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The 4th Gear – Episode 3: Interview with Bill Warner: Founder of the Amelia Island Concours

 

The 4th Gear – Presented by Classic Auto Insurance

The 4th Gear is a video podcast that will give you the opportunity to listen to individuals that share your passion and enthusiasm for collectible cars. This platform will allow you to gain a unique insight and understanding of the benefits of being a member of a car club or auction or a DIY restoration.

Interview Transcript:

 

Jeff

Hello, and welcome to this edition of The Fourth Gear sponsored by Classic Auto Insurance. I’m your host, Jeff Broadus. And today I’m with Mr. Bill Warner, who is probably best known right now as the founder of the Amelia Island Concours. However, your career and the automotive path started way before Amelia Island.

Bill

Oh, yeah, it started when I was a mere child I had a tricycle I thought was a Buick.

Jeff

And you know, you did a lot of work for Road and Track. You were a contributor, writer, photographer dating back quite a ways. I’m assuming a lot of the work you were doing for them was race-related would that be correct?

Bill

All race-related yeah, it started with Sports Car Graphic in 1967 at the runoffs. And I was with Sportscar Graphical 71. They closed up, and then Road and Track were looking for someone down here because magazines are historically cheap, and if they could find someone in Jacksonville to go to Daytona, it was cheaper than sending someone from LA. I ended up being it. At the time there was a lady shooting out of Miami named Alice Bixler and she moved to Canada. So there was a void down here for photographers. They wanted someone who not only knew cars but knew photography. So I kinda fit in.

Jeff

Kind of hit both. Yeah, no doubt. And now your automotive journey actually started very early. I remember a story and you can elaborate on it a little bit. I believe it was about a Griffin when you first saw it. A Griffith. Is that correct?

Bill

No, I don’t remember that. I remember Griffith cause I knew Jack Griffith. He was a neighbor of ours here. No that’s too late. The first car I saw that really tripped my imagination was probably the 53 Corvette. And when it came to Jacksonville, it had not been announced as a public production car. So they had three dealers, and they had to be ecumenical in this thing. So they rented the ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel in Jacksonville. And my father took me down there and I sat and stared at the car and stared at the cars. I was 10 years old then. And I decided one day I was going to own one of those. And that ended up many, many, many, many years later, I had a 54 that I restored. The first time I drove it, I said, gee, why on earth that I want, this thing? It’s terrible. 55, because of that, a V8 and a 12 volt ignition. It drove just as bad as the 54.

Jeff

Yeah. Now of course you’re a pretty tall guy. And for somebody your size to be sitting in that model car. I’m surprised your head and eyes just didn’t stick out over the top of the windshield.

Bill

It did. You didn’t drive it with a top-up, we drove it with a top-down. You, you stuck out of it like a circus bear. it was a car that I described as you tow it within a mile of where you want to be seen in it and then drive it in, you know, and make your big exit and then get out and put it back on the trailer and haul it home. But, but they were beautiful. They were stunningly beautiful. And for 1953, they were a rocket ship.

Jeff

Yep. And it was, you know, it was, you know, the war was over and by about 10 years and they were, they were really trying to make their statement with a sports car. Of course, Corvette is still being produced today now with the C8 and I don’t know if you’ve driven the new C8 yet.

Bill

I bought, I had the second one. Oh delivered it to me on the field two years ago when we did the feature on the mid-engine Corvettes. And my deal was let’s do the thing on the mid-engine Corvette. Oh, by the way, I’ll buy the, I’ll buy one, if you’ll deliver it on the field and it’s serial number 340, but it was the second one delivered. Rick Hendrick got the first one.

Jeff

Wow.

Bill

And he paid $3 million for it. And I saved $2,920,000 getting the second one.

Jeff

Wow. Wow. Now, you know, you talk a little bit about the first car. Well, what’s the first actual collector car you purchased? And why did you purchase it?

Bill

The collector car would have been, I was out on the road selling filters and I, I was driving a Buick at that time because my dad drove Buicks and I just didn’t feel it. Let’s see how old was I then? I was 34 years old was I? No. 28 years old. And I just didn’t feel that fit me. So I had a chance to buy a Porsche 911 brand new $7,900. So I bought a basic 911 T with Chrome wheels and air conditioning for $7,900 from my friend, Steve. And I still have 51 years later ran the 1975 Cannonball in it. Bumped it up to a two-seven with webbers. Got the wheels off Peter Gregg’s trans am car added the deck lid from the George Golson, George Stone Carerra, and a spoiler bumper. And it’s kind of simple, but it’s nice. And it’s, it’s quick, you know, by today’s standards. It’s not all that quick by the standards of 1971. It’s pretty quick.

Jeff

What cars today are you most interested in or considering adding to your collection?

Bill

Well, I just bought a car about six months ago. One of the original Roger Penske, banjo Matthews IROC Camaro. It was driven in the IROC series by Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Rick Mears, Cale Yarborough, and Jacky Ickx. I look for cars that have interesting histories or interesting story. One I missed, I’ve got a 63 Buick Riviera that I’ve restored, which I really love. I love the looks of the Rivieras. It was, it was a styling design tour de force. I’d really like to have a 65 Brand Sport, but after Mecum when three of them sold for over a hundred grand apiece. I think I’m out of that market.

Jeff

Wow.

Bill

Some, some widow who doesn’t know what she has. I’m afraid I can’t afford one of those.

Jeff

Now, when you think about the best find, perhaps you’ve ever done. The car that comes to mind for me. When I think about cars that you found and showed is that Ford Edsel car.

Bill

It is. The 1934 Ford Special Speedster was built for Edsel Ford in 1934. I found it. A gentleman had it in a garage in Orange City, Florida, two blocks off Highway 17, 17 and 92. And after I found that, I thought how many people drove by this garage every day, and didn’t know one of the most iconic Fords ever built is in that garage?

Jeff

Now how did you, how did you come about, how did you find out about it?

Bill

A guy in Jacksonville about 40 years ago told me that he knew where Edsel Ford’s car was, but he wouldn’t tell him. Okay, that’s fair. You know, he was trying to strike a deal himself. So years went by and then a Classic and Sports Car Magazine, they had a picture of it and said, we wonder where this is today. I said, well, I know where it is. It’s in Deland. So I was judging in Meadowbrook with Michael Lamb. I said, Michael, you did a story on that car about 30 years ago. Do you remember who owned it? And he told me, and it was an unusual name.

Pallasch.  So I Googled Pallasch Deland, Florida, and came up with a name in Orange City, which was next door. And I called him up and said, would you bring the car to Amelia? It hasn’t been seen in 40 years. It’d be great to have on the field. He says I don’t want to bring it to the show. I want to sell it. Okay. I’ll be there in an hour. You do about an hour and 20 minutes from Jacksonville to Orange City. I made it in about 50 minutes and [00:08:00] took three visits and then struck a deal on a car. And then I found that the ex Denny Hulme Brabham BT8 in a South Carolina junkyard, that car won every under two-liter race it ran in. Won the tourist trophy over such people as Jim Clark in the Cooper or in the Lotus 30 John Surtees and David Hobbs and the Lola p70s the Cobra Daytona coupes, a little two-liter sports racer sitting in a junkyard. So then two years later, the guy called me, he says, I got a Cooper. Do you want it? And I went up there and it was in Columbia, South Carolina. It was one of the Shelby King Cobras. The last one was built. Called a Lang Cooper. So I’ve been very, very fortunate just, just following my nose.

Jeff

It sounds like the hunt is as exciting as being able to not only get the car but bring it back, perhaps restore it and then either show it or race it.

Bill

There is. The Ford needed restoration. It was all original. The Brabham needed a full restoration. I raced it for 12 years and then I began thinking, you know, you’re laying down between two 11 gallon tanks of gasoline, and the coolant’s running through the chassis rails.

Jeff

Oh.

Bill

Probably isn’t a real smart thing to do.

Jeff

Of course, you enjoy vintage racing. You and I both have owned a TR six. Mine was rally racing. Yours is vintage racing.

Bill

Mine was a Group 44 car and it was sold by Group 44 to Paul Newman. And I raced it for 28 years. And then Adam Carolla bought it for his Paul Newman collection.

Jeff

Oh, okay. Okay. Now at what point did your hobby kind of take over your life?

Bill

Well, it was always part of my life. My father used to tell me if you don’t get these damn cars out of your brain, you’ll never make a living. But cars actually saved the filter company twice. When we needed cash, the cars were there, to generate it. I didn’t want to sell them.

I never want to sell a car. But there are times in life when, you know, you, [00:10:00] you’ve got to give things up to make other things happen. And fortunately, I’m, at that time, I don’t have to sell a car now. I’m sorry I sold a Brabham BT8. I was kind of glad to see the Lang Cooper go away. Cause it was a handful. It was more car than I could have or should have driven.

Jeff

So what do you think is the best car you ever bought? How did you find it? Why did you buy it?

Bill

Well, the 911 all round was the best car. You know, it was comfortable. It was quick. It was economical. You get, you know, two people could travel in it easily. You squeezed two people in the back seat for a short distance. If you had to it has a timeless look, 71, 911 is instantly recognizable as a Porsche, even today. The same shape. That probably let’s see. Electric cars. That’s probably the best, those, the ones that I’m sorry, I sold were the Brabham and to a certain extent the Ford although the Ford needed to go to a better home because it got so valuable that we wouldn’t use it. Jane and I would, you know, we’d go out and get a pizza in it. Then those days stopped when the car got into seven figures.

Jeff

Well, no doubt when that car finally surfaced and it got out in the public’s eyes, the interest and the media and everything, everybody jumped all over that car because let’s face it was an extremely rare car. And the pedigree of that car in itself was a story all in itself.

Bill

That’s right. It was one of one. It was built for the son of Henry Ford. It was complete and unrestored. It had all the things going on. But, you know, something like that doesn’t belong to a person. You’re, you’re, you’re kind of a caretaker for it. And as much as I love the car, it really needed to go to a home where other people could enjoy it. And I did all right on. I mean, I was able to buy a Ferrari Daytona with the money and remodel the house, you know, and Ms. Jane has been very, very patient. You know, cars would follow me home. And most of the [00:12:00] time she’d say, why do you want that? One time I bought her a BMW M1 I’d found and bought it sight unseen and with all good intention of fixing it up, making a profit. Jane looked at it, she said, gee, you of all the cars you brought home I like this one the best. So, had that one for a while.

Jeff

Now let’s go back to the Amelia Island Concours for a moment. I was there on the first Amelia Island Concours, which I believe was on father’s day weekend.

Bill

It was on Easter.

Jeff

Easter. That’s what it was. It was Easter weekend. And it was, it was kind of foggy. It was kind of a quaint, if you will, maybe a lot of Concours start off that way. it was kind of quaint. I don’t know that the average person who sees Amelia today realizes the work, the commitment, and the vision that goes into what you had then and what it is today.

Bill

Yeah. Nowadays, people who put on shows want to start at the top, and you [00:13:00] can’t. It’s like anything else in life, you got to kind of pay your dues. We, if you remember, we had those, no see ’em bugs. I mean, tons of bugs. That was old, that was kind of a practice show to find out what we didn’t know. And then after that, we’d spray for bugs, you know? We decided that the Ritz-Carlton wanted to have it on Easter Sunday, cause it was a slow weekend for them, and they wanted to fill the hotel. And I said no more, no more Easter. Even NASCAR didn’t race on Easter. Just get away from that. So we moved to March, the second weekend of March, generally. Because a lot of collectors from up north would come to Florida, go back north on April one. So we wanted to catch them while they were still there. There are a lot of factors and a lot of facets that go on for putting on a show as you well know, cause you were involved in the Lake Mirror Classic. I mean, everything, I became an expert on portalets. How many portalets that you had to have per person. An expert on rain insurance. In fact, you had to hire a meteorologist to stand in the middle of the field and, and measure the rain for the insurance company in 10th-inch increments. A lot of things I didn’t want to know. I figured out.

Jeff

You know, I saw you work under pressure. I’ve known quite a while. One year there was a horrible rainstorm and I can’t remember. All I remember is you had all the Corvettes there. You had unbelievable composure through the whole thing. I don’t know if that’s your military training, or how you do that. Going through a named storm that came through my show. I was nowhere near is keeping things together as you were, how…

Bill

I don’t remember being composed. I remember thinking that this is the end show was over. They had a guy named Gene Epstein, and Sam Mann, [00:15:00] and Richard Klein passed the hat and raised $60,000

Jeff

Sitting in the ballroom, sitting on the floor, decided they were going to do that.

Bill

It kept us going. Today, if you had to pass the hat, you’d have to pass a $3 million hat.

Jeff

Wow.

Bill

We have the time that Hagerty took over, I had nine employees, 8,800 square foot building. We had developed our own personal software for scoring or software for entry. We, we had over the 26 years, we had really developed and fine-tuned it. The nice part now is we were the only show to have a show in 20 and 21. We beat COVID by three days in 20, and then we moved to may in 21 and got through it. This year was the first year in 27 years that I had a normal Christmas. I didn’t worry about it. I don’t worry about COVID. I don’t worry about the weather. I don’t worry about sponsorship. [00:16:00] You know, we’ve had sponsors try to pull it the last two weeks, six weeks out. Yeah. I mean, people think this is fun. This is work. You understand that. This is work. You, you work my goal when we started out was to bring a, a world-class show to north Florida. Because we felt north Florida was centrally located. At that time. We weren’t thinking globally. We were thinking regionally, we were equidistant between Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami. We figured we had about 20 million people we could draw from never knowing that we would outlive them. Geneva Auto Show nor have a conflict with the Geneva Auto Show. And we would have a worldwide impact. You shoot for the stars, but you, you, you try to accomplish things that are reasonable, that you can accomplish. Had a lot of great support from the manufacturers from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, General Motors, Lexus. From time to time Ford. From time to time Chrysler. Sponsors come and go. You still have that nut you have to crack every year to pay the Bills.

Jeff

Yes, you do.

Bill

The sad part is that the cost of putting on these shows is such that the ticket entry is now ridiculous. I heard that the show in Palm Beach last week, it was like $450 a ticket to go.

Jeff

Right.

Bill

You go to the Wednesday night hangar party, at Monteray that’s eight to $900.

Jeff

Yup.

Bill

I mean, who are they? I know who they’re trying to attract, but how many people are willing to spend $2,000 to sip champagne and see their friends? That isn’t me.

Jeff

You know, I think there were two things that set Amelia Island apart from every other Concours in the country, maybe in the world. Number one, it always had a very inviting environment. You, you have this uncanny ability to remember people and names and everybody was welcome. Everybody was part of that family. You felt good when you were there and you also… racing was your theme and you became known as the Pebble Beach of the east coast very quickly because of what you created there. And that’s never been duplicated. And I think that’s a credit to you.

Bill

Thank you. I’m going through life being the Avis of everybody. And, you know, always number two. When I went to the Citadel, they said you went to the west point of the south. I said, no Westpoint’s points the Citadel a little the north. Everybody was comparing us with Pebble Beach and I was honored to be compared with them. It is the granddaddy of all shows. It is spectacular. It’s well run. It’s in a beautiful area. But we wanted to have our own DNA. And our DNA was going to be about racing. Cause that’s where I came from. I went to my first race in 1959, and I started shooting races. Really. I started photographing things that race 1960. So, I saw that there were some great cars out there that were never going to make it to the race track again. They got too valuable and you had to have a place to do it. So why not celebrate them at a Concours? I’m not the kind of guy who likes to pick grass out of the tires. You know, I chose cars a lot of times because of the theme, the story we’re trying to tell. We were telling the history of Corvette, or if we were telling the history of Duesenberg or something like that. I tried to choose cars, not necessarily 100 point cars, but cars that told the story of the manufacturing. And I think in some cases we may have lost a perspective on these cars. They’re, in many cases, are much nicer now than they ever were, where they were new.

Jeff

Over restored, you’re referring to.

Bill

And I understand that. I’ve restored cars. I’ve restored… I don’t know, half dozen, dozen cars in my life. And when you get one apart it’s just as easy to do it really good as to do it really bad.

Jeff

That’s, you know, that’s an ongoing argument. When they talk about restoration, you start to tear a car apart, like you said, you might even wanna just take the whole thing, frame-off, just do the car and do the car, right. Opposed to trying to do cosmetics because you’re gonna go back. It’s very difficult to do a, I call it a cosmetic restoration

Bill

Yeah. You know, and then you get into something like where the NCRS, you know, in 54 to 55 or 66, 54, 53, 54 55. The doors never fit right. If you make them fit, right. They’d knock you down on points. So you have to restore the car with a knowledge of what it was like when it was delivered. And in some cases there’s overspray and I don’t know. I’m like you, I, I tell David Schultz, my good friend. He says when I took the Ford up to his show at a little Glenmoor gathering, he says, how do you want to judge? I said I don’t want it judged. You said you don’t want the car judged. I said, no. Let the car speak for itself. People like to see the car, that’s fine. I don’t need a trophy. And you know, and I said, no, I’m just here for the beer. So that’s our joke. I’m just here for the beer. I’m taking a 32 Ford High Boy. They asked me to bring it to Amelia Island this year. I will, I will not have it judged. I’m happy with a car. I like a car. I know the car is good. I bought it from buddy PIP west coast car built in 1953 and 1950 remodeled in the year 2000. I don’t need someone to tell me what’s right or wrong. I don’t care. I liked the car.

Jeff

And you know, that’s, that’s really when you give people advice on what should you look for, whether it’s your first car or you’re starting to build a small collection of cars. I think you hit the nail on the head, start with buying a car you like.

Bill

That’s right. ‘Cause. If, if all, if everything tanks, you still have a car that you like. If you only bought one or two cars, To make a buck on it and in each case I lost money. So I learned the lesson there. Buy what you like. I had a Corvair Monza Spyder that I bought. And I thought, well, this, this will be what I’ll do all right on. And But I sold, I sold it Charles Mallory, who now runs Lime Rock. He came down to look at it. He says, golly, I had one just like this when I was a kid. Says, I really like it. I said, okay. I said, but before you buy it, I want you to know one thing. He said, what’s that? This is like your first girlfriend, the memory of her is better than she ever was. He bought the car.

Jeff

So, He still bought it.

Bill

You know, you’ve got I got a call from a friend of mine down in Tampa the other day he said a friend of mine’s got some money and he wants to buy cars. What should he buy? I said I cannot tell you. I don’t know what he should buy. He should buy what he likes. May not be what I like, but it’s what he likes. And if you liked it, the chances are someone else likes it. So it was they may not consider that a correct [00:23:00] answer, but it’s the only answer that I can give. Yeah right now, if I tell somebody to buy a car right now, I’d say buy a 63 to 65, Buick Riviera. I just think up until Mecum they were underpriced. You can still get a 53, 63, or 64 at a reasonable price. You can spend 30 grand, get the nicest one around. I like those. I think they’re pretty. I don’t think you’ll lose money on one, but I can’t think of too many more. I got a new Corvette C8 I think it’s one of the most fantastic cars ever built. It does everything right. I’ve had it for two years now. Haven’t touched it other than to drive it. I think General Motors did a phenomenal job on that car. I won’t live long enough for it to be a collectible.

Jeff

Years ago, I used to write a series of columns called Next Collectible and it definitely falls into that category.

Bill

Yeah. Yeah. Well, the strange one was a Ford GT. I have one of those that I bought when they were new. Helped me get one right off the bat. And I think the sticker price was 149. I’ve got about 20,000 miles on it now. Low mileage ones are bringing stupid money, 350, 300. And you know, if you’ve got a heritage pillar one, which is ugly as a mud fence. Orange and blue. Give me a break. Do you want to be a boy racer? They’re half a million dollars. Now those guys are out of their minds. I’m sorry if you own one, you’re not very smart. And you paid half a million dollars for one.

Jeff

Oh, they just sold that at Mecum this past weekend, a 600 plus thousand dollars. And you’re right. The Ford GTs were a stampede. I think the cheap one went for 400,000

Bill

That’s crazy. The thing is they call it the heritage color, right? Orange and blue. That’s not Ford heritage color. That’s John Wyer Gulf racing heritage color. If you want to do Ford’s heritage color, get guards blue with the white stripes. The first GT 40 had ever won a major race was the Daytona continental, it was dark blue with white stripes. That’s the heritage color. Marketing people in marketing are, are generally youthful and exuberant, but not necessarily well informed.

Jeff

That’s very well stated. You know, when you think about all you’ve done in this hobby and the list is we can barely even scratch the surface in this, in our communication, our broad…

Bill

I did what I enjoyed.

Jeff

What, what is there a, is there a something that is the most memorable experience that, that comes to mind when you kind of reflect back on, on all you have done in this hobby?

Bill

There’s several Jack Baldwin and I raced at Watkins Glen with Charlie McCarthy. Finished fifth overall after dropping down to about 40th. When Charlie Jr. Charlie the third got struck by lightning in the parking lot. He turned out okay. But it was a challenging weekend. We didn’t put a wheel wrong. We didn’t hit anybody. No one hit us. You know, it was a great race, 24 hours. I, I bought that car at that garage. Running the Cannonball 1975, was like stealing cookies from the cookie jar. You know, it was a Walter mini thing. Everybody said I wish I had done it and my answer, why didn’t you do it? You know, it’s I took a week off from business and never been to California, seemed like a good reason to go. And uh, It was a lot of boredom. You know, you, you exit the Holland Tunnel and suddenly you realize you’ve got about 2,800 more miles to go. And then I ran the Amelia in a, in a 56 Studebaker Golden Hawk, light loaned to me by the late Leo Seigel. Wonderful guy. And Frank Campanelli and I drove it. We had a ball. And then two years later I ran the Amelia was with Paul Gould in his 1934, alpha Romeo 1750. So the road events are fun and memorable. You got to see the countryside, you got to drive interesting cars, people waved at you. They gave, they gave away pasta, you know, bottles of wine. It was, it was fun.

Jeff

You share the cockpit with Frank and that in itself is an adventure.

Bill

Well, a friend of ours in Detroit said two type-A personalities in the same car is going to be an interesting experiment in futility. And I said, you know, we got along fine. The deal was, whoever was behind the wheel broke and whoever was on the right seat navigated. And the navigator never told the driver what to do and it worked fine. We didn’t hit anything. Middle of the night, we blew by two or three, 300 SL Gullwings with this 56 Studebaker. It went through about 105 miles an hour wide open. And I began thinking, wow, this is really stupid. This car, this car had brakes. It would work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think. It was fun. You know, It’s funny the road tours and the racing have always come back to me. I come back to the point. I’m not really a Concours guy, even though I put one on. The Concours to me was I described it as every year I had this pallet, this, this, this, this, this canvas and a pallet. And I paint a picture every year of the history of the automobile companies. And then every year we do one goofy class, whether it was cars for the Cowboys, or what were they thinking? Or cars to entertain people who didn’t care about cars. And that was the fun part. Putting the goofy classes together was as fun as anything.

Jeff

That’s it. That’s a neat theme. Well, you know, kind of our, our closing thoughts here. What’s the best advice you could give anyone who is coming into our hobby today?

Bill

Have a patient wife. Definitely don’t borrow money to buy, your cars. Keep your eye out. Don’t necessarily, although it’s good too, if you’re, if you’re well off, it’s good to buy what you want, but otherwise buy what comes your way and get excited about it. I wasn’t looking for a Brabham BT8 when I bought a BT8. I was looking for a Birdcage Maserati that was supposed to be in the same junkyard. And it wasn’t. It was a 450S, and it was long gone. So I bought this Brabham BT8 and when I got it, I started researching and found out it was Denny Hulme’s car. It was a Tourist Trophy car driven by Frank Gardner driven by Tony Lanfranchi. Ran in north Africa, ran in the United States at Monterey and, and Riverside one at Alton Park and went to well, all the circuits in England, the car had a fabulous history. And the fun was getting that documentation, finding the magazines, finding the stories. And one time I was having dinner in Palm Beach at Brian Redmond’s thing with David Piper, he says, oh, you had the BT8. I raced against that at Tripoli. I said you did? He said, yeah. Denny Hulme was on the front row with that car. So that’s the exciting part is, and that’s why I like race cars. They’re, they got stories that go with them. And they’re kind of easy to track.

Jeff

And you’ve done very well in your racing career. You’ve had a lot of fun. You won several races, SVRA vintage races. You know, that’s a hobby all in itself. Way outside of the collector car hobby.

Bill

Yeah, one thing I am disenchanted with some vintage racing now is it’s too easy to get a license. When I started racing in 1977, I went to the Skip Barber School. I had to go to regional schools. I had to check in with the clerk at the course, they had to observe you. Then you got a national license. They had to observe you. And then after a year, you’ve got your full national license and you could apply for an FIA. So you had to go through schooling, kind of like, you know, Bush-league on up. Nowadays, you fog up a mirror, you get a McLaren inmate F I mean, that’s, it’s disturbing to me because the quality of driving has been diminished.

Jeff

And that’s it. And that’s somewhat of a challenge to a lot of up-and-coming executives go out and they buy these super fancy sports cars. Lamborghinis everything else. Ferrari’s. They really don’t know how to drive ’em. They don’t understand the power. They don’t understand what it takes to really control a car that has six or 700 plus horsepower.

Bill

No, I tell people it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car. Because a slow car it’ll teach you to be smooth. You know, you, you don’t have the power to get you out of trouble. You know, the first car I ran a professional race was a six-hour VFG race in a Honda Civic, qualified 72nd I think that of 76. And finished 23rd only because we didn’t pass anybody. Everybody kept braking. And I moved up to a Datsun B210. And run one of the Devondorf cars at Daytona. And then I bought the next Bob Sharp B210, and that was a great car that was built by Bob who built a lot of Newman cars and built the Kurosawa car. And he, he built great race cars. And unfortunately, I totaled that out at Sebring one year and nearly myself. So, you know, I look back in some of the races, one of the races I really enjoyed. We, we won the GT race at Mid-Ohio with Bill Mitchell and Sean and Larry Hendrickson, Buddy Norton, and I and in a Camaro and it was an automatic transmission car. It was the first win of a production automatic transmission car ever. And that was, that was I got a great deal of, of pleasure out of that year.

Jeff

You left everybody that was there. That day kind of scratching their heads saying what just happened?

Bill

You just got automatically beat

Jeff

Bill Warner. Thank you so much. Thank you for being part of our broadcast today.

Bill

It’s always a pleasure. My years being around you at the Lake Mirror and up at Amelia, have been priceless, and I thank you.

Jeff

Well, we will see you again here. Amelia Island is just around the corner. Six weeks away. I’ll be there and we look forward to seeing you and your lovely bride Jane as well.

Bill

Thanks so much. You take care now.

Jeff

Thank you.

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