Sun, sand and special cars

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Among the many crowd pleasers was this Volkswagen van, shown alongside a small-scale model of itself | Jim McCraw photos

For the last 22 years around Spring Break time, the Elliott Museum in Stuart, Florida, has hosted an event called Classics On The Beach, in part because the big, monolithic museum is located only a couple of hundred feet from the Atlantic Ocean.

The museum, started more than 50 years ago to honor the memory of his father by Harmon Elliott, son of inventor and bicycle manufacturer, Sterling Elliott, presents the event every spring and it is always packed with an enormous variety of cars, trucks, race cars and oddities.

One of the reasons is that the Elliott is an art museum as well as a car museum, currently housing a collection that starts with one of the repro 1886 Benz Patent Motor Wagons and includes early iron like Duryea, Stanley, REO, Maxwell, Hupmobile, Moline, Detroit Electric, Hudson Durant, Stutz and Bugatti among the historic brands, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln and Porsche among the living brands. The collection includes an enormous variety of Ford Model A cars and Model AA trucks and commercial vehicles, wooden boats and motorcycles.

The outdoor show this year was exceptional, with gorgeous Florida weather pulling dozens of cars out of their garages and onto the Elliott’s parking lot. Music, food, drink, lots of local car club members and tons of spectators made it just about perfect.

 

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Jim McCraw has been writing about cars, motorcycles, design, technology, car people and racing for 50 years, in such publications as Hot Rod Deluxe, Super Chevy, Muscle Mustangs, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Penthouse, Winding Road, The Mercedes-Benz Star, AutoWeek, The New York Times, and a number of European publications. He was executive editor of Motor Trend, editor of Hot Rod and Super Stock. He co-holds the record for the drive from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, 96:22, and has run in major events such as the Mille Miglia Storica in Italy, Goodwood, the California Mille, the Colorado Grand, the New England 1000, Forza Mille, and four One Lap Of America competitions He owns a pristine Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan.

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