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Lake Mirror Concours & Car Show

It was a great event that almost disappeared. A favorite in Polk County, Florida, the Lake Mirror Classic Concours d’Elegance and Car Show has been one that uniquely combines, Pebble Beach-quality vehicles, hot rods and an amazing classic car and club car showcase in a multi-day event. Over that past five years or so, COVID, combined with a couple of ill-timed hurricanes meant that continuation of the show was dubious. However, with the leadership of new organizer, Robert D’Angelo and Chief Judge, Mel Mann, it is a show that is back, bigger and better than ever.

Picture perfect weather all weekend, combined with great cars, meeting new and old friends in a superb location made it one that will be “on the list” for years to come. Completely free to the public, the historic downtown of Lakeland became transformed with fantastic show vehicles, great displays, and a ton of fun October 20-22. Where else could you see the DeLorean Club of Florida take over an entire block? The Corvette Club of South Florida, in an impressive convoy across the state, showed at least 30 spectacular Corvettes. Our own British classics were also in full force both in the downtown display and on the Concours show field. Bob Ziegler and Mike Kennedy, long-standing Gold Coast British Car Club officers and alumni wowed the crowd with their matching red Mini Cooper MC40’s.

In terms of the Concours d’Elegance, the vehicles were situated around Lakeland’s Lake Mirror, which not only provided a spectacular backdrop for the show cars, but also let the Amphicars demonstrate their agility in the water. This year, Bill Warner was the Grand Marshal for the event. Bill is a legend in the automotive industry and Founder and long-time Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours. Plus, the team of expert judges came directly from Pebble Beach, Boca and Amelia Island.

A centerpiece of the event was the presence of the iconic Futurliner, GM’s Parade of Progress, which made its original debut on February 11,1936 in Lakeland. One of the only two to have been restored to perfection, it was surrounded by a group of 1953 GM Motorama cars. Truly a blast from the motor history past.

Standouts on the Concours show field included Bob Jepson’s Rolls Royce Phantom. Restored to perfection, Bob kept the original purple color. JCNA members Roger and Patty Crawford, showed “Sir Charles”, their deep blue Mark IV Drop Head, winning a Swan Award in their class. Dr. Richard Workman’s incredible 1937 Bugatti was center field and an incredible example of the rare and special that made this event incredible. And notably, Guy Lewis with his 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Drop Head Coupe, only one of five left hand drive specimens, won Best of Show.

Apart from the event, downtown Lakeland was quaint with many of the buildings dating back to the 30’s, maintaining their history, but now converted to trendy restaurants and shops. One was an original Kress building, originally envisioned as public art, still retained as an architectural landmark. Just another bonus on top of a great weekend of classic cars!

Congratulations to Robert, Mel and the entire organizing team and volunteers on a superb event! See ya next year!


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