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Before the world imploded under the weight of the global pandemic, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was the last US event we attended. Now, 14 months and what has felt like an eternity later, Max Girardo is heading back to Florida on MC duties at this year’s edition. To say he’s excited would be an understatement…

I appreciate it sounds bizarre – what’s normal anymore? – but having spoken to so many clients and friends from across the pond, this weekend’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance feels like an invigorating boost for the market.We’re all itching to be there – whether it’s on the concours field basking in the beauty of what is always a magnificent and diverse selection of classic cars, or in one of the various physical (yes, physical!) auction salerooms feeling the buzz and soaking up the atmosphere we’ve so desperately missed.

Zoom and FaceTime are all well and good. But events and other opportunities to see, touch and smell cars – and meet the people who make them so special – are our lifeblood. So yes, I’ve had more swabs up my nose than I care to remember and filled out seemingly endless paperwork, but this week I’ll board a plane and head to America for Amelia Island. Ironically, this will be my first time in the States since last year’s event.

“I’m honoured and very grateful to have been invited to compere the concours once again by my good friend Bill Warner.”

I’m honoured and very grateful to have been invited to compere the concours once again by my good friend Bill Warner. Bill’s passion is infectious and he always does such a great job of curating a top-tier and eclectic selection of road and racing cars, as well as a fantastic group of people. He’s also always got one eye on the future and next generation of our hobby, which is so refreshing. If you haven’t been, definitely put Amelia on your events bucket list.This feels like a good opportunity to also update you on what’s happening on our side of the Atlantic. Now we’ve settled in to our new facility Belchers Farm, architects’ plans have been flying around left, right and centre. But we’re finally about to ‘break ground’ and start our renovation works.

Our new storage facility is first on the agenda and, of course, we’ll be providing you with updates, Grand Designs-style, as it comes together. I’d also like to say that just because Belchers Farm isn’t finished yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t come and see us!Elsewhere, we’re excited for what looks to be a very busy events season – in the UK, at least. We’re going to have a big presence at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with some mega and very noisy surprises up our sleeve. More on that very soon.With that, I’m off to pack. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance this weekend, do come and say hello. It will perhaps never be goodbye for good, but I for one am delighted to be bidding Zoom farewell.Photos: Peter Singhof