Calendar of Events

February 18, 2013

We meet at River City Brewing Company
Lunch opens at noon - Meeting begins at 12:30pm

Meet Bill Warner
  Founder and Chairman, The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Bill Warner has been around automobiles his whole life.  As a teenager he worked at the local Volkswagen and imported car dealership in the parts department and driving the delivery truck.  On weekends, he worked as a “gopher” for the dealership racing team and became enthralled with motor racing.  Upon earning his degree in Electrical Engineering, he entered the family filter business and started work on the side for Sports Car Graphic Magazine.  In 1971, he began his relationship with Road & Track Magazine which continues today.  His photographs and writing have appeared in Road & Track, Car and Driver, Autoweek, The Atlantic Monthly, Automobile, Automotor und Sport, Classic & Sportscar, Porsche Panorama, and Forza to mention a few.   His photography has won awards from The Los Angeles Art Directors, the Creative Arts Yearbook, and the Sports Car Club of America (Photographer of the Year 1970).  His photos have been featured in the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles as part of the 50th Anniversary of Ferrari and at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

In 1975, he teamed with Tom Nehl in a Porsche 911 to finish 14th in the third running of the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash (AKA The Cannonball run) and with English racing great, Innes Ireland; Can Am racer, George Drolsom; and sedan racer, Dick Starita, to finish 26th in the inaugural running of the Cannonball One Lap of America.  The One Lap was run in a Hertz-Unlimited Mileage Lincoln Town Car.  Warner started racing in 1978 in a Brabham BT-8 and later in the SCCA in an ex-Bob Sharp Racing Datsun B210.  He finished 5th in the American Road Racing Amateur Championships at Road Atlanta in 1982 in Class GT-3 (having started in 22nd place).  His drive earned him a nomination for the Mark Donohue Award.  In 1984 he entered the International Motorsports Association Firehawk Series in a Camaro and had top ten finishes at St. Louis and Sebring, top five finishes at Watkins Glen (twice), a 3rd at Road America, a 2nd at Lime Rock, Ct., and a win in the Escort Series at Mid Ohio, all in Camaros.  Warner won the IMSA Media Challenge (for racing journalists) in 1984, 1985, and 1986.   He participated as a driver in the SAAB World Speed Record Run at Talladega, Alabama in 1986.  Warner has driven factory sponsored road races for Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Mercury, and Ford.  He currently races the ex-Bob Tullius, Group 44/ ex-Paul Newman Triumph TR-6 and the ex-Group 44 Triumph TR-8 Trans Am/IMSA car in vintage racing. He has been awarded the Skip Barber Cup (Lime Rock) and the John Kelly Trophy (Mid Ohio) for driving.

In addition to racing, he restores and collects interesting cars.  Currently in his collection are a 1957 Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz, a 1958 Cadillac El Dorado Brougham, a 1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 “Daytona”, a 1952 Muntz Road Jet, a 1971 Porsche 911T (owned since new), a 1979 Mercedes Benz 450SL (Jane’s car), a 1928 Simplex Piston Ring Special, 1978 Bill Mitchell Special Vehicles Development Oldsmobile Omega, a 1970 Maserati Ghibli Spyder, a 2005 Ford GT, and the two previously mentioned Triumph race cars.  The centerpiece of his collection was Edsel Ford’s 1934 Ford Model 40 Special Speedster which he sold in 2008.  Over the years he has restored a Brabham BT-8 (ex-Denny Hulme, Tourist Trophy winner), an Elva Mk 5, a Lotus 11 LeMans (ex-Innes Ireland), the Lang Cooper (nee Shelby King Cobra), a 1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta (now in the General Motors Heritage Collection),  a 1954 Corvette, and a BMW M-1.

In 1996, he founded The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance near his home of Jacksonville, Florida.  In the seventeen year history of the show, it has raised over $ 2.25 million dollars for Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and the Shop with Cops Program of Fernandina Beach and Nassau County (FL).  For his charitable work, he was recognized by The Rotary Club of South Jacksonville with the Frank Sherman Award;  The WTLV Channel 12, Twelve Who Care Award;  The National Philanthropic Award as Volunteer of the Year (1998)and the American Institute for Public Service, Jefferson Award.

In 2002, he was recognized by a panel of automotive writers and journalists with the Meguiar’s Automobile Hobby Person of the Year.  The ceremony was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, California, and was nationally televised.  Other recipients of the Meguiar’s Award have been Jay Leno, the late Chip Miller of Carlisle Productions, and Steve Earle of the Monterey Historic Races. 

In 2003, he was inducted into the Road Racing Driver’s Club by British Racing Champion, Brian Redman and Bobby Rahal. 

In September of 2005, Warner was named to the Steering Committee of the LeMay Automotive Museum, Tacoma, Washington. 

In February 2006, The Federacion de Automovilismo de Puerto Rico recognized Bill and Jane for their contribution to the preservation of antique and classic cars. 

In July of 2008, Bill was named one of the “Top 50 Players in the Classic Car World” by Octane Magazine (UK) joining such automotive luminaries at Sir Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Jay Leno, Phil Hill and Lord March. 

In October of 2008, Bill was awarded the Lee Iococca Award given as recognition for “Dedication to Excellence in Perpetuating an American Automotive Tradition”.

In August of 2009, Bill was appointed to the Selection Committee of the Monterey Historic Races, Monterey, California. 

In 2011 he was asked to serve on the advisory board of the Friends of Harry Miller. 

In November of 2013, The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was awarded “Motoring Event of the Year” by Octane Magazine in ceremonies held at the Saint Pancras Hotel in London.   This award represented world wide recognition of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance as “Best of the Best”. 

He has served as the Honorary Chief Judge at the Thousand Oaks Concours d’Elegance, Thousand Oaks, California, and Honorary Chairman of the EyesOn Design, Detroit, Michigan (2010).  He has served on judging teams at the Glenmoor Gathering (Ohio), the Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance (Philadelphia), The Louis Vuitton Concours, New York City, and the Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance (Seabrook, Texas). 

Bill is a recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Florida Service ribbon and served 30 years in the Florida Air National Guard, retiring at the rank of Major.

His wife of forty-seven years, Jane, has patiently put up with his automotive mania with an understanding beyond reasonable expectations, as have his three children, son, Clay, and twin daughters, Demery Webber and Dana Shewmaker, and granddaughters, Lindsey Jane Webber and Mildred Huxley Warner.

Community Service Opportunity

Join Florida’s First Coast Rotaract in the “Rotary Has Heart” initiative to feed needy children this month!

On Saturday, February 15th, volunteers will be stationed at the Roosevelt Publix grocery store to spread the word about child hunger and accept food donations from customers. All donations will be used to benefit the Children’s Home Society’s effort to support struggling families.

If you would like to contribute a couple hours of your time as a volunteer, contact Rotaractor Jacob Dobbs at Otherwise, all Rotarians are asked to help spread the word to friends and family to come to the Roosevelt Publix for their post-Valentine’s Day grocery shopping! 

Another way to support the First Coast Rotaract "Rotary Has Heart" initiative,
On Tuesday, February 18th, please bring non-perishable items to the meeting.  All donations will be used to benefit the Children's Home Society's effort to support struggling families.

Committee Members Needed
Rotaract Chair Bob Massey is currently a committee of one and is in need of some committee members.  Age is not a factor, obviously, since PP George Linville served and was loved by our Rotaractors for many years.  What is important is enthusiasm and a willingness to share the ideals of Rotary with our young people.  Mostly, Bob wants Rotarians who are willing to attend at least one Rotaract meeting and who are not concerned about being infected by a high level of energy from the experience.  If you are interested, please call Bob on his cell at 904/699-8643904/699-8643.

We Are Passing The Hat For Our Kindergarten Classes!

The Kindergarten Classes at San Jose Elementary learned recently they have to pay for their bus transportation to attend a scheduled field trip to the Jacksonville Zoo.  The Zoo has agreed to host the kids free of charge, but due to funding cuts, the classes have to provide funds for their bus transportation.  The cost is approximately $3.50 per child for a total of about $500.00 for all the kindergarten classes.   
We are “passing the hat” this Tuesday to help fund the transportation for the trip!  You can help by writing a check to the ROTARY CLUB OF SOUTH JACKSONVILLE CHARITY FUND or have Patti add it to your Rotary Bill as a donation.  Just let Patti know how much you want to give!  Any amount is welcome, and all will go to a great cause. 
Let’s get these kids to the Zoo!

Club Fellowship & Social Event, Feb 12th
Yuka's Birthday Celebration!
Evening fellowship and social event to celebrate Yuka’s (our Club's Rotary 
Youth Exchange (RYE) inbound student from Japan) Birthday!! 

Minutarian Update, Week 33

February is World Understanding Month on the Rotary Calendar, and the second week is denoted as Family Week. It is an opportunity for our clubs to connect with families in our communities and more specifically, an opportunity to reach out to families in need. How great that we have so many wonderful activities planned for the week with our Rotary Has A Heart food projects. This week kicks off projects all around the District, too numerous to list in the Rotary Minute. We hope to provide you all with a full accounting and pictures later this month, on the District Website.

Some deadlines are approaching along with great events, please make note:
  • Club award applications are coming due;
  • Continue turning in RYLA club commitment forms;
  • President Elect Training, March 6-8, in Orlando;
  • Rotaract Leadership will spend the 7th & 8th at PETS as well;
  • District Assembly is March 29th, in Palatka;
  • District Conference May 16th, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Have a Great Week, and thanks for all you do!