Find or Sell any Parts for Your Vehicle in USA

Unique cars, boats and planes land at Key Largo vintage weekend

Tue, 06 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0800

The 17th-annual Vintage Weekend, held the first weekend in December, signifies the start of "the season" for Key Largo's Ocean Reef Club. Sure, it's a display of classic motor yachts and airplanes, but here the car is still star. That is, if you exclude Bob Schwartz's rocket-powered bicycle, which saw 50-mph passes on the runway at Ocean Reef's airport. Schwartz claimed he could have gone faster but was limited because of strong headwinds.

With the best selection of participants yet, the Vintage Weekend has hosted numerous Best in Show winners from Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Meadow Brook and other concours d'elegance events around the country. Entries for 2011 included the stately if avant garde, a 1931 Avions Voisin C20 Mylord Demi-Berline of John W. Rich, and the unusual--the 1930 Stutz Two-Door coupe of William T. Gacioch originally commissioned by Adolph Schneider and custom outfitted with an extended body and trunk to accommodate the prodigious luggage collection of Mrs. Schneider.

Other notables included the 1954 EMW 327/3 of Rocky and Henry Grady of Palm City, Fla. What's an EMW, you ask? A product of the BMW Eisenach factory in East Germany following World War II. It was operated by the Soviets and given over to the East Germans, who had to change the name from BMW to Eisenacher Motorenwerk (EMW). Emma, as she is known, appeared resplendent in Bolshevik Red and Black, along with the car's owner and caretaker, Rocky Grady.

In total, 80 vehicles, including one perfectly restored 1962 Mack Conventional cab truck belonging to Granvil Tracy of Miami, crossed the stage.

Dockside, antique yachts from such builders as Rybovich and Trumpy joined featured marque Burger Yacht Builders in holding open-house tours. Shoes on the dock (it is customary to remove shoes before boarding) attested to the popularity of Marty Sutter's 108-foot Burger Chanticleer.

On the aircraft side, the range included Juan Robbin's 1957 classic Piper Super Cub, a 1942 Ryan PT-22 trainer owned by John Nordt, and John O'Connor's 1942 F8F Bearcat in Blue Angels colors. The People's Choice award went to Tim Patterson for his 1952 polished-skin Beech 18.

The Vintage Weekend is not a judged event, but according to committee member Ron Elenbaas, it's an event held "only for fun." Visitors to the normally private club (opened to the public during the Vintage Weekend) can vote on various awards. Click here for more information.

By Mark Elias