Deering Estate Vintage Auto Show: A Blast from the Past

Valeria Mejia

The Deering Estate, in collaboration with the Antique Automotive Club of America-South Florida, will be hosting the 8th annual Vintage Auto Show. On Sunday, November 8th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. guests will get the chance to see the spectacle of vintage cars. It will be an old-school throwback, featuring cars from the 1920’s to 1960’s.

One memorable car to snap a picture of is the 1950 International Harvester Truck. It is a salute to Charles Deering, who was the first chairman of the International Harvester Company. Marlon Deering McCormick bought the truck in Chicago and it was passed down the McCormick lineage. They later donated the truck to the Deering Estate Foundation.

There will be plenty of activities for friends and family, including a scavenger hunt. Guests will use photo clues to find a specific car from the varied display. For those who are interested in spending a beautiful day planned with outdoor activities, there are going to be Nature Preserve Tours happening as well. At 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m., visitors will be guided through the magnificent scenery of the Estate. There are also self-guided nature trails for the adventurous to go and explore. Moreover, kayak rentals will be available to enjoy Biscayne Bay and its mangroves.

There are two outdoor art installations: Sinisa Kukec’s work, FACING GAIA, and Artist in Residence Sterling Rook’s “Be-longing, sensorial movement post-Coronavirus.”

For the movie lovers, there will be a viewing of the award-winning film, “On this Land: The Charles Deering Estate.” Even if you can’t make it, virtual experiences are going to be offered throughout the day on Facebook and Instagram.

The day would not be complete without some delicious food. At the show, there will be food and beverages available for purchase from the Sports Grill. Guests can bring chairs, baskets, and blankets to dine out in the Royal Palm Grove.

Here are some questions, answered by Jean Hawa, the Show Chair for the Antique Automotive Club of America South Florida Region. She discusses the massive popularity of vintage autos and some of personal favorites in the antique world.

Q: What lures you into owning vintage automobiles?

A: The antique car hobby is something you can enjoy as a single person, young or old, or as a family. Whether you own one car or many cars, you will meet someone who shares a story about “your” car. Antique automobiles are bought for several reasons: the styling, certain era, memories of a vehicle owned by a relative, drivability, comfort, etc. Collectors buy certain makes and models; some buy a certain year, such as their birth year; some buy only sports cars domestic and/or foreign. Those who want to participate in an organized tour buy autos that are age-specific for a certain type of tour. Others buy durable, road worthy vehicles for specific types of local, cross-country, and multi-countries rallies.  Others buy certain antiques “just because they like them” and others buy them to win trophies.

Q: How much work, on average, do you think goes into the maintenance of these antiques?

A: No matter whether it is a modern or antique vehicle, proper and timely maintenance is a requirement.  The proper type of oil and other fluids, along with good tires, need to be regularly checked and monitored for safety and functionality reasons. Antiques that are not driven regularly should have a battery maintainer hooked up to it. Long-sitting cars can develop flat spots on the tires. Occasionally an antique will break down. If it is a rare or extremely old model, finding a new part can be a problem. Having a mechanic who works on antiques as well as having a list of resources is vital.

Q: Which car is your favorite model and why?

A: I don’t have a favorite model, but I do enjoy admiring the true classic vehicles of the 1925-1948 period because they had great styling. They include cars such as the Duesenberg, Cord, Cadillac, Packard and Rolls Royce.

Q: Why do you think it is so popular to own a vintage auto?

A: It is very personal; people buy a vintage car or cars that suits their needs and wants.  Antique automobiles have personality; modern cars are amoebas. Every decade had a certain look, the 30’s were boxy, the 40’s were bulbous, the 50’s used chrome, the muscle cars came in the 60’s and 70’s; the 80’s and 90’s cars were practical. Race cars started in the 1880’s when gasoline was developed. Today people love racing, especially when vintage cars race. Developed in the 40’s, the Volkswagen, the common man’s car, is still popular today.

Q: What do you love about going to the Vintage Auto Shows?

A: The looks and comments of the public when they see something that triggers a memory. They ask questions and share their stories. Those of us in the hobby are showing appreciation to our historical past as we serve as a resource of information to those who show an interest in the antique vehicles.

Enjoy this trip down memory lane and purchase tickets for the 8th annual Vintage Auto Show. Tickets are sold online, $15 for adults and $7 for kids (ages 4-14). It is free for Deering Estate Foundation Members (with promo code). Limited tickets are available due to COVID-19 regulations.

The Deering Estate is a 21st Century house museum, cultural and ecological field station, and a national landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, owned by the State of Florida and managed by Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. The Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72nd Ave. in Miami.

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