Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Gathering of Gearheads

According to the Urban Dictionary, a gearhead is a person who is very knowledgeable about how to modify and fix vehicles. This past weekend Tim and I, plus hundreds of other car enthusiasts, were at the Auto Fest, a gearhead's version of paradise, held semi-annually in Lakeland, FL.

A rally with other Provost owners drew us here. Otherwise, I'm not sure we would have learned of this event. But it was wonderful to meet other owners who graciously shared their experiences and expertise with us. Maybe one day we'll qualify as gearheads, too.  Ha!  That would be a real stretch for me!

Auto Fest is a combination car show,

automotive flea market 

and an auction.  

There were vintage cars, 

luxury cars,

celebrity cars, 

Tom Wopat, star of The Dukes of Hazard television show signed autographs.

classic cars 

and cars that are now defunct. 

Two airplane hangers acted as the prep areas where potential buyers could kick the tires, raise car hoods, check out engines and even climb behind the wheel of the car they hoped to acquire.

But it was in the third hanger where the real action took place.  There the auctioneer's patter between the current bid and the asking price to outbid mixed together in a chant that sounded very like the rat-ta-tat-tat of an assault weapon.  

Spotting the raised hand/finger/eyebrow of a bidder, his ringmen added their own banshee cries to the pandemonium.  I found it so mesmerizing to watch that I had to sit on my hands to keep from entering the fray.

Elsewhere on the grounds were vendors who displayed hub caps, steering wheels, bucket seats, custom rims and every possible gear and lever known to man.  

There were vintage road signs

and signs that appealed to a very discriminating fan; 

Traffic lights that a crafty person could repurpose   

and wheels that have already been recycled as one-of-a-kind clocks.

There was something to please even the most bored wife.

Our son Richard and his friend Montana flew down from DC to join us for the weekend.  

Richard found a Ferrari that I feared he would buy, but even he agreed that his bank account could not afford it.  Still, it was worth an extended look. 

But the only gears we purchased Saturday were the gyros ("Gyear-ose" or is it pronounced "Gy-row" as in gyroscope?) we bought for our lunch.  


  1. What a blast!Iexpect to see you two reporting from a NASCAR event soon!

  2. Hahaha! That's very doubtful, Terry, especially since neither Tim nor I have ever been to a NASCAR event. We missed our chance of attending the Daytona 500 a few weeks ago. Maybe some day...