After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the members of the AACA South Florida Region gathered for our annual picnic, returning to Larry and Penny Thompson Park with nearly sixty club members, family, and friends showing up for the fun, the food, and the company, along with a nice but small selection of antique cars due to the threat of rain (that never materialized).
This year’s picnic, organized by Manny and Millie Garcia, was catered with barbecue chicken, pulled pork, barbecue beans, cole slaw, and corn on the cob. Our members contributed by loading 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 to Dianne Preuss’ baked fruited brie; 2nd place to Bill Anello’s eggplant parmesan. Top honors for desserts went to: 1st place to Jean Hawa’s Oreo cheesecake; 2nd place to Isabel Hernández’s tres leches dessert. In addition to the food competition, awards were given for the Longest Drive – Isabel Hernández from way out Coral Way; Member of the club with the longest years – George Harvey, and Oldest Car – Danny Hernández for his 1964 Ford Galaxy 500.
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
Mother Nature has run the gamut on weather for the Cars in the Garden Show at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden: hot and humid, rainy and windy, even the close pass of a tropical depression. On Sunday, January 30, 2022, she gave us the cold shoulder with early-morning temperatures hovering in the low 40’s. But the sky was beautifully clear, the lawn was soft, not muddy, and those of us who braved the cold were bundled up like our northern friends in gloves and stocking caps and put on a great show with over fifty antiques and Corvettes spread out among the beautiful garden. By noon the thermometers were edging up to more customary South Florida winter weather, and when the trophies were handed out for Best in Class and the Best of Show awards were handed out to Frank Rubino for his 1947 Allard M1 and Stephen Greenblatt for their 1967 Chevrolet Corvette, we all had had a great time.
Thanks to show chairs Jean Hawa and Chico Goldsmith and volunteers Gary Shanock, Maurice Hawa, Larry Wechsler, Cheryl Mullininx, Mille Garcia and Tomas Hernandez for making this once again our most bucolic and picture-worthy show.
Photos by Al Padilla, Philip Williams and Bob Squier
It was worth the wait.
After last year’s show was cancelled due to the pandemic, we were ready to come back to Biltmore Way in Coral Gables for the Rubenstein Law Antique Car & Motorcycle Show on March 6, 2022. The club members and new friends were also ready: more than 75 vehicles pre-registered for the show, and at least fifteen more came on the day of the show. And what a day it was. After enduring iffy and wet weather for at least one show this year, the weather could not have been better, even with a brisk breeze to get the flags fluttering and keep us cool. Of course, this being Florida, what would a day be without a sprinkle or two, but that didn’t dampen the spirit and deter anyone from showing off their car or motorcycle. And we are already planning for next year.
Thanks to volunteers Bob Squier, Jean Hawa, Gary Shanock, Ron Mitro, Bill Anello, Tomas Hernandez, and Philip Williams for getting the field ready and parking the cars as they arrived. The judging team, led by Manny and Millie Garcia, fanned out to look over the participants. Thanks to Asst. Head judge Tomas Hernandez, John Layzel, George Harvey, David Hicks, Ron Metro, Bill Anelo, Conrad Vasquez, Jeff Ashen and Stella Ashen for choosing the winners. We send a special thanks for Show Chair Andy Leavy for all the work he did to get this show back after the interruption, and thanks to our sponsor, Rubenstein Law, for their support. We could not do it without the efforts of many club members.
Ariel Photos by Robert Hernandez
Photos by Jean Hawa, Ron Mitro and Bob Squier
1930 Ford Model A Phaeton
Deering Estate Vintage Auto Show – November 7, 2021
Sunday, November 7, was the kind of day that people come from all over the world to Florida for: clear, cool, low humidity, and a soft breeze. It was the kind of day that was made for a car show in a magnificent setting such as the Deering Estate on the shore of Biscayne Bay. More than thirty cars and trucks were displayed, gleaming in the sun, attracting many visitors and admiring gazes. Thanks to the leadership of Jean Hawa, this was one of the most memorable shows in years, and it was a wonderful way to start the new show season.
Thank you to the people of the Deering Estate who made it happen as well as thanks to volunteers who helped out: Bob Squier, Ira Shapiro, and Philip Williams.
By Philip Williams
Photos by Al Padilla and Bob Squier
Saturday: It was perfect weather: clear skies, temperatures in the 70’s, and a gentle breeze that carried that mix of salt air and cooking from the street vendors and restaurants that line Ocean Drive on South Beach. It was, as they say, a day ordered by the Chamber of Commerce for the Art Deco Weekend Saturday. We also had a good turnout of cars to display – over twenty – and while we’d hoped for more, the ones that came were beautiful and a few of them were exotic. Our judges strolled among them and chose the winners and a Best of Show.
Click image go to gallery images.
Sunday: If Saturday was the perfect day, Sunday showed us that even the Chamber of Commerce is no match for a weather front. We held out hopes that the line of storms would hold off, and they did, but giving us a taste of what was to come with gusty winds and clouds. Nevertheless, we had a good turnout of original or restored to share with the crowds, and it wasn’t until the stroke of 1:00 p.m. that Mother Nature barreled through with wind and rain. But as with much weather in South Florida, it was over quickly, in time to hand out the trophies for the day’s winners and a Best of Show.
Ira’s 1968 MG B-GT
What a contrast between a rainy February 13th and a sunny April 24th! Yes, that was the difference between the washed-out car show ten weeks ago and the most recent very successful car show at Vizcaya Farm Village. Twenty-four antiques graced the perimeter path of the historic site which was adjacent to the weekly farmers market. Except for one vehicle, the antiques ranged from 1916 to 1968. A 1973 International Harvester was allowed beyond the accepted pre-1969 age limit because James’ father, William Deering, was the founder of the Deering Harvester, which produced tractors and trucks. The company merged with the Cyrus Hall McCormick Company eventually becoming the International Harvester Company.
In 1916, the Vizcaya Village was built alongside the Villa Vizcaya of James Deering. Its purpose was to make Vizcaya self-sufficient. The 180 acres of land contained eleven buildings which were purposed to house staff, vehicles, and farm animals. Most of the land was used to grow fruits and vegetables for the family, guests and staff’s consumption. Greenhouses provided fresh flowers to adorn the Villa and provide for multiple gardens.
Show Chair Ira Shapiro executed an extremely informative guided tour around the Village which highlighted the biography of James Deering, the architectural planning of the buildings and gardens, the effects of hurricanes and 1929 Stock Market Crash, and the purpose of the buildings inside the Village.
As with any car show, it takes several volunteers to assist with the execution of the event. Beginning with Show Chair Ira Shapiro, thank you for requesting an invitation to hold the show. Thanks to all the car owners who brought out their show cars, Bob Squier for creating the windshield cars, greeting the participants, and taking photographs, Tomás Hernández for helping place the cars, Maurice and Jean Hawa for transporting the club equipment, Conrad Vazquez for manning the information table, and Manny and Millie Garcia for providing the doughnuts and coffee.
By Jean Hawa
Photos by Bob Squier
On a balmy Saturday we gathered at the Winston Park Community Center to celebrate the holidays with good food, gifts and the company of our fellow members. Several members drove their classic cars and parked in a nice grassy lot reserved for them. With our members moving about the tables, and judging from the constant din of conversation punctuated by laughter, everyone was having a good time. When we were finished dining on Caesar Salad, roast beef, chicken, roast potatoes, seasoned vegetables, rolls and decadent desserts we had some club business to attend to. Out-going President Ira Shapiro called up the new board of directors and administered the oath of office. His last official act of office was passing the steering wheel of Office of the President to incoming President to Millie Garcia.
We then proceeded to raffling off gifts to everyone. There were many oohs and aahs as the gifts were displayed for all to see. All in all, everyone had a good time and left with a full stomach and gift bags in hand.
Here are some photos from the day.
Photos by Bob Squier
Getting together again after lock-down.
Food, fun, fine weather, friends, and Fords – at least two Model A’s – made up the journey of the Progressive Lunch from Tropical Park through the beautiful streets and past the historic villages in Coral Gables on the way to the home of Cheryl and Jay Mullininx on Saturday, November 13. Following the trail laid out by Ira Shapiro, the members of the club saw the Florida Pioneer Village, the Italian Village, Chinese Village, the French Country Village, the French City Village, and the Dutch South African Village, all examples of early 20th Century architecture that reflected the influence of those styles on American residences, all dreamed up by George Merrick, the founder of Coral Gables. In addition, the club learned new routes through the back roads and relearned how to negotiate the newest vestige of international design: the traffic circle. Upon arrival at the destination in Palmetto Bay, Cheryl and Jay welcomed us to their spacious home and backyard and a fine luncheon of roasted chicken, beef tenderloin, baked potatoes, salad, and a dessert selection that boggled the mind, not to mention the sugar quotient.
Thank you to Ira Shapiro for providing us with the guide to the homes – and the pre-lunch appetizers – and to Cheryl and Jay for their hospitality. The thanks of the club was shown by presenting them with a certificate of appreciation and the gift of a spa day for both of them: a relaxing time well-earned.
By Philip Williams
Photos by Jean Hawa and Bob Squier
Colorful art and murals, music, food, drinks, and vintage classic cars were once again a theme for Cuba Nostalgia 2022, an all-Cuban exhibition show that is presented every year to celebrate the Island cultural roots, traditions, and cultural heritage. The festival coincides with Cuban Independence Day of May 20th and is held at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fairgrounds. At the end of the final musical show, organizers appealed to the younger Cuban generation and to the Cuban American population in an effort to continue preserving this unique tradition and folklore. AACA South Florida Region and other car enthusiasts were once again invited to participate and to display their classic vehicles. Among the cars in the venue, a blue 1954 Buick and a red 1957 Chevy Bel-Aire were purposely stationed at the pedestrian main entrance depicting the Cuban Flag colors. A 1958 Century hardtop, a 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe coupe and various excellent examples of Cadillacs were displayed to augment the vintage classic car exhibit. Good news: organizers extended an invitation to next year event.