From test drivers and engineers to automotive experts and the founders of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, this year’s panel of judges brings decades of automotive experience to the 2016 Ponte Vedra Auto Show.
Glen Branch hails from Blackpool, England, where he built and raced dragsters. Branch has worked for TVR Engineering on its sports cars, and came to America with TVR in 1985. In the 1990s, he worked with Mercedes and Jaguar. He has also been a designer and builder with Kit Cars. Branch says that he has been in the automotive business in one way or another for at least 40 years, and he is also an experienced motorcycle rider.
Chris Brewer may be one of the few, if not the only, automotive writers with a doctorate in theology. An avid writer and photographer, Brewer is the senior editor of Automotive Addicts. He also reviews vehicles and writes a weekly blog for CarFax, and is a frequent contributor to Hemmings Motor News and numerous automotive publications. Brewer has also contributed the “An Addictive Take on Cars” column for the Times-Union’s Drive section for the past three years. Brewer has a passion for vintage sports and GT cars and co-runs the monthly Automotive Addicts Cars & Coffee cruise-in with fellow Drive columnist Malcolm Hogan and is director of public relations for the Amelia Island Concours. “Chris brings the depth of a nationally known automotive journalist plus an intimate knowledge of the First Coast car scene to the Amelia,’’ said Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Supporting the Navy at NAS JAX is what Jimmy Britts does when he is not “playing with cars.” Britts is a past ARCA racecar driver, chassis builder and painter. He is the main racecar mover at the Amelia Island Concours, and has been judging the Ponte Vedra Auto Show for three years.
An original founder of the Amelia Concours, John Duss has served as a chief judge of the motorcycle category. He has been an active motorcyclist for more than 40 years, owning numerous marques and participating in several clubs. A member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, he has a particular affection for Alfa Romeo. His racing enthusiasm extends from Formula 1 to sprint cars and everything in between. In addition to serving on the foundation board, Duss serves as foundation attorney
Mike Ferran has been repairing, modifying and restoring vehicles professionally for 40 years. He is an ASE Master Technician and has owned Ferran Automotive since 1991. Although he currently owns a Ferrari Challenge Stradale, Ferran says he loves anything with wheels.
It all started for Steve Giambra when he bought his first car in high school, a 1956 Corvette. Fifty years later, after a long search, Giambra was able to relive the dream by purchasing another ’vette like the one he had in high school. He collects American, American muscle and British sports cars and has been a judge for the past five years.
Malcolm Hogan is the president and publisher of AutomotiveAddicts.com and Automotive Addicts Cars & Coffee. He has been engrossed in the automotive world ever since he could voice the word “car,” and has an extensive background in technology and the automotive industry. Hogan started AutomotiveAddicts.com in 2004 as a hobby; it has since grown into a highly recognized and successful automotive site, providing a close focus on the local automotive culture in Florida and the Jacksonville area. Automotive Addicts Cars & Coffee is held every second Saturday of the month and consists of more than 600 vehicles from our local area and thousands of spectators. You can find Hogan’s work on AutomotiveAddicts.com, CarsDirect.com and The Florida Times-Union in his exclusive automotive column, An Addictive Take On Cars in the Drive section of the newspaper and Jacksonville.com website.
Bill Hughes serves as the General Manager of TPC Sawgrass, and is not only a longtime speaker, mentor and Golf Pro, but also a long time car collector and enthusiast. He has also been an integral part of the Ponte Vedra Auto Show for several years.
Raised by the son of a former Auto Union test driver and Porsche racing shop owner, Hans-Dieter Mandt is a second-generation car enthusiast. He served as a crew member of a Porsche racing team, which raced the IMSA series and the 24 Hours of LeMans. In addition, he has served as treasurer of the Porsche Club of America, Florida Crown Region, for more than a decade, sits on the Porsche Club Board, and is the club's dealer liaison. Mandt is active in Porsche Club driver education programs and club races, and is the proud owner of various Porsches and classic Mercedes.
David McInerney has served as a judge for the Ponte Vedra Auto Show since 2013.
Dick Messer served as executive director at the Petersen Automotive Museum for 12 years, until June 2010. Located in Los Angeles, California, the museum is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious automotive museums. A life-long car collector who is well connected in the collector car community, Messer was the first to hold the museum director post.
Perry is currently an IT project manager at Landstar System Inc. Perry owns a 2003 Boxster S and is on the board of PCA. He currently serves as chief judge at the Festival of Speed. This is Perry’s third year judging with the Ponte Vedra Auto Show.
A 28-year resident of Jacksonville, Dan Scanlan has worked in local television and radio, handled election campaign advertising accounts for a circuit court judge and a clerk of court race, and opened a local comedy club before coming to the Florida Times-Union 20 years ago. He is married with one son, and is active in church and community activities. Scanlan is the main contributor to the Wheels section of the Jacksonville Times-Union.
Skip Schinsing is currently the Porsche certified service manager with Fields Automotive group. He joined Fields Porsche (formerly Brumos Porsche) in late 2010. He brings a wealth of knowledge about all mechanical and technical aspects of Porsche through his extensive experience as a racecar mechanic and fabricator. Prior to that, he served as the Brumos Racing Team manager and owner of RSR West, a trackside racing service and restoration company.
Brandon Stark is a native of Jacksonville and is currently the general manager of Jacksonville Porsche (formerly Brumos Porshe), part of the Fields Automotive Group. He has been with Porsche for nearly seven years.
A.J. Tasker is an attorney specializing in criminal DUI. Tasker owns a 5.0 Mustang, the eleventh Mustang that he has owned. Tasker is a member of the First Coast Modified Mustang Club and has been judging with the Ponte Vedra Auto Show for the past six years.
Bill Warner is founder of The Amelia Concours d’Elegance, chairman of the Amelia Foundation and also serves as president of his own business, H. C. Warner, Inc., an industrial filtration company. He also owns and operates Bill Warner Racing. He won the 2002 Meguiar’s Award for Collector Car Hobby Person of the Year. Known as the “Oscar” of car collecting, the award recognizes those who make a significant contribution to the quality, visibility and growth of classic car collecting. The foundation established by Warner has donated more than $2 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Shop with Cops and other charities since he founded The Amelia 17 years ago. For his efforts, he has been recognized as the 1997 Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year by the National Society of Fundraising Enterprises, one of the 1999 12 Who Care in the Jacksonville Community, and is the recipient of the 2001 Frank W. Sherman Award presented by the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville for exemplary community service.
Chief judge of the Ponte Vedra Auto Show, Larry Weisman holds a BS in Aeronautical Engineering, is a financial advisor and a self-described car nut. “From the age of five, anything with four wheels got my attention,” Weisman said. Weisman worked in flight test on commercial and military aircraft, and 21 years ago became a financial advisor. Previously, Weisman owned an interest in an automotive performance and restoration shop here in Jacksonville. He has owned more than 50 cars and currently has a Grand Sport Corvette and a Mustang SVO. Weisman has been sponsoring and volunteering with the Ponte Vedra Auto Show for more than a decade.
The owner of XL Carts, Garrett Wilson is a Jacksonville native who was introduced to custom fabrication long before he could ever reach a gas pedal. Blessed with a father who is a second-generation master craftsman and technical engineer, Wilson spent his childhood working on hands-on projects ranging from custom-built airboats to luxury motor coaches. After working in the family business through high school, he attended technical school and became an A&P airplane mechanic and pilot for more than a decade. In 2005, he participated in a special search and rescue effort with his airboat club in New Orleans just hours after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. He returned home and decided to venture down a different path and became a firefighter. Like many other firefighters with a shift schedule, he was able to start XL Carts, which produces beautiful, reliable carts and street-legal vehicles for businesses and families alike. The company also produces several one-of-a-kind carts, including a high-performance diesel cart, the patent-pending CrewCab XL with elevated forward-facing rear seats, and most recently a half-scale ’56 Ford Truck replica cart for the Tim Tebow Foundation Celebrity Gala, which garnered more than $53,0000 at auction earlier this year. When he’s not at the fire station, he now runs the business with the help of nine great team members, including his wife Kimberly.