Report and photos by Louis Galanos
Blessed with chamber-of-commerce-perfect weather, a record turnout of over 35,000 spectators were drawn to over 640 vintage cars, motorcycles and boats. It is no wonder this event is considered one of the best of its kind in the Southeast.
The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival is unique because of its surroundings (a beautiful city park next to a lake in the heart of Lakeland) and the number and types of vehicles on display. There was literally something for everyone spread out over a 16-block area. In fact, to give justice to each and every car there a spectator would have spent an entire day moving from car to car with very little time for food or even a potty break.
Another unique aspect of this event is that it was free to the general public thanks to the generosity of 24 local merchants who sponsor the event as a method to raise funds for Lakeland’s area non-profit groups. Last year over $250,000 was raised.
This year’s Honorary Chairperson was racing driver Lyn St. James. Lyn holds the distinction of being the first female to win Indy 500 Rookie of The Year (1992) honors in addition to having raced in seven Indianapolis 500 events. At Indy she also set the closed-course record for women in 1995 with a speed of 225.722 mph.
Besides Indy she has also raced at Sebring, Le Mans, the Goodwood Revival and is the only woman to win an IMSA GT race (Watkins Glen 1985).
Best of Show (Pre-War Classic) was awarded to the 1933 Chrysler Imperial Dual Cowl Phaeton of Vernon and Ida Smith, while Best of Show (Post-War) went to the 1953 Buick Skylark of Sam Feinberg. (Both winners were prepared by Harbor Auto Restoration in Rockledge, FL.) The Chairman’s Tophy was presented to a 1922 Miller 122 Board Track Racer owned by the Collier Collection. (See Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival 2010 Award Winners)
In addition to the many vintage cars there was also a display of vintage and classic motorcycles and, new this year, a classic wooden boat show on nearby Lake Mirror. The sponsors of the event even set aside a “Cars for Sale” area for anyone wishing to part with their vintage auto.
For vintage and classic car, motorcycle and boat aficionados, The Lake Mirror Classic provided a smorgasbord of delectable treats that was hard to resist. If you are in central Florida during the second week of October next year you would be well advised to make the time to visit the Lake Mirror Classic.
For more information, visit www.lakemirrorclassic.com.
Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival 2010 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
[Source: Louis Galanos]