Vanessa Williams will present an award for the Cars of Iconic Black Americans during the noon ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 20. Williams is also a fan of the car industry, and specifically Maserati.

Vanessa Williams to present award at Atlanta Concours d’Elegance

Actress and singer Vanessa Williams will be a special presenter during this weekend’s Atlanta Concours d’Elegance at Tyler Perry Studios.

The Concours, which will have on display hundreds of unique vintage automobiles on Saturday and Sunday, is making the move to Atlanta this year following three years at Chateau Elan in Braselton.

The show will be held on the Fort McPherson parade field, which is part of the 330-acre complex Perry purchased in 2015.

In addition to a typical Concours awards ceremony that includes ‘Best of Show’ and individual ‘Class’ awards, a special recognition for the “Cars of Iconic Black Americans” will be given by Williams at noon on Sunday.

The ‘Cars of Iconic Black Americans,’ has been curated by Atlanta Concours board member Aaron Spaulding. The exhibit is a unique gathering of vehicles owned by B.B. King, Muhammad Ali, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sam Cooke, Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, and James Brown

Williams, known for her work in films like “Soul Food,” numerous television shows, and the Broadway stage, is also a big fan of cars - especially Maseratis. She is the owner of two blue models and is a former certified driver of Italy’s Maserati Master GT driving school.

“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,” Williams said. “I’m now driving a Gran Turismo. Just give me the chance to drive and I’m there.”

Bill Wallet, co-chairman for the Atlanta Concours, said this year’s show will mirror Atlanta’s diversity - from the vehicles to the 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.”

The AJC will also present its “Incredible. Compelling. Complete.” award to a deserving car.

Tickets are $75 in advance or $25 just for Saturday admission, when driver-level cars will be on display; the high-end car competition will take place Sunday. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, go to atlantaconcours.org.

Atlanta - James Collier has always been really good at math. And as a young man, he thought he would try his hand at teaching. “What I learned is that it wasn’t for me,” said the 82-year-old Atlantan with a wry chuckle. However, Collier, who quickly left the eight-grade classroom and went on to have a successful career at AT&T, has found another way to teach. People from all over the world seek him out for his seemingly endless knowledge of Chevrolet automobiles. - Todd Duncan Video by Tyson A. Horne ( Tyson.horne@ajc.com)

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