This past weekend, the Classics at the Beach 2015 car show took place right in my backyard, and it was wonderful.
The 19th annual event is held every year at the Elliott Museum in Stuart, Florida. The Elliott Museum has a mission statement that says they exist “to inspire creativity through exhibitions and programs about art, history and technology,” so cars are a natural fit here.
No single invention has inspired so much creativity, inspiration, artistic design, and technological innovation as the automobile, and that’s what Classics at the Beach 2015 symbolizes and celebrates. The show is a smorgasboard of fantastic classic cars and trucks. With a ticket, you also have entry to the Elliott Museum itself, which has one of the most innovative car displays in the world.
Classics at the Beach 2015 was presented by Blue Marlin Motors, which bills itself as the Home of Passion, Performance, and Playtime. They buy, sell, and consign classic cars. If you’re ever in the area, both of these locations are worth paying a visit. Here are my top five favorite vehicles from this years Classics at the Beach show, followed by a full gallery.
In no particular order….
1963 Chevrolet Corvettte “Z06 Tanker”
The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette was a landmark for a number of reasons. It was the first Corvette with independent rear suspension. It was a one-year-only design for the coupe, dubbed the “Split-Window” by enthusiasts and collectors, and it’s, arguably, one of GM’s most beautiful styling developments ever penned.
This particular model is incredibly special and rare. It’s one of 199 “Z06” option cars. Today, the Z06 is the most track-focused Corvette ever built, but even back in 1963, it had the same ethos. These cars were the brainchild of Zora Arkus-Duntov, known as the Father of the Corvette. The Z06 option added different, larger, shocks and springs, thicker sway bars, and in some cars, a large 36.5 gallon fuel tank, designed for the grueling endurance race at Sebring. Because of the large gas tank, these cars are known as “Z06 Tankers,” and to see one is a real treat. As you all probably know by now, I’m a HUGE General Motors fan, but my specialty and biggest passion is Corvettes, so this made Classics at the Beach a very memorable experience. I wish the owner would have opened the hood at some point, though.
Crosley Ice Cream Truck “The Happy Wagon”
I’ll admit, I’m not sure what year this Crosley ice cream truck is, but one thing I am sure of is that it stole the hearts of both young and old at Classics at the Beach this year. Auctions America was the other Presenting Sponsor for this event, and they brought this with them. Yes, if you’re curious – it is a fully functioning ice cream truck. They had regular ice cream sandwiches in the back, with matching “Happy Wagon” wrappers, and were handing them out to spectators. What better way to beat the Florida heat than with an ice cream sandwich?
2005 Porsche Carerra GT
Unfortunately, the Internet has turned the Porsche Carrera GT into something of a mockery after the death of Paul Walker, but to me – that doesn’t tarnish the car’s legacy and impact one bit. The CGT was developed along with the Porsche LeMans team, and the result is this beauty. Reportedly, one of the rawest supercars you can buy. These cars are good for 205 miles per hour, thanks to a mid-mounted V10 and a proper manual gearbox – no PDK here! Check out the race-sourced center-lock wheels. Awesome? You bet it is.
1969 Pontiac GTO “The Judge” Convertible
Yes, it was real. Yes, it’s rare. It’s a 1969 Pontiac GTO “The Judge” Convertible. Only one of 108 produced for the year, and 1 of 72 equipped with the proper 4-speed manual transmission. Under the hood, of course, was a 400 cubic inch V8 with factory ram air hood. This car had a laminated original window sticker with it. The owner paid just $4,454.96 for this rare piece of muscle car history.
There were plenty of other amazing cars in attendance at Classics at the Beach 2015. I look forward to going next year. The full gallery here is below. Which vehicle is your favorite and why?