Cars and Coffee Exhibitor Loses Exotic Cars Worth $1 Million in Fiery Blaze

FORT LAUDERDALE – Car collector Tim Schmidt, whose $3.8 million 2018 Bugatti Chiron wowed the crowds at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach earlier this year, lost more than $1 million in exotic cars in a two-alarm fire that raged through the custom garage of his Fort Lauderdale home.

Tim Schmidt in his 2018 Bugatti Chiron.

Schmidt, of Ontario, spoke with Florida Fine Cars in January about his Bugatti, his exotic car collection and why he likes to dress in tie dye.

He recently posted to his Instagram account @hapihipi: “To all. Thanks for your kind words it’s still killing me BUT I will come back bigger and better watch and see. #thanksfortheloveandsupport.

Approximately 50 firefighters were needed to fight this fire, which destroyed more than $1 million in rare collectible cars.

Destroyed in the May 21st blaze were an $80,000 2013 Nissan GTR, a $27,000 2017 Harley Davidson, a $420,000 2016 Bentley Moulsanne, a $350,000 2018 Porsche 911 Special, a $28,000 1973 Volkswagen Thing, a $130,000 2018 Tesla Mode XB100B and two golf carts and two jetskis.

No one was injured but his seasonal home on Southeast 12th Court is uninhabitable, he told Florida Fine Cars.  The Ontario resident was in Canada when the two-alarm fire broke out and is returning to Florida to assess the damage. He said on Saturday he is too upset to discuss the loss.

Firefighters battle a raging garage fire at the Fort Lauderdale home of car collector Tim Schmidt.

“Sorry but I can’t talk,” Schmidt said in a text message. “I’m still just too devastated over this.”

Schmidt said the source of the blaze may have been electrical.

Tim Schmidt’s 2018 Bugatti Chiron on display at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach in January 2019.

Shortly after the fire broke out, Schmidt told his followers on Instagram, “We are fine, just have broken hearts,” followed by another post of “no words, just tears.”

According to the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department,  the fire started in the garage and spread quickly and intensely.

“This was a very, very, very heavy fire,” said Chief Stephen Gollan, spokesman for the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, told the news media. The fire was reported at 8:52 p.m. and wasn’t under control until 9:40 p.m. The blaze was so intense it required 50 firefighters to put it out.

Schmidt, an admitted eccentric, usually dresses head to toe in tie dye, wears fluorescent yellow glasses and sports a long gray beard and a wicked smile. He’s friendly, approachable and loves to talk about his cars with just about anyone who wants to chat.

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 Instagram account has more than 40,500 followers.

“A lot of people don’t expect a guy like me to get out of a car like that,” Schmidt chuckled in January as he stood next to his pricey Bugatti. “I’m not above anyone else.”

“I’m always in tie dye,” Schmidt told Florida Fine Cars in an interview. “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.

The exotic 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.

Car Collector Had Recently Displayed Many Exotics at Local Car Show

Back in January, he brought seven of his collectible cars to 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 garage at Schmidt’s Fort Lauderdale home could accommodate 12 cars, but he owns 35 collectible cars. 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 said in January. “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.”

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!

#bugatti #floridafinecars #exotics

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Put Your Car on a Cup! It’s Easy

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Paul Maggard of Off the Wall Tees N More can put your car on a cup.

NORTH PALM BEACH – Love you car so much you want to see it first thing every morning and right before you go to bed?

Put it on a cup! It’s easy and Florida Fine Cars met just the guy to do it.

Whether your favorite ride is a Volkswagen, a Mercedes or Peugeot, Paul Maggard can hook you up!

Florida Fine Cars checked out this new vendor at a recent Cars and Coffee Palm Beach. Here’s what we found out!

  • Off the Wall Tees N More can put your favorite car logo on a cup for about $12.50. A custom cup designed with a special photos may run you anywhere from $15 to $19.
  • The business is owned by Paul Maggard, who attended his first Cars and Coffee Palm Beach in March. His booth drew lots of queries from car enthusiasts who were looking for their favorite makes and models. He’s been in the business for about seven years, the past three in Margate, FL.
  • Maggard can put anything car-related onto just about anything — cups, coasters, bar blades, puzzles and awards trophies. And he does it with a smile.
  • He believes his custom and promotional items turn out better because he offers personalized service that chain stores or mail order services don’t.

Here’s what Paul had to say about customizing cups for his customers:

“I like the personal touch where you can talk to someone and throw suggestions at them. And if it’s not a clear picture forget about it. If you’ve given me a bad picture you are going to get a bad picture back,” he noted.

What Do Customers Want? Merchandise Personalized With Their Favorite Cars

“A lot of people were coming up to me and asking if I had anything with Mopar, Chevy, Ford, Lamborghini. A lot them wanted a certain kind of car — a Mopar sign or a Ford Motor sign,” Paul added.

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An array of cool car cups on display at the Off the Wall Tees N More booth at a recent Cars and Coffee.

“It’s basically something that really stands out with their brand. I have images for Bugattis and Ferraris and Bentleys for different kinds of shows. There is such a variety of cars out there,” Paul said. “A lot of people came by and asked for a variety of different things. Oil cans — they were on coffee mugs. The old STP. I took those images and put them onto the mugs. Old-school hot rod guys like those.”

He’s also hoping to create some kind of kids’ corner for all the children that attend Cars and Coffee.

“It’s a really family oriented show. I could set something up,” he said.

“You name it, I can do it — there is not much out there that I can’t do,” Paul noted. He recently designed a sun-rated custom sleeve for a Jeep owner who wanted to protect his left arm, which he often hung out of his hard-top Jeep,

The sleeve was made from polyester fabric with an image of a Jeep similar to the one the man drove. It’s also popular to put images on the drink holders in of cars. And lots of other practical items you can use.

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Personalizing merchandise is what Paul Maggard’s business is all about.

“How I really to into this business is that I had my own characters, The Galaxy Travelers, and wondered how I might get these guy out in front of the public. I come from a construction background and wanted something a little bit lighter.”

Paul met a guy who made promotional items and convinced him it was time to make a change.

“When I started designing items, it made me happy, it was exciting,” Paul recalled. “I was good at building and doing remodeling but it had become just a job — there was no excitement in it.”

“I like the emotions this produces in other people. A guy recently picked up a mug with a Harley Davidson on it and said, ‘Wow, this is fantastic. I love this.’”

And that’s why Paul does what he does.

Looking for a Used Car? Florida Fine Cars Offers a Huge Selection of Quality Cars

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 #carcups #carsandcoffee

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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!

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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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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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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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Charity Donates Minivan to Single Mother With Kids

Minivan recipient Christine Kelly with son Iyzaiah and daughter Sophia.

NORTH PALM BEACH – Single mother Christine Kelly, a U.S. Army veteran, needed a car to drive to work so she could support her two young children.

She’d been using a rental car for about a month but needed a more permanent solution.

That’s when the not-for-profit Wheels From the Heart stepped in and made her life much easier.

The Delray Beach-based organization, founded by former car dealer Steven F. Muschlitz, partnered with best-selling author Anthony Caliendo to find Kelly a suitable vehicle. It was Wheels From the Heart’s 97th car giveaway.

On Veterans Day at the monthly Cars and Coffee Palm Beach auto show, Kelly got the keys to a 2006 champagne-colored Chrysler Town & Country Ltd. minivan. Florida Fine Cars caught up with Wheels From the Heart, Kelly and Caliendo at the car show to find out more.

“I thought it was amazing,” Kelly said, holding the keys to her shiny minivan, surrounded by a crowd of well-wishers.

Kelly’s boss had told her two days earlier that she needed to get car insurance, but Kelly wasn’t sure what was up.  She found out about the minivan when she arrived.

“I thought he was messing with me because he likes to mess with me,” she said of her boss.

Caliendo said Kelly’s boss told her that Wheels From the Heart was trying to decide who was going to get the vehicle, but didn’t verify that she would be selected.

Muschlitz got Kelly’s name from Col. Tony Colmenares, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and community liaison. Colmenares lured Kelly to the car giveaway by telling her he was taking her to a Veteran’s Day celebration.  He instructed her to wear her Army uniform for the occasion.

“She got here and was a little nervous because she saw so many are and people here,” Colmenares said of the crowd that packed the parking lot of the Palm Beach Outlets Mall. “We parked by this big truck and I said, ‘You are going to get a vehicle today.’”

Kelly, who served four years on active duty and is now in the reserves, said her family had been without a vehicle since mid-September when she went through a separation from her husband.

Charity Founded to Help Women in Need Obtain Cars

Wheels From the Heart’s goal is to help women in need “drive to a better life.”

Their website outlines the organization’s mission with a question and a statement: “What do you accomplish in your car every single day? Now consider doing it without a car.”

Muschlitz said he started the charity because he met so many women who needed help during his 15 years in the car industry. The cars his organization provides are a mix of donations and purchases.

Caliendo partnered with Wheels from the Heart to help push their donation rate over 100 cars. The business brokerage company owner got involved because the car giveaway initiative is near and dear to his heart: Caliendo was raised by a single mother and knows firsthand how tough life can be.

“My father left when I was young,” said Caliendo, who also had two siblings. “We were broke and poor. I remember three kids being stuck on the road many times with my mother’s broken-down vehicle. Now I’m helping single mothers get a vehicle or get a BETTER vehicle.

His motto: When you are blessed, become a blessing.  He is also a member of the advisory board for Kids in Distress.

Iyzaiah explores the new minivan that was donated by Wheels From the Heart.

Kelly’s son Iyzaiah, 5, and daughter Sophia, 2, were delighted with the roomy new minivan.

Iyzaiah immediately noticed the TV in the back and wanted to turn it on.

“Where is the remote control,” he said, looking around.

He crawled into the backseat with a big grin on his face.

“My car has a sunroof and it has seven seats,” he said happily.

“It’s easy to get in and out of and the kids will have space,” Kelly said smiling.

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!

#betterlife #floridafinecars #wheelsfromtheheart

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Car Buff Shares Love of Vintage Glitz

PALM BEACH GARDENS – Stephen Siben beamed like a proud parent as a grou

p of admirers gathered around his bright red Marlin.

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Stephen Siben’s vintage 1965 Marlin at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

The vintage 1965 beauty, a rare sighting in the world of classic cars, was a car show curiosity that almost always drew questions and compliments.

Florida Fine Cars caught up with Mr. Siben at a recent Cars and Coffee Palm Beach meet up to hear more about the car that was built by Rambler for just three years, and his love for collecting.

“Orphan” Cars are the Foundation for New York Car Lover’s Collection

“I like orphan cars,” explained Siben, 80, a Long Island attorney and avid car collector with a seasonal home in South Florida. “I have a DeSoto, a Packard, a Studebaker and a Hudson. I’m an insane car collector.”

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Stephen Siben talks about his 1965 Marlin.

His cherry red Marlin is among his favorites. Why? Because of its oddball status.

“The Marlin is a very special car – not very expensive but it’s nice,” Siben said. The Rambler Marlin (AMC Marlin) is a two-door fastback automobile that was produced by American Motors Corporation from 1965 to 1967. It was marketed as a personal luxury car and known as “Rambler Marlin”.

Its most striking feature is the sloped fastback roofline that terminates at the rear bumper.

The vehicle has about 60,000 miles on it, and was restored by previous owners. It has six-way electric seats that fully recline but no power windows.Trim packages weren’t standard, Siben explained, so when the Marlin was sold, buyers custom-ordered their car to include or exclude certain features. Every vehicle was different.

His Marlin is dripping with chrome, a feature that makes many vintage cars so appealing, Siben said.

“Look at this chrome! It’s beautiful,” Siben said, as he walked around his Marlin, pointing out the gleaming silver trim.“The new cars are very ugly but they are safer with air bags and crash bumpers. These (vintage) cars are beautiful, with lots of chrome on them. The engines are beautiful too.”

The personal injury lawyer said he’s always owned nice cars but doesn’t collect any of the vehicles that he’s driven in the past, such as Jaguars and Maseratis. Today he’s interested in cars that sport the glitz of yesteryear.

“I buy now the cars I never had,” he said.

He drives them, too.

“I go to car shows up in New York all summer and fall and then in winter I come to Florida.  I have small to medium cars,” he said. “On a Sunday I take one of my cars out, with the top down, and people give me the thumbs up. I am an 80-year-old guy and it makes me feel good.”

Eclectic Vintage Cars With Chrome are Headturners

His collection changes regularly. Siben buys vintage vehicles when they strike his fancy, and then sells something in his collection to make room for the new arrival.

Right now his favorites include a lime green Plymouth Barracuda, a 1959 Edsel with a retractable convertible roof, a red 1957 Thunderbird, a black 1984 Zimmer with a red interior and two custom Ghias, a 1962 steel blue model once owned by actress Lucille Ball and a 1957 red Ghia convertible.

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“I like them all,” he said laughing, when asked to single out his favorite.

One of his most unusual vehicles is a 1964 amphicar with a Volkswagen transmission and a Porsche transaxle. The vehicle has two propellors and can traverse land and water. Siben takes it in the water up in New York.

“It’s still seaworthy,” he laughed.

His car collecting hobby is part of what keeps him young, Siben said smiling. He travels to car auctions all over the country, hopscotching from South Dakota and California to Indian, Florida, Illinois and Texas. And when he sees something he likes, he adds it to his collection, which totals around two dozens cars.

His wife Sherry is supportive, as long as she doesn’t have to attend all the car shows anymore, he said.

“She retired from going to car shows,” Siben chuckled. He also agreed NOT to add to his collection unless he sells some of his existing collectibles.

“I always go shopping but I made a deal,” he grinned sheepishly. “If I don’t sell four cars I won’t buy anything.”

His take on Cars and Coffee?

“There were thousands of cars and they ran out of parking. It’s fabulous,” Siben said.

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

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,500 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 used car of your dreams.

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Car Show is Backdrop for Photography Class

PALM BEACH GARDENS – Taking GOOD photos of cars is a lot trickier than it seems.

Photo by Maylon Rodriguez

Just ask the students in Isidro Pentzke’s photography class at the Fine Arts Academy at Wellington High School. Pentzke recently took them to the Cars and Coffee Palm Beach car show to take auto pictures. They found out just how challenging it can be and shared their thoughts with Florida Fine Cars:

“There’s a lot of things with cars. They reflect a lot of light so it messes up the photos,” confessed Maylon Rodriguez, 15, who was taking pictures with a Nikon D-3400 at the crowded car show. “It’s my first time taking pictures of cars. A lot of the time you have to step back a bit and study the scene and study what you have to work with. It’s an enlightening experience.”

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Students from Wellington High School pose with teacher Isidro Pentzke and Florida Fine Cars employees at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

Photographing Cars Poses Tricky Challenges

The sun reflects off just about every surface on a car. It’s hard to get the whole car in one frame. And sometimes when you do, it still looks wrong. Those are a few of the things the students discovered, and exactly the type of experiences Pentzke wanted his photography students to have. His goal was to get them thinking instead of relying on the camera to do all the work.

“The biggest thing I wanted was to get them out of that program mode and let them learn about light,” Pentzke said.

 

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Pentzke is a Wellington High School alumni with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Lesley University in Boston. He came back to the high school he attended to teach students what he loved.

But getting the right equipment to teach kids photography is expensive. So Pentzke had to be creative. He applied for and received approximately $80,000 in grant money, and his students raised about $10,000 selling cookie dough and candy. He was able to equip his students with state-of-the-art equipment.

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Isidro Pentzke talks to his students about photography at a Cars and Coffee car show.

Pentzke purchased 15 new Nikon cameras with lenses, along with new three top notch printers and 28 new laptop computers. His students were able to get certified to use Photoshop.

“We bus in a lot of kids who may not be able to afford a camera that allows us to do what we teach. I wrote a proposal and told the school this isn’t a theory class, this is a hands-on class,” Pentzke said.

Pentzke was thrilled with the photos his students shot at the Cars and Coffee car show. He challenged the students to get him 10 really good shots each and they delivered.

“They did really well,” Pentzke said.

Students Embrace Hands-On Learning in Outdoor Setting

Taking his photography students OUT of the classroom is part of learning how to capture real life in images, he noted.

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Wellington HS photo students pose with Florida Fine Cars employees at Cars and Coffee Palm.

“We try to get at least once a month different locations. The reason I take them out there is to get them out there in the real world. In my classroom everything is controlled but when we go into the world everything changes,” Pentzke said. “The clouds are one way or the light on the cars is changing. They have to figure out how am I going to meter this car, where is the light coming from and how am I going to frame this car?”

When Rodriguez looked at the photos he had taken, he was happy.

“I was actually pretty impressed with how I did taking pictures of the cars. I did better than I thought I actually did,” Rodriguez said. “The challenge I ran into was pretty much the lighting. A lot of the light was reflecting off the cars and there were a lot of reflections with people in them. I was proud of how detailed they came out and the different angles.”

Photo by Angelina Guadagna

Senior Angelina Guadagna, 17, a car buff who loves to shoot pictures of cars, had a blast finding out what she could do with a camera at the car show.

“I love cars and think they photograph incredibly well. I’ve been studying photography about six years and have gone to multiple different car shows,” said Guadagna, who uses a Sony II 35mm camera. “This is one of the biggest and it’s great being out here with all these different cars and being able to challenge yourself to take pictures of them. It’s tons of fun.”

Photo by Stephanie Monaco

Guadagna was pleased with her photos.

“It was a beautiful day out so the sun provided great lighting. The only issue I ran into was that people turned up in the background,” she said. She said Pentzke encourages his students to come up with new ideas for subject matter and locations for taking photos.

“He really lets us express our creativity,” Guadagna said.

Photography student Stephanie Monaco, 16, a junior, said it was a learning experience shooting cars.

Photo by David Sanchez

“It’s really cool. I like the old cars. My dad’s really into those so I have an appreciation for that too,” Monaco said.

Student David Sanchez, 17, also a junior, said the car show was a great opportunity to practice photography.

“I’m just here to get better at what I do,” Sanchez said. “If you’re not learning something new about photography you’re really not a photographer. I just enjoy doing this. I love my teacher. He’s really helped me to improve.”

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

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,500 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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Florida Fine Cars Employee Rocks Warped Tour With Punk Band

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Cesar “Punski,” singer/songwriter/guitarist and Florida Fine Cars marketing coordinator, performs with Grounds.

WEST PALM BEACH – When the Vans Warped Tour played its final concert in August in West Palm Beach, Florida Fine Cars was represented on stage.

But it wasn’t with cool cars. Instead, Florida Fine Cars marketing coordinator Cesar Pentzke was  rocking out: he’s the singer and guitar player for a punk band called Grounds. He performed on the Korner stage of the huge musical festival on August 5th, where he goes by the name “Cesar Punski”.

His bandmates included Seth Hochstadt, drums; William “Parker” Rockenstien, guitarist; and Reggie Miller, bass and backing vocals.

“I’m a hooligan in the best way,” joked Pentzke, who graduated from Full Sail University with an associate’s degree in recording arts and a bachelor of science in entertainment business.

“I’m a hard core punk rock youth and I live my dreams. I knew this is what I was going to be doing when I was a lot younger.”

Love of Music is Rooted in Childhood and Family Ties

He’s been making music since age 11 when he picked up his dad’s guitar. He also plays trumpet, trombone and drums.

The Warped Tour is a traveling rock festival that has toured the United States annually each summer since 1995. It is the largest traveling music festival in the United States, and is the longest-running touring music festival in North America.

Music is Pentzke’s love and he always makes time for it.

“I have a job to make money. I play music for my soul,” said Pentzke, who is the songwriter for Grounds. “People are in bands because they want to be in a band. Music is a hobby, it’s not a job.”

Pentzke became the marketing coordinator for Florida Fine Cars nearly two years ago. He’s the creative force behind all the cool videos and social media Florida Fine Cars uses to promote its cars and customer service.

But his roots always take him back to punk rock.

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: his dad is a musician and a doctor; his mom sings and is a microbiologist; his paternal grandfather was a composer and his maternal grandfather, a lawyer. His brother teaches high school photography and his sister is a lawyer.

Expectations for Pentzke were high.

“I was either going to go to University of Florida and be a doctor, or go to Orlando and be a punk rocker,” he recalled. “I chose to be a punk rocker.”

He found his place with Grounds in December 2015.

The band released its first album “The Struggle EP” in 2016 with Detres Entertainment Group. They released their second album, “Screen Tested; Mother Approved,” with Takeover Records — on October 13, 2017.  It was Friday the 13th.

Punk Rock’s Raw Emotion Give the Music an Edge

Pentzke loves the raw, reckless emotion associated with punk rock. The mohawk hair styles, the studded leather jackets, the spiked belts. The moshe pits. It all fits together.

“What I first liked about punk rock is that it is dangerous,” said Pentzke, whose arms and legs are covered in tattoos. “Punk music was fast-paced. People would slam each other at concerts. It was the edge I was attracted to. The idea of being on stage and seeing the mosh pit makes me feel like I am doing a great job.”

Unpredictability is part of a punk rock show’s allure, he said.

“Anything can happen. You never know what is going to happen. Not in a bad way – people like to have fun and it’s really cool to travel around and see what people do,” he added.

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.

He loves the fact that his co-workers at Florida Fine Cars are supportive and attend his local performances whenever they can.

“It’s really cool having that much support. To have people care about what you are doing and back you up,” Pentzke said.

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Your Dream Car

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,500 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 just off Florida’s Turnpike, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our tiny prices and huge selection.

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#warpedtour #grounds #cesarpunski