Colors range from electric blues to glossy lemon yellows. Real wood grain dashboards and leather rumble seats adorn the interiors. Bright silver chrome shimmering in the sun, running boards and perfectly lacquered finishes grace the stylish bodies. An irresistible sight that no one can pass up. This is the way many believe cars were meant to be.
|1909 Sears Kit Car|
Marlin Crider remembers the day when he bought his first DeSoto, a brand-new, two-tone green custom Sportsman Coupe for $2,895,” said the car enthusiast and regular participant at the annual Cecil Pines Antique Auto Show and Open House. “I still have that car, including the bill of sale and the factory warranty. There’s just something special about that car. I never wanted to get rid of it.”
Each fall, you will find Marlin and other auto enthusiasts at the Cecil Pines Adult Living Community campus when it transforms into an automobile heaven on earth as gear heads, staunch aficionados, novice collectors and fans of custom, classic and antique cars come from across the state of Florida to view automobiles from the early 1900s through the 1970s. Among the beauties on display have included a 1909 Sears kit car and sheriff’s department dragster, 1929 Ford Model A roadster, 1938 Buick hearse, 1969 Pontiac GTO muscle car, 1926 Sunbeam and of course plenty of 1957 Chevys, a favorite among car enthusiasts and fans.
Antique and classic car shows are not uncommon in Jacksonville, Florida but what makes the Cecil Pines show special is that in exchange for free admission, games, food and music, visitors are encouraged to donate to the American Cancer Society of Northeast Florida. And for the past 13 years they have done so, helping Cecil Pines raise close to $43,000 for Alzheimer’s and Cancer research.
“I think our show is popular because it’s a relaxing, fun day with an important purpose,” said Byran Beinkampen, who recently retired as Cecil Pines’ executive director but still supports and attends the show. “Usually classic and antique car shows are about competition, but not ours. We just like to have a good time, reminisce about years past, visit with friends, eat some good food, listen to music and enjoy dozens of fine looking cars and trucks while supporting Alzheimer’s and Cancer research. It’s like a big backyard barbeque and everyone is welcome.”
Hosting an annual car show at Cecil Pines was Byran’s idea, being a car enthusiast himself. “I thought it would be a great way to bring the community together,” he said. “Cecil Pines is such a beautiful place with wide open spaces and shade. It’s the perfect setting for our show.” During its first year in 2003, the Cecil Pines show featured about 30 cars and 300 people and raised $445 for the Alzheimer’s Association. In 2015 the show featured about 100 cars and about 700 people and raised almost $5,000.
Cecil Pines General Manager Chris Purdy invites local car clubs to participate and she works with local businesses for in-kind donations for the drawings they hold for visitors. Local and state law enforcement and fire agencies bring in antique fire and police vehicles. In 2014, Front Porch’s Social Accountability in Action program, which funds projects, programs and services designed to meet community needs, contributed an additional $2,000 to the American Cancer Society in support of the car show.
“The Cecil Pines show is always a great time to meet with fellow collectors and friends I only see once a year here,” said Car Show Attendee Les Becker, who has attended every Cecil Pines show.
“I’ve loved cars my entire life,” Les said. “I’ve been buying and selling them for years. I grew up in the 1960s. Back then if you wanted to own a car you needed to know how to fix it, so I learned. I love older cars because I can work on them myself. Nowadays, you have to take your car to the dealer and they hook it up to a computer.”
The 2016 Cecil Pines Antique and Classic Car Show and Open House is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on November 12. For more information, call 904-771-8839.