Auto Show Eats Satify Hungry Car Show Crowd

NORTH PALM BEACH – The line at Little Snokyo was 10 people deep and John Salazar and his wife Nicole were up to their elbows in ice.

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Conor Defreitas enjoys a blueberry snowcone.

Nearby, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and McLarens glistened in the glare of the mid-morning sun. The mercury topped 80 and the air was sticky and hot. Customers forked over $5 a scoop as fast as the Salazars could dish it out.

It was a broiling day at Cars and Coffee and business was blazing.

“Rainbow is the most popular: cherry, blue raspberry and lemon,” Salazar said. “It tastes good and looks pretty.”

So what’s the link between cool cars and fun food? Florida Fine Cars caught up with Salazar at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach to find out.

“It’s endless summer in Florida. It’s always hot, and people want to bring their families to the car scene and have family time,” Salazar said.

Salazar’s snow cone truck is a regular at the popular car show. He typically brings 100 pounds of ice and eight gallons of flavored syrup so he can serve 100-150 show cones to car enthusiasts looking for a break.

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Little Snokyo serves up to 150 snowcones during the Cars and Coffee car show.

“I once had a buddy who drove all the way from Miami to West Palm Beach to get the snow cones. It’s a win-win,” Salazar said. “The kids love it and the adults like to relive their childhood with it.”

Conor Defreitas, 5, is one of those kids. His dad bought him a blueberry-flavored snow cone which promptly turned his tongue blue.

“It’s hot and it’s what kids enjoy. Why not?”said Ricardo Defreitas, of Hollywood.

The snow cone truck often causes some buzz itself.

It’s a 1992 Daihatsu Hijet micro van Salazar modified to serve as a food truck. The vehicle came with a three-cylinder engine which he replaced with a six cylinder motorcycle engine. Salazar, his wife and son Dominic, 10, have driven it as far north as Daytona Beach.

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Waffles and chicken sells for $11 a plate, a popular favorite.

A short distance away, the Waffle Wagon was drawing crowds. Customers clamored for plates of chicken and waffles as quick as Loxahatchee residents Sal and Kelley Accardi could serve the $11 meals up.

“We usually do about 150-200 customers in that little time frame – that translates into 150-200 waffles, some with chicken and some without,” Sal Accardi said.

Other popular treats include waffles with Nutella or soft-serve ice cream flavored with carmelized bananas, at $7 a serving.

The Waffle Wagon opens for business at 8 a.m. and usually sells out by 11 a.m. And the line never ends.

That Accardi sets up shop at a car show is no surprise. He’s been building show cars himself for over 25 years, ranging from crazy hydraulic dancing cars to slammed lowrider trucks. But his daily driver IS his food truck, and it’s not a regular car. Inside is all chrome with custom everything.

Walk to the north end of the car show lot and you can’t miss the smokey smell of Meathead’s BBQ.

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Shay Hicks and her husband Marcel serve BBQ from Meathead’s BBQ food truck.

Marcel and Shay Hicks cook up their mouth-watering magic.

Marcel, the pit master, might run through 36 pounds of brisket and a case of pulled pork at a single car show.

“I have a line from the time we open up to the time we close,” Marcel chuckled. “When you have car shows people come out and they are out for a few hours and they get hungry. Barbecue is just a hit. They go together.”

Meathead’s BBQ is a family-owned and operated small-business with the motto, ”Straight From The Grill To Your Plate.”

Marcel began barbecuing for fundraiser’s for high school events for his children and it took off from there. Now it’s the family business.

“I love what I do,” he said.

Want to blow smoke out your nose and mouth?

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Naty and Ash Zariat serve Tornado potatoes, Dragon Breath cereal and lamb gyros.

Check out Tornado Food, home of the novelty cereal known as

Dragon Breath, a fruity delight soaked in liquid nitrogen. When you eat the super-crunchy cold treat, white “smoke” billows out your nose and mouth.

“A lot of people get it and they like to take pictures by the cars and blow the smoke out of mouth and nose,” said Naty Zariat, who runs Tornado food with her husband Ash. “It’s a lot of fun. They share the pictures on social media.”

She also serves the spiral-cut “tornado potato” on a stick, plain or loaded with cheese sauce, sour cream, green onions and bacon.

Gyros with lamb, and the hummus with chips are also big crowd pleasers.

Delray Beach resident Howard Jacobs and Fort Lauderdale resident Ira Horowitz tried the lamb gyros and swore they were perfection.

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Howard Jacobs and Ira Horowitz dined on lamb gyros at Cars and Coffee.

Fresh vegetables, good aroma, the meat was tasty and the pita was soft, said Horowitz, event coordinator for the Ferrari Club of America.

“I’m a foodie. I love food and I even had a cigar afterwards,” Horowitz chuckled.

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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.

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Ever Dream of Driving a Race Car?

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David Tuaty, owner of TLM Racing, teaches car enthusiasts how to become race car drivers.

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS – When it comes to fast cars and cool rides, driver coach David Tuaty is a dream maker.

“We make race car drivers,” said Tuaty, the owner of TLM Racing and a longtime professional race car driver who runs a race car driver school in Miami. “We have a full time racing team and a racing shop.”

And whether you’re a kid, or an adult who stills FEELS like a kid, Tuaty can teach you to race.

Florida Fine Cars caught up with David at a recent Cars and Coffee Palm Beach auto show at the Palm Beach Outlets Mall to find out more.

Racing School Offers Instruction to Drivers of All Ages and Skill Levels

“I have 14, 15 and 16 year olds who want to be the next superstar,” Tuaty said. “We take them to the track and do regular track days.”FFC Logo New Car

Tuaty’s own racing career began in SCCA Amateur road racing. He went on to win the SCCA Endurance Championship series in 1998. Currently, he has two wins in the Koni Challenge Series along with eight podiums. He also has a win and second place as driver and team owner of SCCA pro Trans Am series.

TLM racing offers everything from BMW and Porsche Racing, driver coaching, race car rental, race car prep and a teen academy.

Would-be race car drivers can rent a track privately or piggyback with a track day for a private organization and share the instructor.

Depending on where the student lives and track availability, students may drive on tracks anywhere from Homestead to Palm Beach, Daytona, Sebring and Fort Lauderdale.

“You call it, arrive and drive,” Tuaty said. “You come with your helmet and you leave with your helmet.”

Racing School Offers Special Instruction and Safety Tips for Teen Drivers

One of the family-friendly offerings at TLM is a teen driving academy held at Homestead Miami Speedway that offers one on one car instruction and classroom sessions and promises to teach proper braking, accident avoidance, car control skills, situational awareness and emergency lanes changes.

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The crew from TLM Racing answered questions about their racing school during a recent Cars and Coffee meet.

The TLM website notes that 16-year-old drivers have a higher crash rate than drivers of any other age. The next teen driving academy is scheduled for July 21, 2108.

The driver coaching program offers professional instructors and features high tech GPS Data technology that provides instant feedback to help drivers correct techniques while driving. Instruction is custom-tailored to each individual driver.

Under the race car rental program, would-be race car drivers receive professional track support and video coaching throughout the weekend. Drivers can race in any of TLM’s winning and proven Porsche GT3 Cup cars or BMWs, including the BMW E46 M3, BMW E46 325i, BMW E36 325i, BMW E30 325i and Honda Civic Si.

TLM also offers race car preparation services, ranging from full maintenance to cage, paint, seats, suspension, software and safety.

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

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 Margate, 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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Japanese Fire Truck Heats Up Popular Car Show

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Lake Worth resident Jamey Gerardi in his 1987 Nissan Atlas Fire Truck.

The siren wailed so loud passersby covered their ears but when they looked around, the source of the racket was a surprise. Even at a big car show like Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

FFC Logo New Car“What is that?” asked one incredulous car enthusiast as the boxy-looking truck rolled by.

The 1987 Nissan Atlas fire truck oddity is the proud possession of Lake Worth balloon artist Jamey Gerardi, who let the siren rip as he drove past rows of more traditional eye candy like Lamborghinis, Porsches and BMWs.

“I found it on a website,” Gerardi said grinning. “I thought it would be fun.”

Florida Fine Cars met up with Gerardi to take a closer look.

Quirky Fire Truck Is Curiousity

The vehicle has less than 10,000 miles on it, the engine is situated BENEATH the front passenger seat, and the steering wheel is on the right.

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Jamey Gerardi lifts the passenger seat to reveal the vehicle’s engine underneath.

The truck has a four-speed manual column shifter, a full back seat, a rear bench seat, a rear storage shelf and an old cast iron bell with a clapper.

Gerardi bought the truck because it had low mileage, air conditioning and was really unusual.

Because the steering wheel is on the right, people are constantly asking him if it’s legal to drive (yes). They also want to know how he got it to the United States (it was shipped).

Gerardi waited about two months for delivery and has been having a blast with his new ride ever since.

“I think it will be a fun extra car. I like the reactions people have to it,” he said. “It’s fun to see people smile and have people check it out. It didn’t cost a lot of money, it’s super rare and no one else has it.”

Gerardi also owns a 1974 Volkswagen Thing and a Japanese market Toyota 4-wheel drive 1987 Master Ace Surf van. He figured the quirky fire truck would fit right in.

“I just like weird cars,” Gerardi confessed.

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Florida Fine Cars offers 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 HollywoodMiami and Margate. Stop by and drive home a ride that will turn heads!

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Auto Enthusiasts Enjoy Dog Day Afternoons at Car Meet

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

NORTH PALM BEACH — Nico Marin cuddled his fuzzy tan puppy and smiled as passersby made their way past pricey Porsches and Lamborghini’s to “ooh” and “ah” at his pooch. The 17-week-old Shibu Inu with the curly, wagging tail was … Continue reading

Model Builders Club Draws Crowds at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 www.modelbuildersmafia.com, or contact Adam at 954-304-5502 for more information.

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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.

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