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