The weather was great for those from the cool north with very warm weather, sunshine and a breeze. It was perfect for enjoying Lincolns and the sites in the Bradenton, FL area. The hotel was conveniently located for the events the Florida Region planned and had a great area for the show field. Thursday started with a tour to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. This is a wonderful venue that needed more time than we had available. I spent most of the time examining the history of the circus and the incredibly detailed model of an entire circus. It was amazing to see the organization needed to “bring the circus to town.” The grounds are beautiful and include the home that John and Mable Ringling built on the shore of Sarasota Bay. I sorely missed the time to savor the museum comprised of world-class artwork that the Ringlings amassed during their trips to Europe. On Thursday evening we enjoyed a dinner cruise on Sarasota Bay which provided another opportunity to enjoy the scenery and Lincoln friends. We bid the day good-bye with a perfect sunset.
Friday took us automobile museum touring at the Sarasota Classic Auto Museum which had a wonderful collection from early brass cars to modern exotics, along with the “back room” of vehicles that are awaiting restoration and a room with classic cars for sale. There was interest in many of these classics but I do not think any sales were made. Lunch was spectacular at Marina Jack Restaurant which has a fabulous view of the bay. What a great way to cap off a morning spent with automotive beauty! John Walcek used some backdrops to the fullest with photographs of several cars, including Leroy Waldren’s ’42 Continental Coupe, behind the statue remembering VE day with the solder and nurse kissing called the Unconditional Surrender. The evening was filled with a great meal provided by the hotel and a silent auction giving everybody time to prepare for show day. Those night owls took advantage of the hospitality suite generously provided by Kelly McClure of the Lincoln/Mercury Old Parts Store. The conversation and adult beverages were flowing freely.
Saturday was another beautiful day that was a little cooler with a nice breeze which made for a perfect show day. While the show field was small, we had a wide variety of Lincolns with the 50’s well represented. Also included, were modified slab sides that showed us a modified air bag suspension and the use of 20″ wheels. We also saw suicide doors on a coupe. All modifications were beautifully done and these cars generated interest from all who attended. It is great to see the ideas and craftsmanship involved. The efficiency of judging allowed the field to be released at 2:30 permitting the attendees to enjoy the afternoon and prepare for the awards banquet. The awards banquet was excellent as the hotel did a wonderful job with all the meals over the course of the meet.