In addition to a typical Concours awards ceremony that includes ‘Best of Show’ and individual ‘Class’ awards, a series of special honors will highlight the 2019 Atlanta Concours d’Elegance (October 19-20th) at Tyler Perry Studios, with special recognition for the ‘Cars of Iconic Black American’s’ to be presented by multi-talented entertainer Vanessa Williams during the noon ceremony on Sunday, October 20th.
Ms. Vanessa Williams, best known for her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recordings and the Broadway stage, is also a fan of the car industry, and specifically Maserati – as owner of two blue models and a former certified driver of Italy’s Maserati Master GT driving school.
The ‘Cars of Iconic Black Americans,’ curated by Atlanta Concours Advisory Board Member Aaron Spaulding, will be a unique gathering of vehicles owned by well recognized and distinguished individuals including BB King; Muhammad Ali; Sammy Davis, Jr.; Sam Cooke; Bojangles; and the ‘Godfather of Soul’ James Brown – highlighting a group of cars as diverse as their owner’s backgrounds. Dr. Yamma Brown, James Brown’s youngest daughter, will be accepting an award of recognition from Ms. Williams on behalf of the entire group of eclectic vehicles and their owners.
“Just give me the chance to drive and I’m there!” says Vanessa Williams
“A longtime lover of beautiful classic Italian sports-cars, I started driving a Fiat 128, then graduated to a Lancia Beta Coupe, and I was thrilled when Maserati came back on the scene over 15 years ago with my Cambiocorsa. I’m now driving a Gran Turismo. Just give me the chance to drive and I’m there!” says Vanessa Williams. Ms. Williams has long embraced the Atlanta community through a series of entertainment projects she has filmed locally, including Daytime Divas (her VH1 series); The Trip To Bountiful (Lifetime TV Movie); and Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; as well as her recent concert performance with the Atlanta Symphony.
Entering its fourth year and growing in international recognition, the Atlanta Concours has distinguished itself within a new era, beginning with an all-new venue located on the national historic site of the original Fort McPherson army base on the grounds of Tyler Perry Studios and offering a true celebration of history. The 330-acre facility, home to the only major entertainment studio in the United States to be owned by a black man, brings a statement of inspiration and hope to the downtown community. The weekend-long car show is expected to draw a crowd of several thousand and will showcase vehicles from renowned global collectors and owners.
The metropolitan Atlanta region is a mecca for diversity
According to Bill Wallet, co-chairman for the Atlanta Concours, this is the first year the show has seen such an enormous influx of true diversity – ranging from its sponsors to the types of entrant vehicles, as well as the anticipated attending audience. “The metropolitan Atlanta region is a mecca for diversity, and we’re proud to be one of the first qualified car events nationwide that can combine the passion and excitement that touches this type of emotion for all,” said Wallet. “We’re bringing commonality to every race, gender, culture and ethnicity within the Atlanta community and we’re excited to share our love of the automobile with so many varied enthusiasts.”
Organizations that are contributing to the success of the 2019 show, include Metropolitan Chapters of 100 Black Men; Operation Hope; Joining Hearts and corporations including Porsche, Chevrolet, Trissl Motorsports and various institutions including the National Corvette Museum and McPherson college.
ABOUT VANESSA WILLIAMS:
Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry today. Her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recordings and the Broadway stage has been recognized by every major industry award affiliate including 4 Emmy nominations, 11 Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination, 3 SAG award nominations, 7 NAACP Image Awards and 3 Satellite Awards. Her platinum single “Colors of the Wind,” from the Disney’s Pocahontas, won the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
A graduate of Syracuse University, and mother of four, Vanessa is a strong advocate for equal rights, especially concerning the gay community and minorities. She was honored with the Human Rights Campaign “Ally for Equality” Award for her humanitarian contributions. Vanessa also achieved a career pinnacle with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.
Vanessa is one of the world’s most accomplished concert artists, appearing regularly with the most prestigious symphony orchestras in the world, most recently with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA CONCOURS:
Founded by CEO and Co-Chairman Bill Wallet and Co-Chairman Harry Krix, the Atlanta Concours d’Elegance is the first premier Concours automotive event to grace the metropolitan Atlanta region and will include more than 180 vintage and collectible entrant vehicles on Sunday, as well as approximately 200 rare and high-interest privately owned automobiles on display Saturday. Wallet and Krix are lifelong friends and business associates who joined together four years ago to realize their dream of producing a major classic automobile event such as the Concours d’Elegance for the Atlanta community.