All posts by Bob Squier

MIDFLORIDA Auto Show and Lake Mirror concours – October 20, 2019

In the twenty years of the MIDFLORIDA Auto Show and Lake Mirror Concours in Lakeland, they’ve never been rained out.  That’s quite a record for a car show in Florida.  This year, even with the formation of Tropical Storm Nestor in the Gulf of Mexico bringing heavy winds and rain from the Panhandle to Tampa, the show would go on.  By Friday night with the show less than twelve hours away, Nestor came through and brought the threatened wind, rain, and even a few tornadoes in some areas.  And the next morning, it was more of the same: torrential downpours and gusty winds.  But the folks who planned the show had a Plan B: move all the cars into three local parking garages.  It worked beautifully.  And true to Florida’s changeable weather, the skies cleared around 10:30 and it became a bright sunny day after all.  Anyway, the day ended with this rainbow over Lake Mirror and we all had a great time, even those of us who had to turn back due to mechanical difficulties and find alternative transportation (thank you, Bob Squier). Thanks to all our club members who came and made it a great show. And congratulations to those of you who took home trophies and ribbons.

By Philip Williams
Photos by Al Padilla, Bob Squier and Philip Williams

Progressive Lunch – October 5, 2019

The Progressive Lunch is different than all the other events hosted by AACA South Florida.  Unlike a show, it’s not just about the cars.  Unlike the picnic or the holiday party, it’s not just about the food, and it takes place in more than one location.  This year, on Saturday, October 5, we began at the lovely home of Jean and Maurice Hawa, with salads and hors d’oeuvres.  Then Ira Shapiro added a new twist and turn to the formula: a poker chip run that was more of a leisurely drive through some of the nicest neighborhoods in Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, gathering poker chips at a couple of stops, and ending up at poolside at the home of Cheryl and Jay Mullininx, where a feast of beef tenderloin, chicken, lasagna, mashed potatoes, green beans, and other tasty additions awaited us.

The twist in the poker chip run was that chips were drawn at random and the point values were assigned after the run so as to heighten the suspense of who would win.  And when the chips were counted, the winners were: Diane Preuss 105, Rick and Diane Ash 95, Angela Torres 86, Mark and Yanet Sepulveda 85, and John Houlsby 85.

Thanks to all who participated, thank you especially to our hosts, Jean and Maurice and Cheryl and Jay, and to route master and chip counter Ira Shapiro.
By Philip Williams
Photos: Bob Squier, Al Padilla and Philip Williams

Annual Picnic – May 18, 2019

Cooks Tomas, Manny and Ira hard at work.

Nearly 60 club members, family and friends showed up for the fun, the food, and the company, and a nice selection of antique cars.

Once again the members of the AACA South Florida Region gathered for the annual picnic, this time at Tropical Park. Again we scheduled it for May so that there was less chance of rain and it would be cooler. This year it proved to be a good move: it was a great day weather-wise with a nice breeze to keep us cooler.

This year’s picnic organized by Manny and Millie Garcia was served up by the capable chef skills of Manny Garcia, Tomas Hernandez, Bill Anello and Ira Shapiro.   Our members contributed by heaping two tables with a wide assortment of side dishes and desserts, all up for prizes and judged by an impartial panel of tasters.

Taking top honors for the side dishes were: 1st place, George Harvey’s corn casserole; 2nd place Bob Squier’s cucumber salad. Top honors for desserts went to: 1st place Cheryl Mullininx’s assorted cookies; 2nd place Carolyn Thiele’s peanut butter topped brownies.  In addition to the food competition member awards were given for Longest Drive – Larry Wechsler from Coral Springs; Oldest Antique Car – guest – soon to be member – Ken Willis, 1925 Dodge Brothers.

Thanks again to all who helped with the picnic, and all the members who by being there made this a very enjoyable event.

By Philip Williams
Photos by Bob Squier and Philip Williams

Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables Biltmore Way Classic Car Show – March 3, 2019

What a day it was. The weather couldn’t have been finer if the Coral Gables Visitor Bureau had ordered it.  The cars couldn’t have been better if the club selected them for the show.  We had 58 cars and three motorcycles registered for the show, and another 35 cars or so showed up on Sunday.  Some the cars we have seen before, but quite a few were making their first appearance.  With Carnaval on the Mile going strong on Miracle Mile, we had hundreds of spectators, many of whom were taking selfies alongside the gleaming cars displayed in front of Coral Gables City Hall.

As always, a show like this takes a lot of planning and preparation.  Guided by Show Chairman Andy Leavy, it came off without a hitch thanks to the helping hands of Philip Williams, Bob Squier, Jean and Maurice Hawa, Tomas Hernandez, Mel Mann, and Millie and Manny Garcia.

This is our annual judged show going by AACA rules, and thanks to Head Judges Manny and Millie Garcia and their able team of judges Larry Wechsler, Maurice Hawa, Peter Lacau, Al Padilla, Hank Tester, Tomas Hernandez, Ron Mitro, Tim Merriman, and Tom Graboski, awards were handed out to the best in each class plus a tie for Best in Show.

Best In Show – A tie
1950 Ford Custom – Larry Epstien
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air– Ralph Thiele

Other Winners:

Classic Cars 1925 – 1948 – American and European
1st – 1935 Swallow Coachbuilding (Jaguar) SS – Eduardo Zavala
2nd – 1929 Ford Model A – Ray Hoffman

American Production – 1925-1942
1st – 1931 Ford Model A Victoria
2nd – 1936 Cord

American Production – 1946-1969
1955 – Chevrolet Bel Air – Nivado Mora
1955 – Chevrolet Bel Air – Mike Merlo

American Production – 1970-1994
1st – 1985 Cadillac Eldorado Commemorative Edition – Conrad Vaquez
2nd – 1984 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham – John Houlsby

Factory High Performance – 1955-1994
1st – 1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC Z Z28 – Robert Brice
2nd – 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass – Domingo Concepcion

Corvette – All Years
1st – 1971 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1 – Mel Mann
2nd – 1968 Chevrolet Corvette – Eduardo Padron

Mustangs – All Years
1st – 1994 Ford Mustang Indy Pace Car – Bob Mayer
2nd -1966 Ford Mustang GT 2+2 – Jessica Lovio-Rodriguez

Foreign Cars Luxury – All Years
1st -1985 Mercedes-Benz R107 – Maria Gonzalez-Pacheco
2nd – 1994 Mercedes-Benz C320 – Al Lieber

Foreign Cars Non-Sporting – All Years
1st 1968 Volkswagen Beetle – Michael Rose
2nd – 1983 Austin Mini Cooper – Gary McDonald

Foreign Cars Sporting – All Years
1st 1952 Jaguar XK 120 Peter Housman
1985 Porsche 911 Targa – Maria Gonzalez-Pacheco

Trucks, Work Vehicles, Military Vehicles, Motorcycles – All Years
1st – 1960 Velocette LE 260 – Mark Sepulveda
2nd – 1970 Honda CT-70 – Mark Sepulveda

This is the 14th edition of the show and the best one yet. Here are some photos to enjoy.

Philip Williams
Photos by Bob Squier – Al Paldilla – Philip Williams – Mel Mann

Click on photo to enlarge.

13th Annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance – February 24, 2019

Leading up to the show, the weather forecast was predicting a 60% chance of rain.  As often happens with weather predictions, it was wrong.  Except for being unseasonably warm, it was a perfect day for the 13th Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance.  The field was filled with 120 cars from the early 1900’s to 1975: foreign and American, muscle cars and not-so-muscle cars, convertibles, coupes, sedans race cars, and a separate area filled with motorcycles.  As it’s been every year, there were marques and models most of us have only seen in photographs.  They are much more impressive in person. Enjoy the photos and next year come out and see these beauties in person.
Here is a link to the Official Photos of 13th Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance.

Photos by Bob Mayer, Mel Mann, Bob Squier, and Chris Williams

Art Deco Weekend – January 19-20, 2019

The weather in South Florida is one of its great attractions, especially in January when the news is full of heavy snow and bitter cold up north, but sometimes it can exact its price for its benefits by planning to deliver rain and wind on at least one day of the annual Art Deco Weekend on Ocean Drive on Miami Beach.  But that does not stop the show, and true to form, if one day was perfect, at least one part of the other day was made to test the waterproofing on the cars that participated in AACA South Florida’s contribution to the festival.

Saturday, January 19 was Chamber of Commerce perfect: mild temperatures and a gentle breeze off the ocean for the more than fifty cars that lined Ocean Drive.  Choosing the best was not easy among the wide variety of originals, modifieds, customs, and just plain fun vehicles on display.  The trophies went to Juergen Eisermann, Dylan Lorick, Lou Tassi, Evan Kolodny, Henry Mead, James Wright, Ana Martinez, Marvin Friedman, Jose Valero, Robert Brice and the Miami Beach Police Department for their 1955 police car.

All week leading up to the show, the team had been watching the weather predictions, knowing that many times the forecast would change in our favor.  This time, though, the weather gods were on target and the front of heavy rain passed over Miami Beach on Sunday, January 20, just as the show was opening.  But that did not deter the devoted hobbyists, and by 10:30 the rain tapered off and by 11:30 the sun was out, giving us the day we’d knew we’d have.  While the numbers were fewer, the cars were outstanding.  Once again the trophy decisions were tough, but they were well-earned.  Congratulations to Peter Lacau, Dirk de Groen, Eduardo Zavala, Marcel Hoinville, Gordon Gelrod, Jay Mullininx, Steve Greenblatt, Hank Tester, Clive Taylor, Patrick Mayer, and Jorge Martinez.

A show like this does not go on without the tireless guidance of the show chairmen: Mel Mann, Ira Shapiro, and Bob Squier.  They were ably assisted by Philip Williams, Rudy Rodriguez, Guy Lewis, Tomas Hernandez, Jean Hawa, Gary Shanock, Gary Stump, Al Padilla, Timothy Merriman, and Manny, Millie, and Gabriel Garcia.  This show would not be possible without the sponsorship of Grundy Insurance, represented by Jeff Broadus, and Williamson GMC Buick Cadillac.  We would also like to acknowledge the Miami Design Preservation League, without whom the festival would not take place, and the Miami Beach Police Department, who made it an enjoyable and safe weekend.  Thank you one and all.

By Philip Williams
Photos by Bob Squier, Al Padilla, Mel Mann, Bob Mayer and Bernie Ruder

Saturday

Sunday

Holiday Party – December 15, 2018

Even though we don’t get a white Christmas here in Miami, we still celebrate the holidays – all of them – with friends, food, and fun.  This year’s AACA South Florida Holiday Party was all of that, thanks to the efforts and creativity of Millie Garcia, who earned the honor of Most Valuable Member of 2018 in no small measure due to her enthusiasm and cheerful attitude in planning all the club events.

The party was at the Renaissance Ballroom with plenty of great food and room to mingle with friends who share the hobby, plus new members of the Board of Directors.  In our traditional bit of business, we swore in the Board for another year including new members Rudy Rodriguez, Al Padilla, and Timothy Merriman, Jr.  President Manny Garcia thanked all the board members for their efforts this year and looked forward to the events coming up, including Art Deco in January and the Coral Gables Show in March.

Then it was time to get down to the real business: the gift exchange, done in our new tradition of passing our presents along to the dulcet tones of Ken Kurtz as he read “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore.  On every “and” the presents were passed, and we all had visions of sugar plums – or something – as the poem reached the end: “Happy Christmas to all AND to all a good night!”

By Philip Williams

Photos by Jean Hawa, Ron Mitro, Philip Williams Oren Wunderman

Deering Estate Vintage Auto Show – November 18, 2018

On a spectacular mid-fall Sunday in South Florida, the Deering Estate opened its beautiful grounds for our 6th Annual Vintage Auto Show for pre-1960 vehicles.  As you will see, we had a variety of vehicles ranging from 1928 to 1959. The 32 cars and trucks were placed in chronological order from the Richmond Cottage along the southern edge of the great lawn and then parallel to Biscayne Bay. Also on display in front of the Stone House was the resident 1950 International Harvester truck.

Our supporter, Williamson Automotive Group, provided four fine examples of their current models on the field, making a startling contrast between old and new. Many visitors came to the Deering Estate to see the antiques. Joining us throughout the day were a flock of pelicans that flew overhead, a beautiful Great Egret, and a herd of manatees, also known as the sea cow, which are Florida’s state endangered marine mammals, a large aquatic relative of the elephant.

The overall comment was that it was a perfectly gorgeous day to have a car show. Activities for young and old were plentiful. Car owners submitted photographs of portions of their cars which became clues on paper for a scavenger hunt for children. It was a thrill watching the kids get excited as they matched the photo to the various cars. Even some of the adults joined in on the fun. There were old fashioned lawn games and plenty of tasty food from the Sports Grill. The car owners and their families enjoyed a leisure day in the 444-acre park overlooking Biscayne Bay. Besides going on guided historical house tours and natural area tours, they talked with the many visitors about their cars, picnicked, and kicked off their shoes to relax. Most of all, it was a very pleasant Sunday in the park.

The increased success of the show is due to many factors. I am thankful to all the car owners who brought out their cars. The staff members of the Deering Estate were so helpful with parking and setting up tents for us. Through the generosity of the Deering Estate, the car owners were able to obtain a one-year membership to the park. No car show can be accomplished without the help of other club members. Very instrumental were: Mike Penn obtained financial support from Williamson Automotive Group; Bob Squier created the windshield cars, photographed the cars and helped with registering the cars along with Philip Williams; and Maurice Hawa helped with signage and parking

By Jean Hawa
Photos by Al Padilla, Bob Squier and Philip Williams
Click on photos to enlarge.

Progressive Lunch – November 11, 2018

The day started out with the unique South Florida phenomenon of sunshine showers, but it didn’t deter the early risers who motored down to the home of Conrad Vazquez and Tania Santiago-Mirabel for a continental breakfast around the pool and under a tent as the last of the morning sun-showers tapered off.  Then it was on to the grounds of Eastridge Retirement Community where we parked on the lawn and put our cars on display for the residents, many of whom remembered their days behind the wheel of cars like those on display.  And then it was on to the home of Jay and Cheryl Mullininx who put out a luncheon spread that can only be described as sumptuous: roast beef, grilled chicken, potatoes with all the trimmings, and then the sugar-buzzing dessert selection.  Good food, good friends, and a beautiful day.  Thanks to all our hosts for opening their homes to us, Eastridge Retirement Community for inviting us, and to Manny and Millie Garcia for organizing this event.

By Philip Williams
Photos by Bob Squier, Philip Williams and Ira Shapiro