BOCA RATON, FL (February 2011) – The Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance presented by Mercedes-Benz, hosted at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, has become a high-profile, national automotive event, known for delivering an amazing weekend of philanthropy, comedy and of course, a stellar motorcycle and automobile display. Now in its fifth year, the Concours celebration is promising a line-up which is sure to be better than ever and will be hosted February 25-27, 2011, all to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County.
Each year the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance grows, bringing together new supporters, introducing exciting new event components and showcasing even more exotic classic automobiles and motorcycles, and this year is no different. The Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance is sharing its five year anniversary spotlight to shine a much deserved light on the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. Keeping with tradition, the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a beautiful, landmark property with an unrivaled fresh look and modern amenities, is once again hosting the nationally revered Concours for the fifth year in a row.
Friday kicks off the weekend of events with the “duPont Registry Live!” hangar party, presented by Ulysse Nardin, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the airport in Boca Raton. The evening offers guests a chance to experience select tastings from about twenty of the best South Florida restaurants and eateries, and indulge in an array of fine wines, paired supremely to complement the faire before them. Once the palate and appetite of guests are fully satisfied, they can peruse a fine selection of exotic and classic airplanes, motorcycles, boats, motor coaches, automobiles, business and private jets, and winning Indy 500 cars along with luxury vendors featuring jewelry, art displays and more. Guests will also enjoy live entertainment and a chance to mingle with some of The Legends of Indy and see the very Indy Cars that these Legends of Indy have accomplished some of the most renowned records in, presented by Honda. These vehicles include A.J. Foyt’s in which he won his first Indy 500, in 1961; the 1968 car in which Bobby Unser won his first Indy 500; Al Unser, Sr.’s first victory at the Indy 500 car in 1970; and Al Unser, Jr.’s 1992 winning car in which he claimed his first victory at the Indianapolis 500 with the closest finish in the history of the race, only 0.043 seconds.
Saturday, features the black tie optional gala and Jay Leno show hosted in the Mizner Center at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, presented by Marti and H. Wayne Huizenga, with a Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction from 5:30pm to 7:00pm and the Gala Dinner, Live Auction and Show from 7:00pm to 10:00pm with a live performance by Jay Leno, one of the country’s premier comedians, television host and car enthusiast. Leno is known for his seventeen year milestone hosting “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and as one of the leading classic and antique automobile collectors in the world with his museum, Jay Leno's Big Dog Garage, in Southern California. Leno was the first comedian to take the stage at the Concours’ inaugural event and is celebrating the event’s five year anniversary by gracing the stage yet again, promising to deliver an amazing performance for all.
While Leno may be a national celebrity, there is one superstar that South Florida considers a mega-celebrity. And that is H. Wayne Huizenga. This year, the Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented to Huizenga, who founded AutoNation, the world’s largest automotive retailer. Past recipients include Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal and Mike Jackson.
A true innovator in the automotive industry founding AutoNation, Inc., the country’s first and the world’s largest publicly owned automotive group, H. Wayne Huizenga is the current Chairman of Huizenga Holdings, Inc. and the sole or majority owner of several service businesses. He has had an unprecedented career as an entrepreneur and is the only person in America to be responsible for six companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and founder of three Fortune 500 companies. Among his impressive feats are the creations of Waste Management Inc., building Blockbuster Entertainment into one of the world’s largest entertainment companies, and of course founding AutoNation.
Huizenga’s accomplishments reach beyond the business world and far into the community – and South Florida knows this from experience. He is the only person in the country to own three major sports franchises at the same time; he is responsible for bringing Major League Baseball to South Florida, serving as Chairman for the Florida Marlins from 1993-1998 and ultimately bringing the team to a victory in the World Series in 1997. Additionally, he brought the National Hockey League to South Florida serving as Owner, Chairman and CEO of the Florida Panthers; and serving as owner for 19 years of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.
Huizenga has been honored by business and academic groups seven times as “Entrepreneur of the Year” and he has received the Ernst & Young United States Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Additionally he is the five-time recipient of Financial World Magazine’s “CEO of the Year” and was named “Business Leader of the Year” by Georgetown University’s Business School to name a few of his stellar and impactful accomplishments.
“Most people know that H. Wayne Huizenga is a prime example of a real innovator in the automotive industry,” said Jamie McDonnell, Chairman of the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance. “But what some may not know is that his success translates into a tremendous reputation nationwide for both his business and philanthropic contributions. He is a long-time supporter and advocate for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County and many other organizations. It is because of this and so much more that we are pleased to honor H. Wayne Huizenga with the Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award.”
While Leno and Huizenga certainly add more than enough excitement to the Concours, the fun doesn’t stop there. Guests will also enjoy a cocktail hour and silent auction followed by a fine dinner and an outrageous live auction, with Jay Leno taking the stage for a live performance later in the evening. Auction items include luxurious packages from one-of-a-kind watches, and getaway trips, to exotic items money cannot buy. This year’s Concours will also feature exclusive auction items that will allow guests to experience Jay Leno on a whole new level – including a private tour for two to Leno’s very own Jay’s Big Dog Garage in Southern California and two VIP tickets to attend the filming of the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Additionally, this year’s Concours will offer Gala guests the chance to bid on the first in the country 2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster and the first in the country 2012 Mercedes CLS63 AMG Limited Edition – one of only 30 produced; and the first in the country 2012 Audi R8 GT and the all new 2012 Ferrari FF.
In the past, during the live auction, guests have had the opportunity to be the rightful owners of some of the very first all new exotic cars produced. In the past two years, the Concours has auctioned off the first 2010 Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI quattro, a 2010 Ferrari California, a 2011 Audi R8 V10 Spyder Cabriolet Convertible, a 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia, a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and a 2011 Equus. All to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County.
This year, the Concours will present The Legends of Indy Awards to individuals, families and organizations which have greatly impacted the art of racing. Speedway Hall of Fame members such as A.J. Foyt, the only driver with thirty five consecutive starts and first four-time winner, and members of the Unser Family, who will be honored. The Unser family has won the Indy 500 nine times, more than any other racing family in the history of the Indy 500. Six members of the Unser family have started in the Indy 500 resulting in a total of nine victories by Al, Bobby and Al Unser, Jr. Additional awards will be given to Roger Penske for his role as the team owner who has won the most races in Indy history, along with the only three four-time winners; A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, and Al Unser, Sr., and local Fort Lauderdale, Florida three-time Indy winner and winner of “Dancing with the Stars” Helio Castroneves. Companies such as Honda and Firestone will also be honored for their unwavering commitment and success at the Indy 500.
“The Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are American icons,” said Rick Case, Founder and Producer of the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance. “And in true Concours fashion we are thrilled to honor such a tremendous milestone in the car enthusiast realm. Guests can expect to see numerous Indianapolis-inspired additions to this year’s Concours, including special awards in honor of and appearances by The Legends of Indy and Indy 500 winning race cars and pace cars.”
For the second year in a row the Concours will present the Lee Iacocca Award to a person who has demonstrated dedication to the classic car hobby through vehicle preservation, club participation, and who has unselfishly assisted and encouraged others in perpetuating an “American Automotive Tradition.” This year Jay Leno will be receiving the coveted award. For those who can’t get enough of Leno, the table hosts who purchase a ten thousand dollar premiere table will have an opportunity to personally meet and have a professional photo taken with the star performer of the evening, Jay Leno, and The Legends of Indy Award winners.
The fun does not stop there. Sunday concludes the weekend festivities with an Automobile and Motorcycle Exhibition, presented by Acura, Honda and Rick Case from 10:00am till 5:00pm, which spans all eras on the gorgeous golf course at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Car and motorcycle fanatics from around the world will get to experience an automotive showcase featuring cars and motorcycles from a wide range of time periods. An expert panel of judges select the finest vintage, antique, classic and exotic vehicles based on period, presentation and cleanliness. Once the show kicks off, guests are invited to walk through a series of amazing vendor tents including the 2011 Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance tent which will offer hats, T-shirts and commemorative Concours program magazines, posters and pins from previous years and this year. Special tents also include a display by J.R. Dunn Jewelers, Ulysse Nardin watches and many, many more. Also this year, the Concours will offer 100th Anniversary Indy 500 commemorative books, posters and souvenirs.
As if Leno taking the stage in honor of the fifth year anniversary of the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance, presented by Mercedes-Benz, wasn’t enough to rev guests’ engines, America’s No. 1 Car and Motorcycle guy himself will be attending the Sunday Concours as well to share in the auto-excitement. Now Sunday guests will have the chance to rub elbows with the stars! Jay Leno, the Unsers and an expert panel of judges will select the finest cars based on a preset criterion to include period, presentation and authenticity. And Leno will personally review all of the cars and motorcycles on the show field, ultimately choosing one of each, as the winners of the ‘Jay Leno Big Dog Garage Award.’ While wandering the show field, guests will have the chance to peruse the entries alongside Leno and maybe even grab a photo with him during a couple of impromptu photo-ops. The red carpet experience doesn’t stop there, as some of The Legends of Indy Award winners will also be in attendance. Al Unser, Sr., Bobby Unser and Al Unser, Jr. will not only be mingling with guests during the Sunday festivities but all will be walking the show field to assist in judging the vintage Indy Cars on display.
This year Donald Davidson, the official Historian of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will not only serve as emcee for the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Indy 500 featuring the presentation of The Legends of Indy Awards at the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance black-tie optional gala, but as a special treat, will also be attending the Friday Night hangar party and Sunday Concours to mingle with guests. A fine display of both Indy race cars and Indy pace cars will be on display on Friday and Sunday as well. Davidson and the Unser’s will also serve as judges for the Indy Cars during the Sunday festivities. The award ceremony, emceed by Tom duPont, will highlight each winner as they drive to the judge’s booth to receive their trophy and will begin at 3pm. A variety of manufacturers will be exhibited, including vintage, antique and exotic classes. Additionally, Davidson will interview Bobby, Al, Sr. and Al, Jr., Unser on the stage in front of the grand stand during a live Q&A – where he will ask them about their special experiences in their many wins at the Indy 500. The interviews will be broadcast aloud for all Concours guests to hear.
Winning entrants will receive their awards during a special presentation emceed by Tom duPont, owner of duPont Registry magazine and world renowned car collector. duPont has officiated awards ceremonies at some of the nation’s largest concours including the Pebble Beach and Amelia Island Concours. In addition to his role during the Sunday event, duPont maintains a continuous and valued position in supporting the development of the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance as a current and one of the founding committee members.
New to this year’s Concours, guests can enjoy the Concours d’ Gourmet Café which will offer guests a delectable selection of gourmet foods from South Florida’s finest restaurants during the famed Sunday Concours. Conveniently located in a deluxe tent on the Concours show-field, the Concours d’ Gourmet Café will also offer guests an open-air café with ample seating at umbrella covered tables. About 20 of South Florida’s finest restaurants will impress guests with an exquisite selection of gourmet foods and premium service from their respective establishments. In addition to fine foods, guests can also indulge in an array of premium wines.
“We began this event five years ago for two reasons,” said McDonnell. “One was to unite car enthusiasts from around the world and two was to support a much deserving charity; the Boys & Girls Clubs. Now, a marvelous five years later, we are thrilled to say not only is the Boca Raton Concours thriving but it has become, in a short five years, the fastest growing Concours in the country.”
For additional information on the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance and to see a full schedule of events please visit www.bocaCDE.com. As the event evolves, the website will provide up-to-date important information – so check back daily. All events are open to the public with tickets sold separately. Tickets can be purchased for the Friday night duPont Registry Live! Hangar Party for $50 per person; the Saturday Gala dinner for