AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. – Car fans unite and rev up your engines – some of the coolest rides in the country will be on display at the 26th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Concours d’Elegance Founder and Chairman Bill Warner has owned nearly 40 collectable cars throughout his lifetime.
His passion for cars fueled the world premiere motoring event with a little help from his very first camera.
“A car is the ultimate freedom. Go where you want to go, right now, go where you want to go, do what you want to do. It’s an expression of who you are. If that’s the case, I’ve got a split personality with all the cars I’ve got,” said Warner.
Bill Warner says his obsession with cars started very early in his life.
“When I was born. Always into cars. My dad was into boats. My brother was into planes. I was into cars,” said Warner.
But not just regular cars, he chases the classic and exotic models.
“I’ve had a Porsche 911 since 1971. I’ve had it 50 years and it’s probably my favorite,” said Warner.
Warner transformed his dreams about cars into reality with the help of a camera and words of wisdom from his sister.
“She says that’s going to get you on the other side of the fence. Meaning if you had a press pass you, we’re going to be on the other side of the fence. So I started shooting at Daytona in 1959,” said Warner. “Then went off to college and back shooting auto races in 67. And I shot for Sports Car Graphic and Road & Track Magazines up through about 2 years ago.”
What started off as a hobby, turned into a 60-year career that’s now documented in Warner’s newest book “The Other Side of the Fence.”
The book showcases six decades worth of motorsport photography, living proof you should always chase your dreams.
“I got a rejection letter from Road & Track Magazine that my work wasn’t quite Road & Track. And from 1971 to two years ago I was on the mass head of Road and Track so the lesson is never never give up,” said Warner.
Warner doesn’t just collect cars, he loves getting behind the wheel.
“I enjoy racing. I’m still racing at 78 years old and the hardest part for me now is getting in and out of the car. But other than that, there’s something intoxicating about speed. It’s like stealing cookies from a cookie jar,” said Warner.
Warner’s lifelong love for cars inspiring an event where more than 300 rare cars will be on display for other car enthusiasts to enjoy.
The proceeds from Warner’s newest book will go toward Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, just one of the local charities benefitting from the event.