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
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