Keith Pershing, owner/master technician of Island Automotive,
with the Marco Island Historical Society’s 1922 Ford Model T.
Keith is responsible for resorting the 94-year-old car, and is one
On February 14th, Valentine’s Day, the Kiwanis Club of Marco Island held their 12th Annual Car Show at the NCH Health Care Center on Marco. It was a warm, sunny afternoon—a perfect occasion for a romantic stroll through the 200 shiny, classic cars.
Each year Kiwanis organizes the event in an effort to raise money for the various children’s programs of Collier County and East Naples that they support. The money goes towards Key Club scholarships, programs within local schools such as Manatee Elementary, Tommie Barfield Elementary and the Marco Island Academy,and other organizations such as Youth Haven.
The car show first came to fruition about 13 years ago. It was Kiwanis member John DeRosa that came up with the idea. Since then, the show has been growing each year with both car entries and spectators. This year about 4,100 people showed up to view the many different cars and to show their support.
It’s interesting that this year the event happened to fall on Valentine’s Day. This perhaps holds some sort of symbolic significance. The car owners’ work hard to keep their cars beautiful and running smooth, a labor of love one might say.
One of the oldest cars there was the Marco Island Historical Society’s 1922 Ford Model T. Aboutfour years ago, Master Technician Keith Pershing and his team at the Island Automotive shop restored the 94-year-old car, making it once again drivable. Well, drivable to the three people on Marco who know how to operate it.
“We had about a month to restore a 90-year-old car, and I had no idea what was wrong with it,” said Pershing. “But we did it. It was about 120 hours of labor.”
While one of the oldest cars was 94, one of the youngest participants in the show was 18-year-old Sean Flynn, a senior at Marco Island Academy. When asked how he came in possession of a 1969 Chevy Camaro, he said with a laugh, “Easiest way to tell the story,it was blind luck.”
In congruence with the event, there were performances by the Celtic Spirit School of Irish Dance, the Marco Island Academy cheerleading team, as well as the Marco Island Middle School’s jazz band.
The cool thing about the car show is that even if you’re a person who knows nothing about the intricacies of cars, or antique cars for that matter, there’s still so much to enjoy. The car enthusiasts are more than willing to explain whatever elementary questions you may have, and beyond that, there’s so much to just look at. Even if the various antique car engines don’t give you a fuzzy feeling, you can still appreciate the beauty and care and the prideful ownershipthese people have towards their vehicles. People love their cars.
2016 Kiwanis Car Show Winners:
Grant Miller Best in Show 1936 Packard
Jim Pinkerman Best in Show – 1st Runner Up 1940 Ford
Jim Salerno Best in Show – 2nd Runner up 1950 Mercury
Lucky Lang Best Interior 1957 Corvette
Ernie Giordano Best Paint 1931 Ford
Nick Caporale Best Convertible 1920-70 1957 Chevrolet
Norm Goodman Best Convertible 1971-90 1973 Corvette
Ed Chesney Best Sports Car 1947 Lincoln
Brent Valentine Best Thunderbird 1957 Ford
Joe Rhodes Best Corvette 1966 Corvette
Patty/Joe Jones Best Muscle Car 1964 Plymouth
Fred Havers Best Mustang 1968 Mustang
Larry Gardner Best 4-Door Car 1957 Chevrolet
Bill Britton Best Antique- Prior to 1949 1934 Plymouth
Lou Queruiso Classic 50s 1959 Cadillac
Bill Reiher Classic 60s 1967 Corvette
Ricky Grisolia Classic 70s 1970 Chevrolet
Sal Magarino Best Hot Rod 1932 Ford Roadster