All posts by Bob Squier

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


Cars in the Garden – October 28, 2018

We have had Cars in the Rain, Cars in the Post-Hurricane Clean-up Traffic Jam, even Cars in the Fog.  But the 2018 Cars in the Garden show at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden was none of the above: nothing but a perfectly clear sky, cool morning temperatures, low humidity, and a gentle breeze to make it a day that encapsulates what makes showing cars in Florida the envy of clubs around the country.  Thanks to Jean Hawa and Cliff Gibson, AACA South Florida and the Sunshine Corvette Club brought out over 70 antiques and Corvettes to the paradise of the tropical gardens and welcomed hundreds of visitors, many with kids in tow and in costume to take part in the festivities.

We wish to thank Hector Gonzalez of Mr. Joseph Fine Dry Cleaning and Mike Dion of Dion Generator Solutions for their support of our show.

We also have to thank the many volunteers who made it happen: For the Antique Show Maurice Hawa did show setup and parking. Philip Williams and Gary Shanock handled the registration table. Luis Quevedo, Tomas Hernandez, William Anello, Ken Hilton, Gary Stump, Ira Shapiro,  and Bob Squier directed the cars to their parking area, and Jean Hawa brought bagels and coffee and awarded the trophies.  Frank Jacobs, Cliff Gibson, Perley Richardson and Larry Carman helped with the Corvette Show setup and parking.  Diane Preuss, Pam and Chuck Schumacher helped with voting tabulation, and Ron Mitro helped with trophy setup and presentation.  Additionally we need to thank Cliff Gibson and Luis Quevedo for their fund raising efforts.

By Philip Williams
Photos by Bob Squier and Philip Williams

MIDFLORIDA Auto Show & Lake Mirror Concours – October 20, 2018

There are certain car events that may have a formal name, but they’ve become known and legendary by a simple word or phrase: Pebble Beach.  Amelia.  Meadowbrook.  Add to that Lake Mirror in Lakeland, Florida.  It started out nineteen years ago as the Lake Mirror Concours and has evolved into the MIDFLORIDA Auto Show and Lake Mirror Concours with over 75 antique and classic vehicles on the Lake Mirror Promenade that also included motorcycles and wooden boats, and a street show in downtown Lakeland with over 500 cars from hot rods to classics and everything in between.  It has become a go-to destination for many AACA South Florida members with cars on the Promenade and on the streets of Lakeland.  It’s also seen as a warm-up for the Amelia Island event the following March with vehicles that could take home the prize from that prestigious event.

But most of all it’s just plain fun.  This October AACA South Florida put in a strong appearance with everything from a prize-winning Mercedes-Benz 600 to a one-of-a-kind Healey Silverstone and many other cars from our membership.  We also spend time at some of the various informal social events (in other words, trying out the local restaurants), and just enjoying the scenery of a nice town in central Florida that welcomes thousands of visitors with a smile and great weather.

Attending this year’s show were members Mel Mann, Guy Lewis, Dirk de Groen, Frank Rubino, Martin Roca, Eduardo Zavala, and Nivardo Mora who displayed their cars on the Promenade.  John Layzell, Philip Williams, Mike Arias, and Jay Mullininx displayed their cars in the street show.  Other members who attended were Maurice and Jean Hawa, Andy Leavy, Ed Raabe, Tomas Hernandez, Mike Penn, Bob Mayer, Ira and Susan Shapiro, and Alex Fardales.  Bob Squier was there judging cars on the Promenade for the fourth time.

By Philip Williams
Photos by Bob Squier, Philip Williams, Mel Mann, and Andy Leavy

Memory Lane – October 5-13, 2018

Memory Lane 2018 will go down in the record books as part of the first Miami International Auto Show in the newly-renovated Miami Beach Convention Center.  After more than two years of work and the interruption of Hurricane Irma, AACA South Florida brought forth some of the finest cars in our club, including a 1958 Mercedes Benz 300 D ‘Adenauer’ that was owned by both Fulgencio Batista and Fidel Castro, although it’s not clear that they shook hands on the deal.  Also on display was a 1994 Ford Mustang Cobra, the pace car of the 1994 Indianapolis 500.  The amazing part of its story is that the odometer turned over 1,000 miles on the way to the show.

As in years past, the Havana Classics were a separate part of the show in its own setting and included a 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Phaeton, a 1947 Chrysler New Yorker, a 1950 Matchless G9 motorcycle, a 1954 Buick 72R Roadmaster, a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, a 1959 Oldsmobile 98, and as previously noted, the 1958 Mercedes Benz 300 D ‘Adenauer’.  Every one of these cars evoked memories of Havana in days gone by.  All that was missing was a mojito in hand and the cry of the gulls over the Malecon.

Memory Lane took up two areas on the main floor of the center and provided room for the crowd of over 600,000 estimated visitors to see their automotive past, be they teens envious of the muscle cars of the ‘70’s and 80’s like the Shelby GT-350, AMX, and Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z Z-28; British invasion fans of the English sports cars such as the Austin-Healey and MG; movie buffs who wanted to go back to the future in their 1981 DeLorean, the die-hard Mustang and Corvette denizens, the tasteful stylings of Rolls-Royce and Volvo, and even the families remembering summer vacation treks in the 1988 Pontiac Safari station wagon.  For those who prefer wind in their hair (assuming they still have some) and maybe bugs in their teeth, there were motorcycles to remind them that you meet the nicest people on a Honda.  There was even a reminder of the old Cold War with a Fiat 126 P, the P standing for Poland, the land of its birth.  The 1,000 mile Mustang Cobra was followed by its little brother; a 1994 Indy Pace Car Mini Replica go-kart for kids of all ages.  In all, twenty-nine cars took up the floor and caught the attention of the crowd.

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped set up the show and get it ready, and to those who made the effort and took the time to come to Miami Beach to help keep an eye on the cars and answer the questions of the visitors.  The show could not go on without you.  And of course a big thank you to show chair Mel Mann, who coordinates it all, and co-chairs Ira Shapiro, Bob Squier, and Philip Williams.  We may have missed 2017, but we more than made up for it this year.

By Philip Williams
Photos by Bob Squier, Philip Williams, Bob Mayer, Ira Shapiro, and Mel Mann

Cars and Cigars – June 17, 2018

On a hot and humid (in other words summer in South Florida) Father’s Day Sunday, 39 car enthusiasts ventured out to the Cars and Cigars Car Show at the Barnacle State Park in Coconut Grove.  Our club had a strong showing with 12 cars.  We also had club members come by as spectators.  Besides the cars and the great views, you could take a tour of the historic 1891 Barnacle House.  To enhance the experience, there was live folk music and a lunch of hotdogs and hamburgers.  As usual with car shows, there was the fine art sitting behind your car in the shade, talking to people who had questions or stories to tell, and of course catching up with friends and making new ones.  All in all it was a great day.

Story and photos by Bob Squier

Annual Picnic – May 5, 2018

Once again the members of the AACA South Florida Region gathered for the annual picnic, this time at Larry and Penny Thompson Park. Again we scheduled it for May so that there was less chance of rain and it would be cooler. This year it didn’t work out as well with temperatures in the mid-80’s, lots of humidity and on-again-off again drizzle.

Nevertheless, nearly 50 club members showed up for the fun, the food, and the company.  A few brave souls brought out their antique cars, but most came in their daily drivers.

This year’s picnic was a catered affair under the chairmanship of Manny Garcia, Millie Garcia and Tomas Hernandez who also brought the table decorations.   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, Bob Squier’s Cucumber Salad; 2nd place George Harvey’s Corn Casserole. Top honors for desserts went to: 1st place Elena Williams’ Chess Bars; 2nd place Diane Ash’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.  In addition to the food competition member awards were given for Longest Drive – Amy Axelrod from Delray Beach; Eldest Member – Carlton Bahn- (also a member since 1955); Oldest Antique Car – Paul Cotner – 1931 Model A Roadster; Newest Member – John Houlsby (joined two months ago); Newest Antique Car – Ira Shapiro- 1993 Cadillac Allante.

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

Post and Photos by Bob Squier

Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables Biltmore Way Classic Car Show – March 4, 2018

Oh what a day!  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 60 cars and one motorcycle 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 Hawa, Ron Mitro, Tomas Hernandez, Luis Quevedo, Mel Mann, Gary Shanock, Ira Shapiro and Bill Anello.

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, Alex Fardales, Ed Raabe, Tomas Hernandez, Ron Mitro, Bill Anello, Luis Quevedo, Tim Merriman, and Tom Graboski, awards were handed out to the best in each class plus Best Pre-War and Best Post-War.

This is the 13th edition of the show and the best one yet. Here are some photos to enjoy.

Photos by Jean Hawa, Mel Mann, Bob Mayer, Al Padilla, Bob Squier and Philip Williams


12th Annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance – February 25, 2018

What a day – what a car show.  Excuse me, what a Concours d’Elegance.  The field was filled with 240 cars from early 1900’s to 1975: foreign and American, muscle cars and not-so-muscle cars, convertibles, coupes, sedans race cars, beach cars, amphicars, motorcycles, and a boat.  There were models I’ve seen at many car shows and models that I’ve never seen other than in photographs.  If you didn’t come away with your car appetite sated then you weren’t paying attention.  Here are some photos and a link to photos taken by the event photographer.

Photos by Bob Squier and Jean Hawa

Boca Raton Event Photographer’s Photos