The biggest variable in the success or failure of a car show is the weather. That’s why Carlisle’s Autofest was such a success this past weekend. Arriving at the hotel Friday night, we noticed over a dozen black Trans-Ams in the parking lot. The Bandit Run is an annual tour of classic Pontiacs, with many of them built in homage to the classic 1977 T/A driven by “The Bandit” Burt Reynolds in the classic “Smokey & the Bandit”. That’s when we realized that it was going to be a great show.
We arrived Saturday morning at 6 am to start brewing our coffee, which was supplied by Melitta. Carlisle was kind enough to give us our own lot for Cars & Coffee, and it was quickly occupied by late model Italians and American muscle cars. Next to our entrance was the swap meet area. Vendors from across the US brought they collections of hard to find sales literature, classic dealership items, and tons of NOS parts waiting to be used in restoration. It would take days to go through all the neat items, so we forced ourselves to forego many of the tents to make our way to the car show and auction.
Three of the largest hangars in Florida were transformed by Carlisle Auctions into a premier destination for those looking to buy or sell their ride. We saw everything from brass era prototypes to heavily modified four-wheel drive trucks and everything in-between.
A crowd of adoring fans surrounded Burt Reynolds as he autographed more black Trans-Ams than we have ever seen.
The weather cooperated, staying cool and windy as over 420 consignments rolled past us. Florida Autofest was a resounding success for everyone involved, and we will be back in full force at their upcoming events.
A big thanks to Carlisle Events and Carlisle Auctions for allowing us to participate. Stay tuned to Autofluence for more show updates.
(Image Source: Carlisle Events)
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