In terms of the city limits, Jacksonville, Florida is the largest metropolis in the US. Many exotic cars are hidden across the 874 square miles, but North Florida isn’t known for supercar culture. As a native, I can attest to the reserved nature among local car owners. Last year was the inaugural event for Excellerate Jax and it was a great success. For a potent encore, the organizers pulled a few strings with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for a 64-mile cruise around the city.
Friday night was host to a swanky hangar party at Malone AirCharter, located at Craig Municipal Airport. At the entry gate we were greeted by a Bentley Bentayga and Jaguar XJ220, so we knew it was going to be a fun evening. Brett David of Prestige Imports sent two Pagani Huayras which were placed next to a new McLaren 570S. John Temerian and his team from Curated had all hands on deck, with pristine examples of their inventory. Food and drink were catered by the Capital Grille, with stations on either side of a polished Lockheed Electra. We attend several events like this every season, but this was one of the best organized and well-attended shows we have seen. A sell-out crowd at $75 each is nothing trivial and the perfect weather made for a great evening.
As a fundraiser for the Police Athletic League, Sheriff Mike Williams and the Florida Highway Patrol announced that Saturday morning would see a high-speed run around the city on Interstate 295. Malcolm Hogan is the publisher of Automotive Addicts, which is the host for Jacksonville’s most popular Cars & Coffee show. As a gracious host, he allowed us to ride in his BMW 550i M Sport for the lap of the city. Leaving Craig Field, we jumped onto the highway and headed north. Over the Dames Point Bridge in a convoy of horsepower, the lap of Duval county was over in just a few minutes. The Sheriff had two helicopters at either end of the 12-mile convoy to make sure all on-ramps were closed, and it made for a safe & fun morning.
The weekend went off without a hitch and, it helped raise a quarter-million dollars for the Police Athletic League. Assistant Chief Propper wrapped a new BMW M6 in Sheriff’s Office colors and allowed us to tag it with several dR logos in strategic locations. A big thanks to Sam Sissine and Greg Leb for allowing us to be part of this year’s event, so look forward to something even bigger for next year.