(Editor’s note: During the month of February, the ClassicCars.com Journal presents a series of stories exploring car clubs and what they offer to the collector car community. If you have a car club story to share, see the note at the end of this article.)
Venice, Florida, nestled on Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Shark Tooth Capital of the World, is still somewhat untouched by the current migration of northerners or seasonal winter ‘Snowbirds’ moving to or visiting Florida.
For the last 34 years, Venice’s 200-member Antique Automobile Club of America holds Venice’s second-largest event in the city’s historical downtown Centennial Park. Whether you own an antique car or a classic ride, the show offers 22 classes spanning all makes, models and years of cars and trucks.
Over 300 cars are on display each year, with attendance well over 10,000, allowing visitors and locals to enjoy Florida’s great weather and the best collection of automobiles anywhere in the state. Proceeds from the show are awarded to local charities.
Unfortunately, the show was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic but will return in 2022.
Even with the pandemic, our club continues ‘safe’ monthly car caravan trips that would fill any car enthusiast’s calendar.
Annual events include “Breakfast on the Beach” and our “Annual Picnic” held at one of our member’s home, which houses a replica of his father’s vintage Mobile 1948 gas station with gas pumps, automobile products and tools from the bygone era. But it doesn’t end there; in his garage bays are 25 antique and classic cars, including 1916 Cadillac, 1952-53 Hornets, 1953 Buick, and more.
Other club trips include a drive to the Myakka River State Park, ‘The Home of the Florida Alligator,” a river cruise and an opportunity to show off your classic car.
Our club also got a VIP tour of the Atlanta Braves’ new Spring Training facility in North Port, Florida, a great place to get outside and look forward to the upcoming 2021 baseball season.
More of our club’s favorite destinations are Florida’s many automobile and specialty museums. The pride and high you feel as you drive in a long caravan, with passing drivers looking on, honking their horns, wishing they could also be behind the wheel of their own classic car, make all the hours of polishing and keeping your classic car running well worth it!
Each month our club publishes a newsletter featuring member’s cars, events, feature stories, etc.
As the Baby Boom Generation passes the “Love of Cars” to the next generations, realizing that some of the new era cars have a totally different look, the camaraderie belonging to a car club or just owning a classic car will ensure that cars will always have a place in the Hearts of America!
— Rich Albrecht, Venice FL
Do you have a car club story you’d like to share? Just go to this link, fill in the information and submit your story to be considered for publication in our Car Club Series.