Contributed by Tara Bush
It’s late September, just a hint of coolness to the air, and we decide to head south for the 6 annual Cars & Coffee Palm Beach with Steve’s new ZR1 Corvette. Even though it is on the bottom of the exotic scale, for the money you can’t beat the performance. Normally when I go out of town, I do my best to cram as much as possible into the time I’m away from home, therefore you can’t drive 3 hours and go to just one show. Luckily Steve’s parents reside in West Palm so the overnight accommodations are handled.
We had an invite to a family friend’s garage early Saturday morning so see his newest arrivals to the man cave. Situated in an older industrial section of town is a collection of block commercial unit’s turned car hobbyist’s garage condos. The rainbow of colors is screaming loud and fast; a bright yellow 32 highboy, a pearl orange Lamborghini Aventador, a red Ferrari convert with Italian stripes, a yellow C7 Corvette, a white 59 Corvette, an old Porsche, VW bus and a magnitude of other desirable cars. But the outlandish cigarette racing boat in the middle of the garage painted bright yellow with purple, red, blue stripes was a sight to be seen. Racing out in the open waters it appears small, but up close on a yellow trailer, well that is something entirely different. Massive is what comes to mind.
A neighbor stopped by and we ogled at his impressive collection (a bit smaller) of a gorgeous 68 Chevelle and a 62 Impala, plus 2 classic European cars of which I’m not sure what they were. I was too busy looking at the custom painted floor that appeared to resemble the moon with a high shine.
After talking about cars and boats and garage flooring we heading out for lunch. It wasn’t long before we had to head even further south to Rockin Rich’s Rock & Ride car show in Tamarac (more photos HERE). After playing with a yellow Hellcat Charger on the Sawgrass Expressway, we arrive to an overcast but breezy grass field loaded with classics, moderns and people, lots of people. The ZR1 got lots of oohs & ahhs from the crowd, especially the kids. It was a perfect environment for the families, lots of area for the kids to run around in and play in the bounce houses, and the band was fantastic. Rockin Rich filled in between band sets but his team did an awesome job getting the cars in and out. Steve even won a trophy (maybe for the longest distance traveled).
Up and early start Sunday morning. Knowing that thousands of cars were expected at Cars & Coffee Palm Beach, arrival time was 7:30am to avoid a long wait. It began before we left the driveway. A young girl in a small import car was taking pictures of the ZR1. “Hey, you going to Cars & Coffee? All the ZR1s park beside Adams Polish”. Good to know. We merged in between a dozen Corvette that just drove down from Tampa. Steve cleaned the bugs while I took pictures before the spectator crowd arrived. The cars kept coming and coming for hours. The event is held along one side of the Palm Beach Outlet Mall just off I-95. One side is mainly for classics and modern muscle, while the other is for imports. The center section is reserved for sponsors and the high dollar stuff: Lamborghini, Ferrari, McClaren, Audi, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, etc.
I never did get to the import side, although I probably wouldn’t know what I was looking at anyway. My passion is for the classics, and an appreciation for the modern muscle and Corvettes. But the exotics is a different world altogether. The technology and expense that goes into making them is fascinating. As I learn more, the more I appreciate them for the work of art that they are.
There’s still time left in the day for more car talk. I met a guy over Facebook that is an expert in vintage Shelbys. He invited us over to view his collection. After a brief meeting, it was off to lunch at a sports bar. I found out he is a numbers guy that is obsessed with anything classic muscle, high horsepower, highly optioned and extremely collectible. He was much more than just a collector of cars but an historian in the true sense of the word. And remembers everything by the numbers.
We toured his commercial sized garage, double stacked with muscle cars. He remembered everything about every one of them, all in pristine condition. Now his man cave doubles as an event center for rent. Pool table, large wood bar, stage, and 30 or so vintage pinball machines just so none of the guests can get bored. One thing that sparked my interested was the bar table lamp made out of a distributor, spark plugs and an air cleaner. It is connected to the two bathroom’s lights. The air cleaner lights green when they are empty, yellow when one is occupied and red when both in use. I’m going to have to rig one up for myself. Super great guy and many thanks for sharing his Sunday with us.
It was a great weekend in south east Florida. Looking forward to more car-inspired weekends this winter. More photos HERE.