It’s July, it’s Florida, and it’s both hot and humid. Afternoon thundershowers are in the forecast every day. So let’s have an outdoor event with hundreds of people and Christmas decorations, classic cars and a toy drive!
That is just what happened at the Villages in Sumter County, northwest of Orlando. On the third Saturday of each month, car nuts gather in the Spanish Springs Town Square form 4pm to 9pm to show off their cars, trade stories, listen to music, dance, and have a great time. On this particular Saturday, participants and spectators were asked to bring an unwrapped toy to benefit underprivileged children in the local area, distributed by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. And what a success!
Cars are 1980 and older, displayed around the square and surrounding streets. The square is full of shops and restaurants that make this event a must-go every month. This day had Scooter the DJ playing music from four to ten; the Villages Twirlers Show Team and Drum Corps, food and bar vendors, a 50/50 drawing adding to the toys collected, and trophies for popular cars.
In our House Spouse visit to the Villages, we met lots of interesting people having a great time. The heat and humidity didn’t seem to have an effect, and the thunderstorms stayed away. And here’s a neat fact – according to the 2010 census, the average age of those living in the Villages is 71.1 years. This is definitely HouseSpouse territory, and these folks really show that life begins at fifty – and they are inspired!
Conversations didn’t just revolve around the cars. Politics, tennis, football, auto racing, history, and lots of other topics all blended together to make for an interesting day. Walking up and joining in the conversation was easy with this community of smart, involved people.
But what about the cars?
The cars were fantastic. Chevrolet muscle cars were well represented, including SS396 Chevelles and Camaros, various El Caminos of both early and later vintage, a nice Corvair and even a Vega with a V8. There were more Trans Am’s than I have seen in one place in a while. Hot Rods included some ’32 Fords, Model A’s in both rodded and stock form, and some nice Model T’s – even a T-Bucket Hot Rod. An AMC AMX was in attendance, pre-war hot rods and a replica Porsche 356 were joined by a Beetle convertible and a Karmann Ghia convertible, side-by-side with Mustangs. Mopars were well represented with a Superbird and some 440’s in various bodies. Here is the surprise – organizers said that the turnout was light due to the fact that many of their regulars are vacationing!
As they say in the Porsche Club, “It’s about the people.” That is true here, too, at this event. The people we met were absolutely wonderful! Smiles and friendly comments were everywhere. And everyone has a golf cart – the way that most get around the community. We asked one resident what made this community so special. His response was simple – “Everything is here and close by. Entertainment, community, shopping, restaurants – it’s all here, and you can get to almost everything by golf cart.” I can see why people like the Villages, and I can see why the growth rate from 2000 to 2010 was over 500%!!
Take a look at some great photos of some great folks!
There were a couple of folks who we met who deserve special mention. One fellow was Sam Loring who brought his red Chevy SS396, using the car to advertise his book, Triumph. Under the pen name S.L. Benelli, the book points out “the absolute corruption of political correctness and shows how it permeates the law and erodes the fair governance of the people.” I bought a copy, but it is also available online from Amazon and other outlets. I’ll review it soon at HouseSpouseLife.com.
Another interesting guy had a great metalflake Mustang with the most fabulously outrageous paint job. Painting custom cars is his business, and as we stood there talking, he pointed out all the cars at the show that he painted. John Pomicter from High Gloss Paint and Body is the hot rodder’s friend. He is there in the local area at 111 North Clay Avenue, Lady Lake, and can be contacted at 352-753-8248.
This event has to be on the House Spouse Car Enthusiast list. The cars are of the highest quality, the people are great and the restaurants, bars and shops are welcoming and wonderful. You have to go!
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