None of us can see how historians will judge this strange year. As a result of the Pandemic, families are facing tremendous hardships. This has resulted in a much larger number of requests to Toys for Tots for assistance this Christmas. With that in mind, we decided it was important for us to help in our community. We have been collecting for Toys for Tots to assist the Marine Corps every November for over 20 years so despite the Pandemic we set a goal to outdo ourselves by an order of magnitude.
What transpired on Saturday morning November 21st was the culmination of months of planning with clients, the staff at Armature Works in downtown Tampa and Toys for Tots. . This event space is comprised of nearly two dozen indoor food vendors surrounded by acres of parking on the mouth of the Hillsborough River. Hillsborough County’s Sheriff Chronister, arrived by boat, and his team brought a pursuit helicopter, the bomb disposal unit, K-9’s and much more. By 6:00 AM the Marines had positioned toy boxes in a perimeter which by the show’s end, were overflowing with thousands of toys.
Careful planning staged the arrival of trailers, cars, and displays in successive intervals of 15 minutes. Once the paved lots were full, overflow spilled onto city streets and along the riverfront. When the sun awoke, our guests and our staff were in awe. With at least 400 cars positioned in designated spots and some 600 additional show cars in the surrounding lots, the Corps began a tally of the toys. Once the bicycles topped 500, it was clear they would need a bigger truck. New and old, exotics and muscle cars along with Trucks, Planes, Golf carts, and more, did not mind parking on the grass to help this noble cause.
All we asked for admittance was a new toy or bike which leveled the playing field for owners of all cars. Pagani, Porsche, Pontiac, and Peugeot were parked 6 feet apart without a stigma of class or social differences. This was the first car show to involve seaplanes, boats, helicopters, SWAT trucks, Marines, and show cars from around the world. Todd Werner arrived with his collection of historical Hemi Mopars including the Sox & Martin Cuda and Richard Petty’s Talladega-Winning Superbird. The Pagani Huayra Roadster perplexed many fans as it looks identical to the prototype. While many Pagani purists were quick to mention that no two Huayra are alike, they were delighted to learn that this car is Chassis #01; the actual star of the show that was revealed in Switzerland.
By 11 am the weather was closing in. Instead of the normal mass exodus, the crowds realized that we are all in this together. Tops went up and we moved inside as Florida’s 5-minute showers moved through. This amazing event was another one for our record books, so perhaps it is a preview of what we have in the works.
None of this could be possible without our friends and clients, so here’s to Dimmit Automotive Group, Ferrari of Tampa Bay, Ferman Automotive/Force Customs, Paddock1, Ferrari of Tampa Bay, Reeves Import Motorcars, Forza Tuning, The Motor Enclave, Auto Den, Oxford Cigar Co., European Exotic Center, Luxury Lease Partners, Lamborghini Sarasota, Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Department, Icon Aircraft, Icon Electric Vehicles and the United States Marine Corps. We also want to send a thank you to PDQ, Glory Days and DEX Imaging for the donations. Tell us what you thought of the show in the comments below, and have a fun & safe Thanksgiving.