by Clara Cain
While most Americans are scraping ice from their cars, car collectors here in Fort Myers are cleaning and putting a show-shine on theirs. Collector cars are not usually driven daily, however, in Southwest Florida, many collectors bring them out often for a little show-and-tell at local car shows.
In open shows, any car or truck can be shown. Usually, the classes are divided by years, not models, and are either stock or modified. Generally, trophies are given for Best of Show in Class and Over All Best of Show. Car owners pay an entry fee of no more than $25, and that money is usually donated to a charity by the organization, business, or club sponsoring the show. Looking is free!
The Corvette Club has several shows that are open to any car or truck, but also have special classes for just Corvettes. There are shows put on by communities like Pelican Preserve, businesses like the Del Tura Law Firm, and even the Cypress High School Band. Anybody can sponsor a car show and there are companies that specialize in judging and running them.
There are specialty shows like the AACA or Antique Automobile Club of America, in Marco Island where the newest car is 1981. The Naples fifth Avenue Show is mainly high end cars like Ferraris.
You might like the Hot Rods and Hogs show at Jet Blue Park, but my favorite is the February Antique Ford Show at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. The show is on Henry Ford’s lawn set against the Caloosahatchee River. With period players in costume and a hundred antique Fords on site, it is like going back in a time machine and is a wonderful photo opportunity. Admission to the Estates includes the museum as well as the car show.
Shows still to come are the Mustang Show and Thunderbird Show at the Edison Ford Winter Estates, on March 4 and 25, respectively. A new show this year is the Billy’s House of HUUUUGE Car & Truck Show at Fucillo Kia in Port Charlotte on March 25.
There are cruises, competition shows, and cars on display somewhere in Lee County nearly every week in the winter. When you can’t find one, consider visiting a car museum like Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda where you can spend the day, have a burger, and shop for souvenirs. Learn more at musclecarcity.net.