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Classics, Corvettes and Coupes at Kiwanis Car Show

At this show, the cars were the stars. From vintage rides with their hood ornaments glistening, to a long row of Corvettes, T-Birds and other muscle cars with engines you could eat off, exotic European marques, and at least one old jalopy in “barn find” rust and tattered upholstery, there was something for any car enthusiast, and enough to turn an auto agnostic into a true believer. 

The Marco Island Kiwanis held their annual car show on Saturday at Veterans’ Community Park, and if there was any doubt that America’s love affair with the car remains strong, the enthusiastic reception of a throng of visitors was enough to put it to rest. Thousands came out to admire the gleaming machines on a picture-perfect day.

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Dave O’Brien’s 1931 Model A Ford sports an enormous hood ornament.

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 A scissor-door Maserati stands out between two red Ferraris.

With longtime event organizer John De Rosa stepping down from wrangling the cars and drivers for the show, noted Marco Island car collector and philanthropist Bill Young stepped up to head the car portion of the show. He worked with Mike and Barbara Murphy, past co-presidents of the Kiwanis Club, who served as co-chairpersons. Mike Murphy said that over 2,200 spectators came to inspect the approximately 150 cars – as well as three motorcycles and one tractor. 

While Young has a stable of exotic sports cars, including, at last count, five Ferraris, he did not enter any of his vehicles in the show and arrived at the park driving his golf cart. Young anointed eight judges, each of whom roamed the park, visiting every vehicle before deciding on a personal favorite and awarding their own personal Best in Show. Young was one of the judges along with Island Automotive owner Keith Pershing, who had at least a couple of his own cars on display and 20 or so prime autos from his “groupies,” regular customers at his shop. Pershing said that judging such an outstanding group of cars was not his favorite thing to do. 

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Left-handed guitarist Aidan Schmittauer shreds a solo with the Academy of Rock.

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Len Palmer’s boattail replica is a one-of-a-kind hybrid.

“I like ’em all – that’s the problem,” he said. “And I know what they look like under the hood” –whereas the uninitiated among us might make our judgments from merely skin-deep appraisals. 

Without attaching individual judges’ names to their favorites, the winners were Pete Wojtowicz for his 1968 Mustang Shelby; John Strobel of Marco Island for his 2019 Ford GT; Jim Pinkerman for his 1940 Ford coupe; Bill Maxwell for his 1966 Sunbeam Tiger; Jason Horodam for his 1969 Cougar, Gary Van Cleef of Marco Island for his 1958 Corvette; Mac McWilliams for his 1967 Ford Galaxy 500; and John Salyards for his 1968 Dodge Coronet. 

There was also a People’s Choice award, with the winner selected by a popular vote of all the attendees. That trophy went to Dave Lehoten for his 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster. 

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 This 1968 Mustang Shelby, owned by Pete Wojtowicz, was a Best in Show. 

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A perfect day brought out a tremendous crowd of car enthusiasts. Thousands attended the annual Kiwanis Car Show at Veterans Community Park on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

The Marco Island Academy students, including Key Club and football team members, helped out with the event, guiding visitor parking, cooking burgers, and, in the shape of the ‘Academy of Rock,’ providing music during much of the show. Additional support came from the Marco Optimist Club, the Marco Island Fire Foundation, Bill and Karen Young, and Darcie and Pete Guerin. 

For car lovers who still want to see some sensational cars, Marco Island has two more events on tap. On Saturday, March 16, the Hideaway Car Show comes to the Hideaway Beach clubhouse parking lot, and on Saturday, April 6, the Marco Island Center for the Arts will host “Cars as Art.” 

This article was originally published by a www.coastalbreezenews.com . Read the Original article here. .

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