everal hundred people enjoyed the fifth annual 49th Street South Business Association’s car show fundraiser on Saturday, February 4 at the Tangerine Greenway park, 4900 Tangerine Avenue S., Gulfport from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds benefitted the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association’s fallen officer fund that helps the children of fallen officers killed in the line of duty, said Phil Reed, project chairperson. About 60 vehicles were pre-registered for the event.
At the fifth annual 49th Street South Business Association’s car show fundraiser, Robert Joyner of St. Petersburg took Grand Champion honors with his museum restored 1931 Lincoln. The Burling model is also considered a K car, said Joyner. It has a straight-eight engine, four suicide doors that open from front to back, a split windshield and it is considered a limousine because it has a butler seat in the back along with a moveable window to separate the interior. He and his grandfather James “Jim” Stephenson purchased the car together. Now, Joyner says he and his wife “enjoy it as much as we can.” What wax does he use to polish it about once a month? Meguiar’s.
The interior of Robert Joyner’s 1931 Lincoln showcases some of the details as to why it was chosen as the Grand Champion. The steering wheel has three levers. The bottom one controls the headlights, the middle one adjusts the amount of spark the engine gets in order to fire, and the top one is the throttle that determines how much the carburetor is being opened to allow fuel to enter. The nobs and gauges on the dashboard include a choke, a tachometer and a working cigarette lighter.
Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson’s choice went to Damian Macaluso of Tampa for his 1950 Blue Studebaker Champion. “I love this bullet nose design,” said Macaluso. “Working my way through school, I worked in a garage that was a Studebaker dealership.” The name of his prize wheels? Stude.
Bob Hall towers over his 1932 Ford Rat Rod that is a collection of parts he’s acquired from Craig’s list, junkyards and flea markets. Hence the vehicle’s name: Rata2e for the ratatouille French salad “that is a mixture of all kinds of different ingredients,” said Hall. The Rat Rod lives in its own four-car garage because “it deserves it,” he said. Hall built the vehicle from scratch over a period of three years. To use it on the streets near where he lives in New Port Richey, he pushes a button and the car elevates up by compressed air to driving height.
Jack Handy’s sense of humor is all over his tiny electric car called a Cyclops. He built it on a golf cart frame after he saw a similar vehicle at a car show in northern Florida. He lives in Parrish and uses it to drive to the local supermarket for beer. “I wanted something unique for the inside paneling,” he said. “So, I searched online for a long time until I found the animals in sports cars theme for the interior. I thought it was kind of a neat idea.” His daughter, Lisa Handy, is a Gulfport resident.
Mike Sherman loves to talk about what his 2005 Lincoln used to look like on the outside – pearl white. Now, it’s jet black with a bright yellow racing stripe down the middle. But, that’s not all. One of the things he upgrade were the Lambo doors. The Lamborghini style swing-up doors are original but the hinges are not. “We had to take the fenders off, weld steel bars on the engine compartment and mount cylinders then hook them to the doors,” he said. He even has a flat panel television mounted to the interior of the trunk lid so he can watch sporting events while attending car shows.