Contributed by Tara Bush
What comes to mind when you think of Cocoa Beach…Ron Jon’s, surfing, trinket shops, tiki bars, bikinis, you get the picture. Well let me tell you there is much more to Cocoa Beach than that. They have a beautifully shaded downtown historic district with fashionable clothing stores, quaint restaurants and is dotted with park-like sitting areas. It is an extremely active community with festivals and entertainment but the highlight of the year, at least for me, is the spring and fall car shows. Co-hosted by The Historic Cocoa Village Association and The Antique Automobile Club of Cape Canaveral and held throughout the shaded streets and surrounding lots.
Vintage, classics, moderns, Europeans and special interest vehicles arrive 2 to 3 hours in advance of the official start time just to guarantee a spot. Spectators by the thousands start arriving around lunch time. At last count, there were 190 vehicles registered. The hosting club did a wonderful job accommodating the many requests as quickly as possible, while smiling the entire time.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by some very friendly gentleman who navigated our way to the registration location. Unlike the previous year, I experienced some confusion as to the official entrance. Registration was quick and directions were simple, follow the guy in the bright colored shirt. First stop was food, plenty of choices. After receiving several recommendations we settled on Pub Americana, a locally sourced modern American food gastro-pub. Next time we will need to stay a bit later after the show and enjoy the jazz and crafted cocktails in the upstairs lounge.
Now it’s time to go shopping. We went in and out and in and out and in and stop! “Would you prefer white or red wine while you shop”, was the question posed to us as we entered the Season Tickets Boutique? Be warned that you may need sunglasses upon entering because it resembles the Mopar paint chip page. Such gorgeous clothes and colorfully attractive ladies, I had to drag my sidekick, Shelly, out of there before we became broke or drunk..
Finally to the real reason we came, to admire all the cars and trucks. The Space Coast Mustang Club and the British Car Clubs had a strong showing of members plus there was a large Corvette club which I failed to get the name of. There was a good variety of classics and muscle cars, however the modern American muscle was relatively small.
One particular car stood out and drew lots of attention. I am always amazed at the ingenuity of a car that is without paint, mainly void of an interior, and the motor is inconsequential but yet still commands such attention. This clear-coated naked Buick Dynaflow Special is truly a work of art. The more you look, the more you see, just like a Picasso. Is it not necessary to see under the hood to really appreciate what was accomplished with this ride. The Phillips 66 bumper sticker was a great touch. I give many thanks to the owner who shared it with the car community.
For a fall show, the heat was still very oppressive but the shade was welcoming. Trophies were handed out, but as usual, I started talking and completely missed the ceremony. The main problem I see with shows in such a location is the lack of time to cover everything I want to do; remove road grime from the car, try the local fare, shop for unique items, stop at the car and talk, and then still have time with my own car. I promise to spend more time with my car at the next event…I hope.