The Saturday morning Cars & Coffee event that normally takes place at M1 Concourse, the new luxury garage and race track complex in Pontiac, Michigan, where a GM plant used to stand, was moved to the grounds of The Inn At St. John’s on the last weekend in July because the Concours d’Elegance of America was taking over the place for the weekend and it seemed appropriate to M1, to sponsors Car and Driver and Road & Track and the other normal sponsors of the gathering. Concourse meets Concours. Continue reading
In the tiny farming town of Firebaugh, California, there is a World War II Army Air Corps training facility called Eagle Field. It has been there since 1942 and there is so much aviation fuel, so many lubricants and other chemicals in the soil that, right in the middle of the huge San Joaquin Valley, one of the largest and most productive agricultural valleys in the world, there is hardly a blade of grass.
Eagle Field has changed hands many times from government to investor to farmer and back to government, and was rescued in 1980 by airplane aficionado Joe Davis, who has started assembling an aviation museum. In 2009, a group of local drag racers asked if they could use the one surviving runway to do some racing. Continue reading
Back in 2005, Alain Cerf opened the doors of the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum to celebrate the engineering, design and innovation that went into some of the pioneering cars of the Twenties and Thirties from Europe and America.
Since that grand opening, the museum has grown, evolved, and acquired more and more exotic European machinery, almost six dozen cars in all, many with badges that most enthusiasts have never heard of. That’s what makes it so completely wonderful. Continue reading
Don Garlits is the undisputed king of drag racing. Now 85, he has won 17 championships, won almost 150 races, and built, tuned and driven about 60 different race cars since he started racing in 1950.
He is known around the world as “Big Daddy,” and about 40 of his race cars have been called “Swamp Rat,” because Garlits was born and raised in Florida. Continue reading
With 207 cars and trucks already in place, and more on the way, the NPD Collection in Ocala, Florida, must be among the largest private classic car collections on Earth.
Put together by the father and son team of Jim and Rick Schmidt, the collection traces its roots back to Jim’s basement in Cleveland in 1976. The company he started there, National Parts Depot, is one of the world’s premier producers of reproduction parts for classic American cars and trucks, a company that started making parts for the 1955-57 classic Ford Thunderbirds, branched out from there to Mustangs, and now covers just about every American classic car make and model you can think of. Continue reading
The setting was as familiar as Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook, or St. John’s. A car show on a beautiful golf course on a sunny Sunday afternoon. But this wasn’t one of the big ones. Instead, this was a local annual car show held at the beautiful Mission Inn & Resort in the tiny community of Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida, the American town with more hyphens in its name than any other. Continue reading
Across the street, one of the greatest car shows on Earth was going on, but over here, in its own paddock, was the Amelia Island Cars & Coffee, a very tidy collection of street cars that were pre-registered for the event and just came in, turned right, and drove onto the grass for the day, without the aid of Passport, Intercity, Horseless Carriage, Reliable, or any of the other companies that usually transport classic vehicles to concours events. They just drove in and parked. Continue reading
The first of what will be 16 events organized by the Antique Automobile Club of America took place late last month when the Winter Meet was held on the campus of the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida, the horse capital of the world. Around 250 vehicles were on display, ranging in birthday from 1912 to 1992, hosted by the AACA’s Sunshine State region and chapters of the Central Florida Region. Continue reading
This has been a long time coming. The Motorsports Hall Of Fame started life way back in 1989 in an old building in Novi, Michigan, a few miles west of Detroit, with a handful of old race cars on display.
Its mission was and is to recognize greatness in American racing, in every kind of racing, from Indy to NASCAR to drag racing, aviation, boats, sports cars, and motorcycles, with induction ceremonies of a new class every spring. Continue reading
At the 11th annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance, staged at the famous Boca Raton Resort and Club on Florida’s east coast, there was a lot of money to be made, but it was made for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, almost $10 million so far.
The all-volunteer concours (more than 300 persons this year) was founded by megadealer Rick Case and his wife, Rita, and has grown to become one of the major events of the winter in the Southeast. Continue reading