If you are a regular follower of this blog you know I have a thing for sheet metal with wheels attached. I go to car museums, car shows and anywhere else I can find that special set of wheels. McKee Botanical Gardens in Vero Beach Florida, with its lush plantings and Lilly ponds is certainly a unique venue for displaying custom sleds and hot rods. This year’s was their 15th annual car show, featuring 41 vehicles of all vintages, customizations and imagination.
I’m not a gear head, I don’t claim to know anything about mechanics, especially the customization of engines and bodies, I do however appreciate artful design in automobiles, something that is lacking in contemporary cars. If you have ever mistaken a Genesis GV90 for a Bentley Saloon you’ll know what I mean.That would hardly be the case for the exquisite 1937 Chrysler Royal Coupe pictured below.
As with almost any car show I have been to, there were the usual suspects, GTOs, Mustangs, Corvettes and more, but for the most part I passed them by, except for this 1957 ‘Vette with the custom rolled interior … and yes, I loved the color.
Interestingly, this show included only American marques save the lone MG in the parking lot.
This was an interesting mod. A red 1927 Ford Roadster with GM’s Corvette engine. The original motor was a 4-banger with 65 HP. I’m not sure which small block V-8 this is, depending on the version it could produce up to 375 HP. Next to it, a 1941 Studebaker Champion with an 820 HP, 496 inch super charged Chevy engine. Expect 3 MPG in normal city traffic. The candy apple red paint and gold leaf lettering fits this sled perfectly. Continuing with the red theme, a fiberglass body, I don’t know what it is but I would like it in my garage, hot rod.
For the most part, the viewers seemed to be about the same generations of the cars, with a few grandchildren in tow. I identified strongly with the 1948 Cadillac cabriolet, which, by the way, is really the one I would like in my garage. McKee Botanical Gardens may seem an unlikely venue for a car show, it works for me. There was a sign announcing next February’s show, the theme - red cars.
Photo notes: All photos were taken with the Fuji XT-5 and one of two lenses, the Sigma 18-50 2.8 and the Sigma 10-18mm 2.8 for the wider angle shots. I find these two lenses ideal for travel and street shooting.