Wide-ranging car show offers fun for whole family

Exotic cars and monster trucks are scheduled to be at Tioga Town Center.


Monster truck driver and former Amazing Race contestant Rob French is scheduled to attend this weekend’s show in Gainesville.

SUBMITTED PHOTO
Published: Friday, May 10, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.

Gainesville area car enthusiasts will have a chance Saturday to check out the rides most people could never afford.

Facts

If you go

What: Second annual Tioga Car Show
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Tioga Town Center, 105 SW 128th St., off Newberry Road
Admission: Free

Tioga Town Center will be hosting its second annual car show Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the center off Newberry Road. Car lovers will be able to see vintage and exotic cars and hot rods as well as enjoy food and music from the New York City band Little Mike and the Tornadoes. Admission is free.

“People can see cars they could never own,” event organizer J.W. McNeal said.

This year, he said he expects the show to have around 230 vehicles, ranging from monster trucks to Ford Falcons from the 1950s. “Every car has a story, and that story can go back 50 or 60 years,” he said.

Joe “The Cigartainer” Sweigart will host a Cuban cigar-rolling event, and there also will be bounce houses and vehicular safety seminars for children about topics such as seat-belt safety.

“It’s not just about cars, though that’s the focus,” McNeal said, noting that people loved the show last year for the family atmosphere.

“You’ll see grandfathers with their grandsons saying, ‘That’s what my father drove.’ It brings back fond memories from when they were growing up, and they can share it with their grandchildren.”

Monster truck driver and former Amazing Race contestant Rob French will bring some of his trucks to be displayed in the show. “Kids love to come up to see the monster trucks,” he said. “They’re fascinated by how big the tires are.”

McNeal said he came up with the idea for the show about 2 years ago. He sought help in getting the event started from Lesley Cox of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, which is dedicated to providing money for the Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida. Cox helped to communicate with the community of local exotic car owners to get them in the show, McNeal said.

“It seems like everyone was there with a helping hand,” he said. “Gainesville is filled with a lot of exotic cars, classic cars and hot rods.” The first show last year featured 150 cars and about 3,000 to 3,500 visitors. Eric Vanvorst of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation helped get the collection of cars together for this year.

The show raises money for the benefit of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation. Money is raised mainly through sponsors, McNeal said, but a silent auction will give people the chance to bid on items such as Evel Knievel collage posters and footballs signed by UF coach Will Muschamp. There also will be a raffle.

The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation uses the money to help the children’s hospital buy equipment and provide medical care for sick children, McNeal said.

“Our children and our young adults — that’s our future,” he said. “It’s very important to me that we preserve our future.”

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