Vintage Jeep Wows Cars Show Crowd

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The owner of a rare Jeepster shows off her cool car at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

PALM BEACH GARDENS – The vintage orange and white Jeepster was drawing crowds at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach so Florida Fine Cars caught up with the owner to find out more.

Jeep will always be a popular brand but to see something that is a classic Jeep, that is rare,” the owner said smiling. “Nobody thinks of a Jeep being a classic car but it is.”

“We find that older people like it and young kids,” the owner said. The Jeepster was introduced about the same time as the Ford Bronco, and the two vehicles completed with each other for popularity, she said.

Most common comments? “What is that?” and “That’s awesome!”

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The dashboard of the vintage Jeepster is stark.

The vehicle has no airbags, no shoulder harness on the seatbelt and you can’t turn it on a dime because there’s no power steering. You MUST learn how to drive an old car.

The owners, who live in Palm Beach County, don’t drive it on Interstate-95. Instead, they run it up and down Federal Highway or Congress Avenue. It’s maneuverability is limited.

Rare Jeepster was Manufactured for Limited Time

According to Wikipedia, the Jeepster was originally manufactured by Willys-Overland Motors from 1948 to 1950. It was developed in hopes of filling a gap in the company’s product line, crossing over from their “utilitarian” photo SUVs and trucks to the passenger automobile market. A total of almost 20,0000 were built, Wikipedia said.

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This vintage Jeepster drew crowds of admirers, many who had never seen a car like it.

“The basic model included numerous deluxe features and interior fittings in addition to a high level of standard equipment that cost extra on other automobiles,” Wikipedia noted.

The Jeepster was revived in 1966 on a new model the C-101 Jeepster Commando. American Motors (AMC) Willys-Overland’s successor, moved Jeepster from the name for 1972, ending production after 1973.

The March Cars and Coffee event marked the Jeepster’s second appearance at the show. The vehicle had been in the shop for months getting body work done due to neglect. It had previously been parked for nine years on the lot of a car dealership, exposed to the elements.

“She was restored at a collision shop. There was a lot of rust. They took out a lot of badly patched rust and welded in steel panels,” her owner explained. “It’s seamless. You can’t even tell where they did it.”

Variety that includes unique old cars like the Jeepster is one reason why so many car enthusiasts pack the Cars and Coffee Palm Beach car show every month.

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Jeep lovers enjoyed peeking under the hood of this classic Jeepster.

Car Show’s Lure is Variety that Offers Mild to Wild

Attendees are likely to see everything from a $3.8 million 2018 Bugatti Chiron to a mud-spattered 1997 Jeep Cherokee that draws crowds every time it pulls in. Those who frequent the show know they will see exotics like McClarens and Lamborghinis as well as muscle car classics, hopped up BMWs modified with camber wheels, or any variety of unique rides.

Cars and Coffee Palm Beach marketing manager Lana Vegosen Galati recently told Florida Fine Cars recently that attendance has reached 35,000 with as many as 3,500 cool cars on display on a busy Sunday.

“Our primary goal was to bring in spectators. Car owners will go where spectators are because then more eyes can see their ‘pride and joy.’ That has been one of the keys to our success,” she explained.

The Jeepster definitely attracted spectators, including brokers who made offers to buy the classic car on the spot.

“We were driving it home right after they got the engine started and there was a gentlemen in the passenger seat of a Mercedes who was yelling at us, ‘how much do you want?’ It was my first day driving it,” the owner laughed.

The vehicle’s dashboard has an AM radio and little else. This Jeepster was also one of the first automatics available by Jeep. The owners installed an electronic start in the vehicle to make it more driver-friendly.

“Super cool,” yelled a passing spectator.

And that’s the beauty of Cars and Coffee.

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

                                       #floridafinecars #jeepster #classicrides

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UFC, MMA Fighter Gilbert “Durinho” Burns Awaits Upcoming Match

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UFC Fighter Gilbert “Durinho” Burns poses in front of the Florida Fine Cars booth at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach. Burns fights Eric Wisely on April 27th at BB&T Center in Sunrise.

WEST PALM BEACH – UFC fighter Gilbert “Durinho” Burns, (14-3), stopped by the Florida Fine Cars booth at Cars and Coffee last week to talk about preparations for his upcoming match with Eric “Little Lee” Wisely on April 27th at BB&T Center in Sunrise.

The takeaway? He’s not worried.

Burns is confident he will defeat Wisely on April 27th but admits Wisely is a formidable opponent.

“He’s very well-rounded and has over 40 fights. He’s a veteran. He’s been in the UFC before and now he’s coming back,” Burns said.

The Brazilian lightweight, 32, trains at Hardknocks 365 in Pompano Beach with Henri Hooft. Florida Fine Cars is one of Burns’ sponsors.

Upcoming UFC Fight is Close to Home so Family Can Attend

Burns told Florida Fine Cars that the upcoming fight is special because it’s close to Burns’ home in Delray Beach so his wife and two sons – Pedro, 6, and Joshua, 4, will be able to attend. The boys have grown up watching their father train and fight.

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Gilbert Burns spars with trainer Henri Hooft.

“It’s kind of like coming home and I’m looking forward to that. The UFC doesn’t come that often to Florida,” Burns said. “The opportunity to fight at home with my family and friends is important, This is my new home, South Florida. The UFC came last year to Orlando and two years ago to Tampa.”

Burns has won three of his last four fights, including knockouts over Jason Saggo and Dan Moret.

Wisely (33-9-1) went 11-0-1 with seven stoppages since 2015, capped off by a second-round TKO earlier this month in Iowa. Wisely, 34, fought twice under the UFC banner in 2012, losing via submission (calf slicer) to Charles Oliveira and a decision to Jason Young, according to MMA Fighting.

Florida Fine Cars Throws Support Behind UFC Fighter

Burns, who recently tapped Gleison Tibau in a combat jiu-jitsu match, last fought in the UFC in December, defeating Olivier Aubin-Mercier via decision, MMA Fighting said.

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Gilbert Burns, his wife Bruna, and sons Joshua, left, and Pedro, right, visit the Florida Fine Cars booth on April 7th.

Florida Fine Cars is providing Burns with a 2017 gray Ford Explorer so he can stow all his equipment and get around more easily.

“Gilbert is an incredible fighter and an all-around great guy. The work his family does at the Combat Club in Lantana with kids is admirable. We support Gilbert because believe in him both personally and professionally,” said Jamie Suid, Marketing Manager for Florida Fine Cars.

To prepare for the upcoming fight, Burns told Florida Fine Cars he had to lose 20 pounds and adhere to a strict diet, cycling his carbs and eating good protein. Maximum weight for the lightweight category is 155 pounds.

“I do chicken, eggs, grass-fed meat. A lot of vegetables – yucca, sweet potatoes, nuts and avacado. It’s hard but it’s part of preparation,” he said.

Burns’ wife Bruna and his brother teach martial arts classes at the Combat Club gym in Lantana. Like her husband, Bruna has a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu.

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Florida Fine Cars handed out drink koozies with Gilbert’s name on them on April 7th.

Gilbert Burns used to teach martial arts at the Combat Club but turned operations over to his wife and brother so he could focus on his own training.

UFC fan Emerson B. of Miami said he respects anyone who steps into the Octagon and practices hand-to-hand combat.

“In my opinion the are quite possibly the best hard-working athletes on the planet. You have to go from great striking to grappling to wrestling to jiu jitsu and it has to be seamless. It’s all about leverage,” he said.

Florida Fine Cars wishes Gilbert the best of luck on April 27th when he steps into the Octagon!

Florida Fine Cars Offers a Huge Selection of Great Cars at Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

#MMA #UFC #jiujitsu #brazilian #FloridaFineCars #SouthFlorida #Blackzilians #GilbertBurns #CombatClub #fight #UFCfightpass #BB&T #WestPalmBeach #Boca #Jupiter #PalmBeachCounty #BrowardCounty #DadeCounty #FtLauderdale #Davie #PembrokePines #Hollywood #DaniaBeach #Sunnyisles #SouthBeach #Miami #MiamiGardens #Doral #CoralGabels #DelrayBeach #Cars #CarsForSale #CarsandCoffee

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Florida Fine Cars Finds Out What Makes Car Show Such a Hit

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Spectators admire a cool car on display at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

PALM BEACH GARDENS – What started six years ago with 20 cars outside a donut shop and has morphed into one of the largest monthly car meet ups in the country.

Cars and Coffee Palm Beach just keeps getting hotter.

Event sponsor Florida Fine Cars recently caught up with Cars and Coffee Palm Beach marketing manager Lana Vegosen Galati to find out more:

According to Galati, attendance has reached 35,000 with as many as 3,500 cool cars on display.

“Our primary goal was to bring in spectators. Car owners will go where spectators are because then more eyes can see their ‘pride and joy.’ That has been one of the keys to our success,” she explained.

Every month at the Palm Beach Outlets Mall, thousands of car enthusiasts show off their cool cars to thousands of spectators who show up to see what’s there. The meet up moved to the Outlets Mall in 2015 and has grown exponentially ever since.

Car enthusiasts are likely to see everything from a $3.8 million 2018 Bugatti Chiron to a mud-spattered 1997 Jeep Cherokee that draws crowds every time it pulls in.

“Moving to Palm Beach Outlets Mall instantly grew the show,” Galati said. “The relatives and friends who weren’t interested in cars could shop, eat or visit other attractions there.”

Popular Monthly Car Show Offers Fun, Food and Lots of Cool Cars

Stop by Cars and Coffee Palm Beach and you’ll find the place abuzz with activity. Drones whiz from one end of the huge parking lot to the other photographing cars from the sky. The enticing smells of homemade barbecue and chicken and waffles wafts through the air. Engines rev. Cars backfire. And auto enthusiasts, car collectors and car club members mingle for hours with the curious spectators who pack the show to see what the next ‘wow’ exhibit will be.

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Cindy and Dave Ryan show off their 1963 Meyers Manx Dune Buggy at a recent Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

Lake Worth residents Cindy Ryan and her husband David usually arrive at the Outlets Mall around 6:30 a.m. on show days to set up the display for Backdraft Racing, which features an array of 1965 Cobra replicas. Cindy works as a bookkeeper for the Boynton Beach-based Backdraft Racing.

Car owners eager to display their cool rides start arriving at 7 a.m. Engines rumble. Cars honk. Cameras roll.

“I think the best thing about this car show is that you can bring anything here – a car that is a driver everyday to exotics to custom to antiques,” Cindy said.

The show recently acquired 500 more spots for cars and vendors because the demand has become so high, Ryan said.

“You can find anything here from Toyota Corollas to Bugattis,” her husband added.

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Dan and Arlene Glassford enjoy the car show with their son Finnley and daughter McKenzie.

“Owners range from regular to rich. And you can sell a car or buy a car here.”

On this day, car buff Dan Glassford and his wife Arlene were admiring the rows and rows of incredible cars with their 3-year-old son Finnley and their 7-month-old daughter McKenzie. The show attracts many families who never would think to leave their little ones at home. The Glassfords bring food and drink and spend the morning enjoying the cars with their two small children.

They both agree the event is very “kid-friendly.”

“I’d say absolutely yes,” Arlene Glassford said nodding.

Car Show Caters to All Ages and Interests

According to John Zeilinga – one of the show’s founders – the popular monthly car meet up is growing by leaps and bounds because there’s something for everyone.

“We have everything from old Model T’s to brand new Lamborghinis, hot rods, race cars and hand-built garage cars,” said Zeilinga, a firefighter/EMT for Plantation. “We get people who just want to learn about cars and people who have been working on cars for 40 years.

Galati said the car show was originally organized so car enthusiasts would have a place to hang out and talk shop.

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Crowds of car enthusiasts pack a recent Cars and Coffee Palm Beach event.

“At the time the landscape of the auto event world was very different. It was more isolated and divided,” Galati said. “The Corvette owners would hang out together, the Ferrari owners would hang out together, there were some classic cars events. There was no place where all the makes models and could hang out together.”

The Boynton Beach crowd multiplied quickly, growing from 20 cars to 500 cars, then 700 cars, filling up the entire lot outside the donut shop. The car show had to relocate because it needed space to grow.

The sprawling parking lot at the Palm Beach Outlets Mall made it possible to offer something for everyone, she said. Including marriage.

Galati said at least a dozen people have met their future spouses at the huge car show.

“In fact, three couples all met on the same day and celebrated their one year anniversary at the event,” she said.

The show’s purpose is to make everybody forget about the complexities of life for a while. And it seems to be working.

“We have one couple that comes out from the West Coast of Florida. Their first baby was due in August. It was hot, the baby was due any moment but they weren’t worried.  They said, ‘Our baby is going to be a car girl.’ They went home and they wife went straight to the hospital and the baby was born right away,” Galati said.

“We get the whole spectrum. You get to meet billionaires you might not otherwise encounter but also meet the families who are struggling to make ends meet and want to see the cars they might not never otherwise see,” she added.

Most importantly, the car show is about people with cool cars having fun with people who admire their cool cars, she said.

“We are the world’s largest Cars and Coffee event and one of the largest monthly auto events,” Galati said. “There are three of us in the country that kind of go back and forth. There’s something for everyone.”

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

#carsandcoffee #yolo #radicalrides #floridafinecars

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Looking for a Specific Type of Car Blog? It’s Out There

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Are you a classic car lover? There are blogs that focus on nothing but the classics. (1954 Ford Crestliner).

Are you a car enthusiast who loves to read about the classics? Or someone who prefers a particular type of car and only wants news about that brand? Maybe you’re a car buff who’s hooked on racing or a lover of luxury who wants to read about the market for high end cars.

These days there’s a specialty blog for just about any aspect of the car industry. Florida Fine Cars checked out a few and here’s what we discovered:

  • Magazines like MotorTrend and Car and Driver provide authoritative voices on cars, trucks and SUVs and extensive automobile buying guides for consumers. Both magazines offer the latest reviews and automotive news.
  • Autoblog and Jalopnik provide current automotive news and well as commentary automotive industry, racing, transportation, airplanes, technology, motorcycles and much more. Both feature high quality photography.
  • Motor Authority offers articles by industry members, driving enthusiasts, and in-market consumers. The blog’s aim is to help readers make decisions when shopping for luxury and performance cars.
  • Edmunds offers automotive research on new and used cars, as well as car buying advice and pricing information.
  • Bimmerpost is a BMW forum for BMW news and the latest resources from the BMW community.
  • Cars.com helps car shoppers and owners navigate the complexities of car ownership. The company is one of the largest digital automotive platforms, connecting consumers with local dealers across the country anytime, anywhere.
  • Automotive News is a leading source of news about the global automotive industry.
  • Left Lane News is a news blog that is updated daily with breaking automotive news. It includes new car information, reviews and information about future cars.
  • Automotive Spaces offers information about car tips, car detailing and a guide and reviews to car care.
  • Celebrity Cars blog keeps readers in-the-know on what car their favorite celebrity is driving.  

(Source: Auto Blogs List)

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and find the perfect ride at the perfect price.

#findablog #floridafinecars #carsarecool

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Florida Fine Cars’ Finest Rocks out with Punk Band “Grounds” as Lead Singer

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Cesar Pentzke, lead singer of The Grounds and the marketing coordinator for Florida Fine Cars, performs at O’Malley’s in Margate.

MARGATE – Florida Fine Cars own marketing coordinator Cesar Pentzke recently took the stage at O’Malley’s Sports bar for an acoustic performance with the punk rock band, “The Grounds.”

The crowd loved him.

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Grounds t-shirts for sale at O’Malley’s.

Pentzke, who performed at the Vans Warped Tour in August 2018 in West Palm Beach, is the band’s lead singer and a song writer who writes his own stuff.

The Grounds was the first of three bands that preceded the headliner, “I See Stars,” from Detroit. It was an acoustic performance.

 

 

 

Pentzke said he likes intimate settings like the one at O’Malley’s because they allow for a lot of interaction with the audience. Several times, concert-goers sang along with Pentzke’s band in a show of support for his storytelling style.

Pentzke, who graduated from Full Sail University with an associate’s degree in recording arts and a bachelor of science in entertainment business, is the creative force behind all the cool videos and social media Florida Fine Cars uses to promote its cars and customer service.

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Poster announcing the band lineup, including The Grounds.

He’s been making music since age 11 when he picked up his dad’s guitar. He also plays trumpet, trombone and drums. He goes by the name “Cesar Punski” in the music world.

Born in San Francisco, Pentzke grew up in Royal Palm Beach, FL and graduated from Wellington High School. He came from a family of high achievers who love to make music.

For years, Pentzke toured Florida and the United States, performing at different clubs, bars and other venues. He had just finished a 30 to-40 day tour when he was hired by Florida Fine Cars about two years ago.

His bandmates included William Parker Rockenstein on guitar and Michael Block on bass. Drummer Seth Hochstadt was absent.

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

#Punkrockrules #floridafinecars #Grounds

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Why Are Positive Online Reviews So Important?

Florida Fine Cars’ large number of positive online customers reviews are part of the reason the dealership received an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau.

When it comes to monitoring what consumers say online about Florida Fine Cars, the used car giant has learned the value of great reviews and great customer service, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), one of the country’s most revered online review sites.

While most car dealerships are lucky if they have a dozen or more online reviews posted each month, Florida Fine Cars easily has hundreds of monthly reviews, said Florida Fine Cars Loyalty Manager Ana Mercado. And most of them are positive.

“If people have a bad experience they share it everywhere,” Mercado said.  “Getting them to talk about the positive experiences is important to counteract the negative reviews.”

Florida Fine Cars is a family-owned dealership that’s been in business since 1993. The company has stores in West Palm Beach, Miami, Hollywood and Margate.

In November 2018, the used car dealer received an “A+” rating from the BBB, a distinction that placed the company in the top one percent of all used car dealers in Florida, the BBB said. The A+ rating was largely based on positive customer reviews.

Accreditation signifies “trust and integrity, and an unwavering commitment to consumers” and requires an intense vetting process, according to Donna Mongillo-Dunn, Director of Marketing and Advertising for the BBB in Southeast Florida.

“It’s an achievement. It’s definitely something Florida Fine Cars should be proud of,” Mongillo-Dunn said.BBB Logo (2)

The BBB’s West Palm Beach site is visited by six million viewers seeking information on local businesses so attaining an A+ rating is a very big deal.

But getting positive reviews posted doesn’t happen without a focused effort to get customers to actually write those good reviews.

A customer who’s had a bad consumer experience may post a negative online review as a way of venting their frustration and anger. But a happy and satisfied customer may not feel the need to post an online review because the transaction was positive.

Savvy dealerships like Florida Fine Cars understand that if they don’t encourage happy customers to post about their positive car buying experiences, the only online reviews consumers will come across will be negative ones, even if there are only a few.

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Marketing coordinator Cesar Pentzke says Florida Fine Cars worked to improve customer service for more than a year to receive BBB accreditation.

“We’ve really made a company effort to focus on our customers. We just made a commitment,” said Marketing Coordinator Cesar Pentzke. “It’s really rewarding to finally see BBB accreditation. Just to get that speaks miles. We worked really hard on it for a full year. I really think if you give someone a great experience they are going to want to tell their friends.”

Florida Fine Cars receives a minimum of 400 to 500 new reviews a month on sites like DealerRater, BBB, Google, Edmunds and Yelp. Others come in from from sites like cars.com and CarGurus.com, Mercado said.

“We are trying to make the experience different than any other used car dealership – very unique,” Mercado said. “We are getting a nice amount now and I tackle them all.”

Customers who file online reviews on DealerRater have to go through a process that involves registering before they can post a review. The steps can be a deterrent, but happy customers do it anyway.

Many dealers complain that they can’t get their managers to commit to the online review process, or complain that customers simply don’t want to take the time to write reviews.

Mercado admits it can be a challenge, but noted that Florida Fine Cars’ culture of transparency has contributed greatly to their success in receiving positive online reviews, she said.

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Florida Fine Cars Loyalty Manager Ana Mercado shows off the dealership’s new BBB award with Florida Fine Cars managers.

“We have to be more transparent. These vehicles are pre-owned vehicles and some have been in accidents and we disclose everything. We make sure they don’t leave with any questions unanswered,” Mercado added.

Florida Fine Cars’ reputation as a top notch place to buy used cars continues to grow. Also in 2018, for the second year in a row, the dealership was nationally ranked by Auto Remarketing Magazine as one of the top used car dealers in the country. And for the third year in a row, Florida Fine Cars in 2018 received DealerRater’s Consumer Satisfaction Award for providing top-notch service to customers in the Tri-County area and across the nation.

Dealerships must pay attention to their online reputation because consumers today are tech-savvy and screen companies online before deciding to shop. The more positive reviews a company has, the greater their credibility, Mercado said.

“We are noticing a huge increase in people that are coming to our website to research companies,” Mongillo-Dunn said. She further noted that 65 percent of the consumers who visit the BBB website are doing so from a mobile device.

“This is a technologically savvy consumer,” she added.

Florida Fine Cars doesn’t take its reviews for granted either. Mercado writes personal responses to EVERY SINGLE review that comes in.

Navigating the reviews can be tricky business. The key is always making the customer feel like they have been heard and that their concern is being addressed.

Employees must also always maintain a professional demeanor, too, because someone is ALWAYS watching and listening.

Some customers may rave that their Florida Fine Cars car buying experience was the best in their life. Others may complain about anything from the fuel level in the car to an issue with a floor mat. All have to be answered.

“I tackle the negative reviews by personally calling them myself if I can get the information off the review itself. If not, we respond accordingly and make sure we let them know we tried,” Mercado said. “Other readers are also looking at those negative reviews to see what we do. They could be future customers of ours.”

The way Mercado sees it, answering the BAD and the GOOD just makes sense if a business wants to be perceived as being responsive.

“When I go to a restaurant I actually pull up the reviews and read about it,” Mercado said. “It’s a virtual world these days. You have to stay on top of it all.”

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and find the perfect ride at the perfect price.

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Bugatti Chiron and Tie-Dyed Owner Make Colorful Splash at Car Show

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Tim Schmidt of Ontario throws a “peace”  sign from behind the wheel of his 2018 Bugatti Chiron.

A crowd of admirers surrounded the $3.8 million 2018 Bugatti Chiron, videotaping its custom red leather interior, sleek lines and regal presence. The car enthusiasts gushed over its rarity, speculated on its price and wondered about its speed as their smart phones recorded every detail.

The pricey ride was clearly the rock star of the Cars and Coffee Palm Beach car show, but where was the owner? Where was the rich guy who owned such a decadent set of wheels?

Florida Fine Cars asked some questions and found out!

Tim Schmidt of Ontario was just a stone’s throw away, dressed head to toe in tie dye, wearing fluorescent yellow glasses and sporting a long gray beard and a wicked smile.

“I’m always in tie dye,” Schmidt said grinning, as he took a long drag on an “Export ‘A’ smooth taste” cigarette. “Being a rich person, if I dress up people won’t approach me. But if I dress like this, I’m more approachable. The colors are all about peace, love and happiness.

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Tim Schmidt and his $3.8 million 2018 Bugatti Chiron at a recent Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

It’s a theme reflected in the photos of his Instagram account, which is peppered with pictures of Schmidt and his wife in an array of tie dye apparel, posing with celebrities like Dennis Rodman and Snoop Dogg. And of course, lots of cool cars. His handle is @hapyhipi, with 40,500 followers.

“A lot of people don’t expect a guy like me to get out of a car like that,” Schmidt chuckled. “I’m not above anyone else.”

His Bugatti is a showstopper but Schmidt likes to “drive it like he stole it.” He bought it to enjoy and to date holds a speed record. And he smokes in the car whenever he feels the urge.

“It’s a car,” Schmidt said, as he looked at the Chiron. “I smoke in all my cars. When I’m dead, it won’t make a difference if I smoked in my cars. You gotta enjoy life to the fullest. What do you think I’m going to do? Pull over every 15 minutes?”

 

Bugatti Chiron Captures Speed Record at Titusville Race Track

Schmidt drove the Chiron 261.696 mph on a 2.7-mile stretch in December 2018 at Johnny Boehmer Proving Grounds in Titusville, FL, setting a record for the fastest recorded run.

“I did half a mile faster than they said it was going to go,” Schmidt said, proudly. “It was like someone took an arrow and shot it as smooth as it can be. It was an unbelievable ride.”

Schmidt, a seasonal resident who has a two-bedroom house with a 12-car garage in Fort Lauderdale, owns 35 collectible cars and drives them all. He keeps some cars in Florida and some in Ontario on his 200-acre ranch.

“I buy them to drive them and enjoy them. These (collectors) buy these real expensive cars and park them for four to five years, then take them out for a ride and the warranty has expired,” Schmidt mused. “Why not drive them while they are under warranty? Even if I take one of my cars four or five miles, I am driving it.”

Collector Buys Pricey Cars to Drive, Share and Enjoy

True to his word, he brought seven of his cool cars to the January 2019 Cars and Coffee in Palm Beach Gardens, including a 2014 P-1 McClaren (which belongs to his wife Christine), a 2017 Lamborghini Hurricane, a 2015 Roll Royce Drophead, a 2018 Lamborghini Urus, a 1974 Dune Buggy impi, and a 2015 Lamborghini Aventador. The cars arrived in a head-turning caravan.

The eccentric car collector made his millions working in a family owned business that manufactured plastic car parts for General Motors. The business produced items like windshield wipers, air conditioning ducts, center consoles, dashboards and airbags. The company had locations in Canada, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan.

“My father started the business in 1969. My mom took it over as my dad left the business to her,” he said.

Schmidt loves his cars and he loves talking to car enthusiasts about cars, wherever they are. Recently he drove the Chiron from Fort Lauderdale across Alligator Alley to a small car show at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. Many of the college kids marveled that he would actually DRIVE such a pricey vehicle so far in traffic.

“I’m living the dream,” he said laughing. “What else am I supposed to do?”

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

#bugattichiron #tiedyecarcollector #floridafinecars

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Whatever Happened to Hood Ornaments?

Flying goose hood ornament on 1931 Ford Model A.

Miniature sculptures once adorned the hoods of a wide variety of motor vehicles, adding charm, character and cachet to the classic cars of yesteryear.

Originally these hood ornaments decorated radiator caps, but after the radiator caps were moved under the hood, these miniature works of art began disappearing for reasons of practicality and safety.

Florida Fine Cars took a dive into the past to look back at some of these beautiful works of hood art and their history.

Hood Ornaments Disappeared Due to Risk, Theft

According to Quora, there were several reasons for their demise:

  • Bad for aerodynamics
  • Projectiles in a crash
  • Harmful to pedestrians
  • Magnets for theft and vandalism

Today’s Rolls Royces are still adorned with the iconic “Spirit of Ecstasy” flying lady, but the hood ornament has been engineered so it retracts into the hood if someone tries to snatch it off.

Another classic hood ornament, the leaping cat that perched atop the hood of Jaguars for years, disappeared in 2005. The classic cat is still present, but in a flat emblem form.

Boyce MotoMeter on radiator cap of 1928 Ford Model A. Hood ornaments originally topped radiator caps but became more decorative after the radiator caps were moved under vehicles’ hoods.

“The Leaper” was retired from the hood as a measure to protect pedestrian safety due to concern over projectiles from motor vehicles that could occur in accidents.

Mercedes three-point star, once a hot item among teen thieves who resold the hood ornaments as status symbols, has been replaced by a flat emblem on the vehicles’ hoods.

“They just cut back on so many of the nice things that make a difference in automobiles,” said car collector and vintage auto buff Ted Vernon, the former star of the now defunct reality show “South Beach Classics.” “Cars are now just stamped out. They are all the same.”

Vernon is the owner of Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles Inc. in Miami.

On this day Vernon strolls through his car storage warehouse, pointing out examples of the long gone hood ornaments that added elegance to the every day drive. Today many of them sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Hood Ornaments Added Artistry, Beauty and Whimsy to Car Design

The hood ornaments were huge, heavy and most were made of chrome.

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“I have a 1929 Bugatti and the hood ornament is a standing elephant with his trunk in the air,” Vernon said. “The Rolls Royces – if you try to grab the hood ornament (today) it disappears.”

He said Rolls Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy flying lady hood ornament is “sacred” to the brand.

“You have to keep it,” Vernon said.

Several classics in his warehouse are old enough to have hood ornaments atop their radiator caps, which were located on the front of the vehicles’ hoods.

The hood ornament doubled as a radiator thermometer, and displayed a temperature gauge so the driver could make sure his engine wasn’t overheating.

The Boyce MotoMeter on the Ford 1929 Model A  was both elegant and functional, as an example.

“It was set in the radiator cap. If it turned red, you knew you had a problem,” Vernon chuckled.

The old hood ornaments added a style and character that has disappeared from modern cars, he noted.

“It’s sad. They have lost their personality. I used to wait as a kid until the first new cars came out every year. They were all designed differently. They were works of art back in the 1950s,” Vernon recalled. “They run better now and the technology is better but they are not fun to be in anymore.”

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

#hoodornaments #floridafinecars #usedcars #classics

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Used Hybrids Save Fuel, Money and the Environment

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2015 used Toyota Prius C3 costs $12,199 at Florida Fine Cars.

Whether it’s the pinch of rising gas prices, an increased commute to work or simply the need to cut living expenses, when you’re shopping for a used car, consider an economical pre-owned hybrid.

Going green can save you money and protect the environment, and at Florida Fine Cars, there are many excellent used hybrids to choose from in our huge online inventory of 1,700 used cars.

A hybrid is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle, most commonly an internal combustion engine and one or two electric motors. The cars are fuel-effecient and excellent on mileage.

FFC Logo New CarIf you’ve never considered a pre-owned hybrid, stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check one out. Nearly every make of automobile is producing one and we have many used hybrids available right now.

Florida Fine Cars Offers a Wide Variety of Used Hybrids at Low Prices

According to edmunds.com, more than 2.1 million conventional hybrids have been sold in the United States since the first two-seat Honda Insight hybrid was produced in 1999.

Because they combine electric drive with gasoline engines, hybrids have most of the same mechanical parts and issues that traditional cars and trucks have, Edmunds notes.

Florida Fine Cars

2015 used Honda Accord Hybrid costs $14,898 at Florida Fine Cars.

And the growing used hybrid market is attracting more and more motorists who yearn for fuel-effeciency without the higher pricetag of a brand new hybrid.

Kelly Blue Book rates the following vehicles as the top 10 hybrids for 2018: Chrysler Pacifica hybrid; the Volvo XC60; Volvo  S90; Porsche Panamera; Kia Niro; Kia Niro Plug-in; Honda Clarity Plug-in; Toyota Prius C; Audi A3 Sportback e-tron; and Lexus GS. Edmunds rates the best-selling hybrids as the Toyota Camry, Prius and Avalon; the Ford Fusion; the Honda Accord and the Kia Optima.

And buying any of these vehicles used makes them more affordable and more sensible than ever.

With dozens of these highly-sought after used hybrids to choose from in a world that needs to make greater efforts to “go green,” Florida Fine Cars in West Palm Beach, Margate, Hollywood and Miami offers a broad selection of the best models.

FordFusion

2015 used Ford Fusion costs $15,799 at Florida Fine Cars.

Stop in at Florida Fine Cars today and see for yourself why we are rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau!

These pre-owned hybrids are just some of the incredible deals Florida Fine Cars has available every day. Browse our impressive online inventory of 1,700 used cars and see how much money you can save. The car of your dreams is just a mouse click away. And “going green” is easier and cheaper than you ever imagined when you shop for your pre-owned hybrid.

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and drive home the perfect used hybrid.

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Kids’ Miniature Rides Turn Heads at Popular Car Show

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Sidney Vallon, owner of Palm Beach Classics and founder of MiniMeCars&Coffee, kneels beside a row of batter-powered minis.

NORTH PALM BEACH – Vanessa Mohan watched closely as her daughter Lilli maneuvered around the parking lot at Palm Beach Outlets Mall behind the wheel of a gleaming white Porsche.

The 3-year-old drove like a pro as she whizzed through a cordoned-off driving course as the Cars and Coffee Palm Beach car show kicked into full swing. The miniature car she was driving didn’t growl like . the life-size Porsches but the 12-volt battery that powered her ride still had a lot of pep.The posse of miniature cars spread across a cordoned-off driving course was  causing a stir.

Welcome to Mini-Me Cars & Coffee, where little kids get to drive cool cars and mimic the “big kids” who show off their pricey toys each month at the popular car show at Palm Beach Outlets Mall. Florida Fine Cars stopped by the driving course to find out more.

“This is her second time,” her mother said smiling. “I like it. It’s something for her to do.”

MiniMeKids1

Vanessa Mohan with her son Liam at the mini course at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

Mohan’s husband Richie is a car enthusiast who signed Lilli up for the Mini Me program as soon as he saw the kiddie driving course and the lineup of miniature electric cars. Lilli had her own mini, so they brought it to the car show so she could participate.

Organizer Sidney Vallon, owner of Palm Beach Classics, came up with the idea because so many little kids attend the huge car show with their parents. Children ages one to five can participate in the program using their own mini or by renting one he provides.

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“We wanted to make it something fun for them and now they can be behind the wheel,” said Vallon, a father of two. “Every month is bigger and better.”

Mohan and her husband spent about $300 on their daughter’s Moderno Kids miniature electric car, which she uses all the time.

miniinstagram.png“The kids enjoy it, the parents enjoy it,” said Mohan, who had belted her 7-month-old son Liam into her daughter’s mini and was moving it back-and-forth to make him giggle.

Christina Martinez, a board member for MiniMe Cars & Coffee, said most parents bring their children’s own minis so they can drive the mock driving course but some buy miniature vehicles on the spot.

For a $70 annual membership, participants receive an official t-shirt, a MiniMe drivers license, and unlimited use of the driving course.

“We have a police escort and they do a parade around the parking lot,” Martinez said. “We also play games with them in the parking lot afterwards.”

The MiniMe parade starts at 9 a.m. at each Cars & Coffee event and draws a crowd.

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and find the perfect ride at the perfect price.

#floridafinecars #minime #coolrides

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