Because of the ever-changing landscape at these gatherings, we felt it was once again time to visit this bunch of car nuts who convene every other Wednesday at a restaurant in Sarasota, Florida, the Sarasota Café Racers, also known as Car Guys Who Lunch.
It’s an ever-changing, shape-shifting crowd of mostly senior car nuts, some of whom were entrepreneurs, chairmen of the board, CEOs, CFOs or managing directors in their careers, but most who were not. They are just a bunch of relaxed, knowledgeable car guys who collect, drive and race a mind-boggling array of machinery both foreign and domestic.
The last time we visited, many of the regulars were spending their summers at their other domiciles in places far less hot and sticky than Sarasota in July, but the parking lot was still full of interesting machinery. Everything from old hot rods to Fiat Abarths to American muscle cars to multi-million-dollar Ferraris
During the course of our recent visit, founding member Marty Schorr, who owns a Ford GT, a Jaguar XK-R, and a C6 Corvette, made it clear to another visitor to our lunch table that it’s just lunch.
This is not a club. There is no board of directors. There are no meetings. There are no dues. There are no speakers. There are no dinners or dances or holiday parties. There are no wives or girlfriends here. It’s just lunch, twice a month on Wednesdays, and the group has already outgrown several large restaurants in Sarasota, currently meeting at Geckos just off I-75. There is even a branch of Car Guys Who Lunch on the other side of the world in Iran!
Schorr, who has been involved with hot cars for close to 60 years, doesn’t miss many lunches. He was editor of Hi-Performance Cars, founding editor of Vette magazine, producer of many special magazine titles, promoter of Baldwin-Motion Chevrolet products, Buick PR man during the turbo V6 era and beyond, PR man for the Bulgari car collection, friend of Piero Rivolta, owner of an Iso Grifo, and author of some really authoritative muscle car history books. He knows everybody at the lunch tables, and they all greet him warmly before they sit down.
On weekends, many of these car guys also race, everything from the Peugeot 908 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans to a wide variety of Porsches from a 914 to a 917, to Bonneville cars and drag racing Ford Mustang Cobra Jets, so they’ll have something to tell the other guys about at the next lunch.
Unfortunately, we were not able to take our usual whole bunch of photographs to present to you, because the skies opened up and stayed open for the best part of 90 minutes, by which time the roomful of car guys had taken most of their rides home.