I've been documenting my life since I was a kid. I knew I needed to turn my passion for marketing into a living. Now I not only advertise my life, but I also help the community and others. Days don't feel like work helping others bring their visions to life."
Infatuated by colorful gemstones, diamonds and playing “dress up”, Brooke pulls inspiration from her nostalgic memories, to curate and design custom one-of-a-kind everlasting treasures.
From earrings to necklaces and pendants to rings, Brooke Hyman Fine Jewelry reflects a vibrant modern aesthetic and pristine craftsmanship paired with passion and playful sophistication.
We chose the iconic DMC DeLorean as our poster car and focus for our first year of the event!
Back in May 2021, the The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) had announced the newest car to be acknowledged in its National Historic Vehicle Register, an inventory and collection of documentation of historically significant automobile, was the DeLorean DMC-12. And not just any DeLorean, but the DeLorean time machine car from the well-known sci-fi movie “Back to the Future”.
Because of Covid, our inaugural event was delayed by more than a year, so all of these things: The HVA designation, the DeLorean "screaming" and 80's & 90s vibe and us getting "back the the future" is why we featured special DeLorean display smack dab in the center of Rock N Rad 2021!
what's Rad and What Isn't?
Our Answer was "No". Emphatically, NO.
From the outset our entire team agreed that certain vehicles that where iconic in the 80's actually had their roots in earlier years. And certain cars that became iconic after the year 2000 where created in the 1990's. So we knew we had to extend a bit backward and a bit forward in time.
The Trans Am Gen 2 shown above was sold in the early 80's before the Gen 3 was introduced. The Gen 2 underwent several facelifts and that's where it gets a bit tricky. Ideally we wanted 80's and 90's cars in the show but if it's on the edge or the model has not have any significant changes from an earlier or later period, then it is welcome to be in the show.
Pre-Registration Had its benefits
Folks who pre-registered online for by midnight Wednesday August 25th for the inaugural Rock N Rad event on Sunday August 29th got the VIP treatment!
For starters, Gates opened at 11am for parking tor Pre- registered cars ONLY . Pre-Registered vehicles will got some of the prime parking locations for the show, the concert, AND exiting after the concert!
Here's some other things that the early birds got:
- Gates open at 11am for parking tor Pre- registered cars ONLY
- ONLY Pre Registered vehicles will get ONE Rock n Rad T-Shirt
- The first 100 registrations will get a Rock n Rad Rubik's cube
- The first 200 registrations will get a Rock N Rad Retro Specs
- The first 250 registrations will get a Rock N Rad window sticker
- The first 300 registrations will get a Rock n Rad Poster
All registrations, both pre-registered and on-site WILL get ONE Door prize ticket. We've got a lot of cool door prizes that will be awarded at the top of each hour!
For anyone driving up for on-site registration, the gates will open at NOON for parking NON-Preregistered Show Cars for parking. That means that if you have not registered by Wednesday August 25th at midnight, you will not get a t-shirt
Opened in 1924, Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant in Jacksonville Florida was designed by internationally recognized industrial architect Albert Kahn. The 165,000-sqaure foot assembly plant remained in operation until the late 1960's. It's was known for having a pair of 800' skylight panels that provide natural light into the industrial plant below. At one point, Ford employed over 800 workers who spent their time manufacturing 200 Model-T and Model A cars and trucks a day.
The Brumos Collection Museum is building was designed to emulate the historic Model T plant. This very unique unrestored Model T was built in the Jacksonville plant and remained in the Jacksonville area it's entire life with the original owner family! Tom tells a great story about acquiring the car and it's very fast journey to grace the entrance of the Brumos Collection.
It's truly a wonderful way to to be welcomed to the Brumos Collection.
In 2002, Jeff Lane established Lane Motor Museum. Jeff has been an automotive enthusiast since an early age. He began restoring his first car—a 1955 MG TF—when he was a teen. His personal collection was the donation that began the foundation.
Lane Motor Museum unveiled its collection to the public in October of 2003. As director, Jeff Lane continues to search out cars for the collection that are technically significant or uniquely different. The goal of Lane Motor Museum is to share in the mission of collection and preserving automotive history for future generations.
1970 Fiat Giannini Camioncino Replica
Many of Giannini’s trucks were put into service as city service vehicles throughout Italy. Original Camioncinos had slatted sides surrounding the bed to maximize cargo capacity. Our replica has a snap-on cover to conceal the up to 400kg (880 pound) payload.
1936 Le Carabe Replica
His vision and enthusiasm could be seen in a completely intact, hand-written, hand-drawn, 63 page manuscript he left behind. The found booklet details his trials and tribulations of building the car. Most remarkably, it contains detailed instructions, complete with dimensional schematics that rival anything out of Popular Mechanics from years past. This is fitting because, according to this arduous account, Delimal stated what he wanted most was for the everyday person to build and drive his Le Carabe. In neat penmanship, he wrote the vehicle was, “…designed specifically for amateur construction. No special tools or machines.”
In materials alone, Le Crarabe could be built for around 450 Francs (about 4% the cost of a new car at the time). He repurposed a Motobécane 175cc single cylinder two-stroke engine of the time and coupled it with a light wooden body. “Plywood is the sheetmetal of the carpenter.
The body should be light and very strong.” For steering, he fitted old bicycle handlebars and a telescopic fork. He also reused bicycle sprockets and rear hubs, motorcycle drum brakes, and he even suggests filling the empty space of the body sides with cotton to keep the feet warm during the cold winter.
Wayne Long talks to the new owner, Dr. Brad Warden, during the Coastal Motoring Tour final destination at the Grand Motoring Tour Hanger night.
This Panoz Esperante was 1 of only 500 hand built the cars just north of Atlanta, Georgia at the Panoz factory. It has an Aluminum Chassis as well as aluminum body panels. The body panels are non-structural.
The Chassis is modular, build in 5 sections. It is is a mid-engine, front engine car with almost a 50/50 weight distribution. It is powered by a 32 valve Ford SVT supercharged motor with a Tremec 56 6 speed transmission.
What's our first video on "Through the Gears" all about?
It's about artist Kelly Telfer. From an illegal drivers license and t-shirt design to the poster artist for the Werks Reunion and a special preview of his oil on canvas that he and Bill Warner presented to Lyn St. James at the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Kelly talks about his love of racing, cars and his finely honed skills as an artist.
You're going to enjoy this lively and candid discussion with Kelly Telfer about his start down the automotive art path and his success to date.
Kelly Telfer is the Official Artist for the Porsche Club of America, Porsche Werks Reunion Amelia & Monterey. Kelly's art is available at the Petersen Automobile Museum, in Los Angeles, CA. ... Kelly was the official artist for the 2019 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Kelly Telfer was born in San Jose, California in 1955.
About Through the Gears
The "Through the Gears" video series captures the history and backstories of people and cars in the Concours, Car Show and Racing Communities and is produced by Concours LLC . Concours LLC provides a level professionalism and best practices to those people and organizations seeking to create a successful automotive event.
We offer our clients a wide range of services from Strategy and Planning to complete marketing, design and management of the event for you. From a complete Conours multi-day event to a car show or road tour, Concours LLC has an expert we can tap into to add a level of professionalism to your automotive event.
Some of the stories, pictures and articles that we have been included in over the years.
Amelia Island Concours
Hilton Head Concours
Las Vegas Concours
Lee Iacocca Award
Lyn St. James
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix
Rally Across America
Rock N Rad
Through The Gears