Model Builders Club Draws Crowds at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach


Admirers check out the detailed models built by the Model Builders Mafia hobbyist club at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

PALM BEACH GARDENS – When Sunrise auto enthusiast Joe Collazo works on a car, he dons magnifying glasses and wields tweezers. The work is delicate and he likes to concentrate.

“I’ve built all kinds of cars, trucks, and bikes,” Collazo said proudly, as car buffs surrounded him at a recent Cars and Coffee Palm Beach to admire his handiwork. “I enjoy working with my hands putting cars together.”FFC Logo New Car

But the cars he and his friends assemble aren’t for driving. They’re miniatures created by the Model Builders Mafia, a group of about 50 hobbyists who love to build and customize model vehicles.

Model Car Builders Create ‘Wow’ Factor By Customizing Kits

On this day, about 75 models were on display. And the buzz they created was impressive.

Florida Fine Cars caught up with Collazo at the Palm Beach Outlets Mall to find out more about how the detailed models are built, how much time is involved and what drives the Model Builders Mafia to create.

Collazo, a baker at a Publix store in Coconut Creek, has been building models for about seven years. So far, he’s constructed about 300 and has no plans to stop.

He’s a detail guy who loves to customize.


Replica of the “Fast and Furious” Toyota Supra.

One of his favorites is a replica of the orange 1995 Toyota Supra from the movie, “Fast and Furious.” The sleek hotrod draws plenty of “oohs” and “ahs.”

Details Come From Discards

“When you open the hood, there are hoses and fuel lines,” Collazo said, pointing out the detail. “Usually when people throw out old appliances, I yank all the wires out.”

Those wires are reborn as engine parts for the model cars Collazo assembles. The result is incredible detail.


Joe Collazo shows off the 2010 International Pro Star tractor replica that took 80 hours to build.

One of his most stunning creations is a 2010 International Pro Star tractor. The red and white model truck has a red cellphone in the front and a tiny CD on the dashboard. A pet monkey stands on the passenger seat near a minuscule and very authentic-looking McDonalds Happy Meal box.

Collazo grins when he describes how he created the Happy Meal.

First, he bought a real Happy Meal, unfolded the box and laid it out flat. Then he photographed it, shrunk the photo on a computer, printed it out and re-assembled it. The result was a perfect copy.


Monkey (right) sits to the right of replica Happy Meal box Collazo made. The cell phone and CD are visible on the center console.

“It took a couple hours,” Collazo confessed. But that’s part of the fun. The way he figures, he invested at least 80 hours in the Pro Star tractor.

“It was a labor of love,” he said. “I just enjoy building them. It keeps me out of trouble.”

Boca Raton resident Gary Mitchell is another model building buff. But he’s very choosy about what type of cars he builds.

“I usually deal in Fords. I’m a one-make model builder,” he chuckled.


Hobbyists from the Model Builders Mafia customize model kits to create realistic replicas of cars, trucks and motorcycles.

Mitchell drives a 2009 Ford Mustang and has been building model cars for 52 years.

He figures he’s built around 100 so far, but he’s not exactly sure. He likes customizing his models as well.

“It’s something to do on a rainy day or to kill some time,” Mitchell said. “Whatever you want you can add on to a car. Ignition wires, brake lines, detailing.”

West Palm Beach resident Julia Acosta was completely impressed. She is hoping they can build a model of her red 2013 Scion FRS.

“I think they are super cool. I asked them if they make custom replicas of cars,” Acosta said. “They have my car but they don’t have the body kit right. I’ve seen model cars but never in this detail.”

For more information about the Model Builders Mafia, go to, or contact Adam at 954-304-5502 for more information.

Florida Fine Cars Offers a Huge Selection of Quality Used Cars at Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers nearly 1,800 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Margate, Hollywood and Miami. Our new Margate dealership at 5300 Copans Road just opened in February 2018.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and test drive the car of your dreams.

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Florida Fine Cars Finds Some Cool Rides at Monthly Car Meet Up


Cars & Coffee Palm Beach offers a huge array of cool cars to check out.

PALM BEACH GARDENS – You never know who you might meet or what you might see at Cars & Coffee Palm Beach. The enormously popular car meet up at the Palm Beach Outlets Mall attracts high-end car collectors, hobbyists and lots of regular folks who love to look at cool rides.

Florida Fine Cars caught up with a few of those car enthusiasts during one of the recent monthly events. Here’s what we found!
FFC Logo New Car

Meet car buff Larry Jones, a retired boat captain who loves to show off his custom 1950 Mercury Coupe, a sleek black custom head-turner painted with ferocious flames that lick at the hood. Jones acquired the car about eight years ago partially customized and has continued to do more work. Talking about it makes him smile.

“It has a Chevrolet engine, a big block Chevrolet. It has a lot of power. It’s got probably 500 horsepower,” Jones said proudly. The stunning paint job was created by Crazy Horse Painting in Waxhaw, North Carolina. It’s called “live fire” and it’s meant to stop traffic.


Car buff Larry Jones pops the top on his customized 1950 Mercury Coupe at Cars & Coffee Palm Beach.

“I’ve chopped the top, I’ve channeled the car (brought the floor up 4-inches) and it rides on air bags,” Jones explained. “It has air bags on all four corners. It’s a better suspension and then you lower it and it looks cooler.”

The car sports a chrome grill from a ’56 Chevy, and the headlights are “frenched,” or recessed into the body of the car.

Nearby, Jeff Bye parked his yellow 1966 Ford F-100 pickup truck, no ordinary ride by any account! He rebuilt the lowrider with a 2008 Crown Victoria front end, a 5-speed transmission from a 1998 5.0 liter Ford Mustang and installed buttons on each side that shoot out fire.


Jeff Bye stands by his 1966 Ford F-100 that he customized himself.

“Some people think you should restore it the way it was,” said Bye, who rebuilds Porsches and Ferraris for a living. “It’s either like love or hate. I’ve had people tell me I’ve destroyed the truck.”

You’ll always know when Bye’s truck is on its way: it doesn’t have a muffler or pipes and the noise is really, really loud.

But that’s all part of the fun.

According to John Zeilinga – one of the founders of Cars & Coffee –  the popular monthly car meet up usually attracts about 1,400 cars car owners during the slow months. During the Season, you might find as many as 2,500 cars on display and 20,000 spectators in attendance.

“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.


Brandon Gasparini sits atop his mud-spattered 1997 Jeep Cherokee X5.

Brandon Gasparini is one of those car buffs who works on cars. His Jeep Cherokee is a marvel with the rugged-looking, textured spatter that distinguishes from all others. But Gasparini didn’t pay a penny for the look. It’s mud, not paint, and it draws crowds every time he wheels into Cars & Coffee to show it off.

“Best paint job around,” yelled a passerby, who gave a thumbs up. “We like this one the best!”

Gasparini’s 1997 model Jeep Cherokee X5 has nearly 300,000 miles on the odometer and is  spattered with so much mud that many spectators mistake it for a custom paint job until some of the texture rubs off on their fingers.

“I haven’t washed it in a month,” said Gasparini who works for Jeep. “It runs like a dream.”


The mud coating on Gasparini’s Jeep gives it a custom look that many mistake for paint.

The mud buggy has removable doors, a 4.5-inch lift and 33-inch tires.
Gasparini takes his Jeep mudding in some secret holes in Port St. Lucie that he’s been digging since he was in high school.

“It takes hours to wash it which is why I don’t,” he chuckled.

Across the way, Joe Zahradnik was showing off the brand new 2017 Shelby Baja Raptor, one of only 50 to be manufactured and the first of four to be sold to the public: the first went to the Shelby Museum in Las Vegas, the second to the Ford Motor Co. and the third to an undisclosed business executive.

Crowds of truck lovers were “oohing: and “aahing” at the huge blue beast, built with a redesigned front bumper, special suspension work and custom LED lighting that can be angled as you drive.

“Amazing! When can I take it for a test drive,” cooed one admirer as he peered inside.


2017 Shelby Baja Raptor was a crowd pleaser at a recent Cars & Coffee. The vehicle is #4 of 50 and the first being offered for sale to the public.

Sticker price? $115,000.

And at Cars & Coffee, there’s a likely buyer somewhere with the means to take it home.

At the back of the lot, Said Sauder fielded questions about his fire-engine 1969 modelred T-1 Porsche transporter, which has the cab of an old Volkswagen bus and the rear of a car transporter.


Interior of 1969 T-1 Porsche Transporter.

“Back in the ’60s and ’70s Porsche had to take their cars to races and that was the way to go in style,” Sauder explained. But Sauder’s transporter has a longer bed – he stretched by seven feet.

Back in the day, the vehicle was used to transport a Porsche 550 Spider to races and back, he said.

It’s quirky mix of Volkwagen charm and longbed truck drew admirers all day long.

“This is the only one of its kind in the U.S.,” Sauder said. “There’s two in Germany.  It’s supposed to have a Porsche Spider on it but it’s not ready. Three people told me it’s the best car in the show!”


Said Sauder poses with his 1969 T-1 Porsche Transporter.

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers nearly 1,000 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its three locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and just off Florida’s Turnpike, and in Hollywood and Miami. 

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and test drive the car of your dreams.

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Hard-to-Find Exotic Rides Define the duPont REGISTRY


duPont Registry helps high end car collectors buy and sell upscale vehicles.

PALM BEACH  GARDENS – Flip through the duPont REGISTRY and you’ll find pages of collectible cars like the 2006 Ford GT Heritage for $489,900 and exotics like the 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta for $699,000. Or a vintage 1969 Chevy Pro Touring Camaro for $55,000.

The glossy magazine is eye candy for car lovers everywhere and is packed with wild rides that are VERY hard-to-find.

Florida Fine Cars caught up with the duPont REGISTRY during a recent Cars & Coffee meet to find out why the magazine is such a draw for car enthusiasts and collectors from all walks of life.

The monthly magazine is a leading publication for the high-end marketplace with an appeal to “individuals whose net worth significantly exceeds what is traditionally considered upscale,” according to the duPont REGISTRY.

FFC Logo New Car

“It’s flying off the table,” said duPont REGISTRY account executive Dylan Orluck, as he handed out copies of the October 2017 edition with a McLaren 720S on the cover. “People are loving it. A lot of people recognize us from our social media. We have 6.5 million followers on Facebook and nearly 700,000 followers on Instagram.”

duPont REGISTRY Appeals to Both Serious Collectors and Dreamers

Yes, the cars that are advertised in the magazine appeal to the rich and famous. But not everyone who picks up the magazine has the money to buy. Dreaming is OK, too.


A car enthusiast chats with representatives from the upscale duPont REGISTRY.

“We have a lot of aspirational readers who obviously can’t afford the million dollar cars but can maybe afford the $50,000 car,” Orluck said. “Plus, even if you can’t afford any of the cars they are fun to look at.”

The magazine offers a unique marketplace for high-end car owners to buy and sell their vehicles to others in similar financial circles. Cars for sale in the magazine range in price from $50,000 to $1 million, Orluck said. The duPont REGISTRY is typically distributed at private airlines, First Class lounges, or among major sports teams.


The October 2017 edition of the duPont REGISTRY features a McLaren 720S on the cover.

“There are a lot of people here who are trying to sell their cars or advertise their businesses,” Orluck noted. “This is the perfect venue for this with all the exotic and high end vehicles that are coming through.

No surprise that a line of red, white and blue Lamborghinis was parked next  to the duPont REGISTRY tent.

One of them was Brad of Boca Raton, who owns a red 1986 Ferrari 328 and a black 2007 Ferrari F430 which he is trying to sell. He figured the duPont REGISTRY would be read by car lovers who might actually buy one of his Ferraris.

“It’s got some good pictures and it’s well-respected,” he said of the duPont REGISTRY. “And sometimes someone is just in the mood for a (new) toy.”

Florida Fine Cars Makes It Easy to Buy a Quality Used Car

Florida Fine Cars offers nearly 1,000 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its three locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and just off Florida’s Turnpike, and in Hollywood and Miami. 

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and test drive the car of your dreams.

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Fury Road RC Rolls Out Support for Storm Victims at Cars & Coffee


Fury Road Riding Club co-owner Adrienne Mazzone talks about the Hurricane Irma raffle at Cars & Coffee while Cesar Pentzke videotapes for Florida Fine Cars.

PALM BEACH GARDENS – When a pack of flashy bikers determined to help the less fortunate rumbled into the September Cars & Coffee meetup, they hoped their presence would drum up attention for a Hurricane Irma fundraiser.

It did. The rows of rumbling bikes stood out nicely amid hundreds of cool cars. And the hurricane raffle, organized by the Exotic Car Society, raised nearly $1,000.FuryRoad (1)

Florida Fine Cars caught up with members of the Fury Road Riding Club at Cars & Coffee as the bikers mingled with car buffs and pledged their support for the Exotic Car Society’s fundraising raffle to benefit victims of Hurricane Irma. Irma blew through South Florida in late September destroying homes, knocking out power and taking lives.FFC Logo New Car

Fury Road co-owner and media relations director Adrienne Mazzone said it’s all about helping those in need.

“We try to bring awareness and extra support to any good cause,” said Mazzone, who’s also president of TransMedia Group in Boca Raton. Mazzone rides a 2016 Indian Scout and says the bike club always draws attention everywhere it goes. Harnessing that buzz for good causes is easy because people are fascinated by motorcycles, she noted.


Adrienne Mazzone, co-owner and media relations director for the Fury Road Riding Club, on her Indian Scout motorcycle.

“It’s the throttle and the excitement of the loudness of the bike. The loud pipes rolling in. It’s always fun and excitement,” Mazzone said. Fury Road has about 60 independent riders and includes school teachers, architects, and an array of others. The group holds a weekly bike night every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings in Deerfield Beach. Find out more about Fury Road Riding Club at


Monetary Contributions Benefit Storm Victims Through

Crystal Anne, who owns, collected donations at the fundraising tent for storm victims. The money will be distributed to those in need through

“One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the actual cause,” said Crystal Anne, a member of the Exotic Car Society.

Her involvement has been personal. Crystal Anne traveled to Texas to help with disaster relief after Hurricane Harvey struck and spent time working in a Houston distribution warehouse unloading supplies for people in need

Afterwards, she went to Beaumont where she helped deliver disaster supplies by boat in the flood zones. The experience touched her heart.

 “People are very generous. They have really come together. It was really an amazing, amazing experience,” she said. That’s why she jumped at the chance to help out again when the Exotic Car Society got involved in fundraising for storm victims.


Shop Florida Fine Cars at Three Convenient Locations

Florida Fine Cars offers nearly 1,000 quality used cars for sale priced thousands below retail at its three locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in Hollywood and Miami. Stop by and drive home your dream car today!

#floridafinecars #furyroadrc #exoticcarsociety1 #carsandcoffee

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Florida Fine Cars Meets the “AutoGeek” at Cars & Coffee Palm Beach


Mike Phillips, host of the Autogeek’s detailing how-to videos, discussed polishing techniques with Florida Fine Cars.

NORTH PALM BEACH – Auto detailing guru Mike Phillips loves to talk about shiny cars.

“I have made a career out of showing people how to remove swirls,” chuckled Phillips, one of the foremost experts on auto detailing and paint restoration. “For 30 years I’ve been teaching people how to polish paint.”

Florida Fine Cars caught up with the Stuart resident at Cars & Coffee Palm Beach, where the YouTube sensation and host of Autogeek’s detailing how-to videos fielded questions about detailing, demonstrated polishing techniques and posed for pictures with fans.FFC Logo New Car

Autogeek’s detailing tip segments have been featured on the My Classic Car TV show for five years. In recent years, Phillips has also been featured in tip segments on the TV shows Two Guys Garage with Willie B. and Kevin Byrd, Two Guys Garage with Bryan Fuller, Truck U with Bruno Massel and Matt Steele, and Motorhead Garage with Sam and Dave.

Phillips also hosted Autogeek’s What’s In The Garage? TV show which saw a successful two-season run on the FOX Sports Network.

“I take what I know and show people how to do something,” Phillips explained. “A lot of people think polishing paint starts with a buffer. It really starts with your brain.”

Detailing a car properly can be more challenging than it looks and learning how to get it right can take a little time, he explained. Car enthusiasts get a new toy and then realize they don’t know how to keep it looking sharp.

“I got this now. What do I do?” It’s a scenario that commonly plays out among new car owners everywhere, he noted.

What’s more, modern paints are more difficult to work by hand because they have changed since the 1980s and some car owners resist using rotary polishing tools because they don’t understand them, Phillips said.


Mike Phillips runs a Griot’s Garage 6″ random orbital over his hand to demonstrate its safety.

They envision disaster when they think of using a rotary polishing tool.

“They think all tools are dangerous but a lot of the new tools are very safe,” he explained.

To prove it, he demonstrated the safety of a Griot’s Garage 6” random orbital by running it across his hand and then the hand of a spectator. The whirring polisher did little more than tickle, as a fan watched admiringly.

“He’s the expert,” the man gushed. “He is the authority when it comes to making sure the finish of a car is perfect!”


Mike Phillips talks detailing with a fan at Cars & Coffee Palm Beach.

Phillips is the author of five how-to books on car and boat detailing. His books include:

  • The Art of Detailing
  • The Complete Guide to a Show Car Shine
  • How to use the FLEX XC3401 VRG Dual Action Orbital Polisher
  • How to use the RUPES BigFoot Paint Polishing System
  • How to Detail Boats with Marine 31

Shop Florida Fine Cars at Three Convenient Locations

Florida Fine Cars offers nearly 1,000 quality used cars for sale priced thousands below retail at its three locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in Hollywood and Miami. Stop by and drive home your dream car today!

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