Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cruise to Englewood's Classic Car Show

Get revved up the first Saturday of each month at the Englewood car show.  Located on Dearborn Street, coming from I-75, take the River Road exit, and follow River Road until it turns into Dearborn Street.  The closer you get to the Gulf of Mexico, the more you will feel as if you are in a time warp.

Classic cars cruise up and down the street, along with outlandish motorcycles, each one cooler than the next.  Between the cars parked along Dearborn and the constant cruisers, you might have to worry about whiplash, as your head will be ping ponging back and forth.  There’s so many cars and bikes to take in, it’s hard to pick a favorite; just as soon as you found a favorite, there will be another one.

Loud engines that sound like boats from the finely tuned machines will cause you to rubberneck, taking in flawless paint jobs that have ghost flames and exotic decor.  One Cadillac trunk has Elvis’ ring-adorned hand reaching out with a note dangling between the massive fins on the back.  Other cars are towing replica golf carts that perfectly match the color and design of the 1950’s, creating the perfect duet.

There’s the coffin rat rod, a custom designed wood coffin-shaped car with spiderwebbed paint and skull emblems.  The fat tires in the back beg to squeal out and show you how powerful the motor is under the hood.  That car was found inside of the classic car shop located on Dearborn called Velvet Hammer Motorcars, which houses a number of cream puff originals that can be purchased by car lovers.

The gamut ranged from softly purring original vintage engines to heart pounding, erratic, finely tuned street cams.  Glance under the hoods to check out the nitrous, and imagine the g-forces making your cheeks peel back when racing the one of a kind classics.  Unique glossy paints show the love put into restoring these muscle cars, which makes for an awesome trip down memory lane when those muscle cars were commonly cruising the streets.

To rest, duck into one of the open-air cafes.  The streets are lined with throngs of admirers and owners eager to share the details of the many hours they have put into their rides.  From cars that were once piles of junk salvaged from farms and lovingly restored, to classics kept in mint condition over the years, the pride and love of ownership of these unique machines is more than evident from small conversation.

Cruise on over, smoke the tires, and squeal out to Dearborn Street the first Saturday of each month.  This is a free event, so it is worth sauntering over to hear the oldies music.  There are prizes given away for people who can identify songs and other contests, making for a good time to be had by all.

If you're more into the exotics, the 2nd Annual Exotic Car Festival will be held Saturday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, FL.  More than 100 exotic cars, including rare Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Lotus, Rolls Royces, McLarens will be on display, along with a display of Swat Team Tactical vehicles from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.  To show your exotic car, contact or (941) 356-4626.

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