Former Amelia honoree and Le Mans winner Dan Gurney will return for the “Cannonball Run Revisited” seminar Saturday, March 12, during the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2011. Gurney along with Cannonball Run creator and automotive pundit Brock Yates won the 1971 race in a Ferrari Daytona Coupe crossing the United States in 35 hours and 54 minutes.
The coast-to-coast challenge was officially known as “The Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash,” and was run four times in the 70s (’71, ’72, ’75 & ’79) from New York City and later Darien, Connecticut, across the U.S. to the Portofino Inn at Redondo Beach, California. There were no official “rules;” the quickest time won. Other participants slated to appear at the seminar are Pete Brock, Anatoly Arutunoff, Bill Brodrick, Oscar Kovaleski, and Amelia’s Chief Judge William Jeanes, who drove a Travco motor home.
“I have a feeling this is going to be one of the most entertaining seminars we will ever do,” says Bill Warner, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance founder and co-chairman. “For years, professional race drivers were discouraged from participating in these kinds of events because they were both illegal and viewed as irresponsible. In addition to making a mockery of the fifty-five-mile-an- hour speed limit that was in force at the time, it was just plain fun and the press ended up loving it.” Warner drove in the ’75 race in a 1971 Porsche 911T, which he bought new and still owns today.
The Gurney/Yates winning Ferrari will also be on hand for the seminar. The car was owned at the time by Ferrari aficionado Kirk White, who “loaned” the vehicle to them fully aware of its intended use. The car now resides in the collection of Bruce McCaw.
The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2011 will be held March 11-13 on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated nearly $1.7 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.
For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org.