Car Shows

The 2018 Cigar City Concours d’Elegance

Transformation of Transportation

The 2018 Cigar City Concours d’Elegance took place at the Starkey Ranch in Odessa, Fla. The inaugural event took place on Veterans Days November 11, 2018. The theme of the event is the Transformation of Transportation featuring the ‘Marks of Distinction’ of the Lincoln Zephyr and Continental from Henry Lealand to the introduction of the 1969 Mark III. There were two events that took place that day, the Cigars & Cars and the Concours d’Elegance. The weather could not have been better with plenty of warm sunshine and blue skies!

Cigar City Concours d'Elegance

Generally, a Concours will feature distinctive “special classes” for that event. The Cigar City Concours d’Elegance special classes included, period correct Hot Rods & Customs, 1955 to 1975 Muscle Cars, and pre and post WWII European Motorcars.

Cigar City Concours d'Elegance Cigar City Concours d'Elegance

The beautiful 1961 Aston Martin DB4 was one of the more popular European cars on display.

This extraordinary machine is a custom 1959 Chevrolet Impala convertible. This classic Chevy offers “show and go” with a built engine under the hood. The engine started off at 348 cubic inches that has been bored and stroked to 440 cubic inches. The motor features aftermarket parts such as Edelbrock aluminum heads, roller camshaft, rocker arms, ceramic coated headers, and a dual quad intake etc. The drivetrain includes the 4L60E transmission with a Ford 9″ rear end with and a 3.50:1 gear ratio. Bob Birchmeier of New Port Richey, FL is the owner of this impressive machine.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the first race of the upcoming Indy Car season. The streets of St. Petersburg are closed and converted into a racetrack. This Indy Car is used to promote the event and was actually driven in the mid-2000s. Gary Lewis is the show car team leader that had the Indy Car on display.

Jack Handy of Parrish, FL is the owner of this 1957 Cyclops Microcar replica. The Cyclops was originally designed and built by a cartoonist named Stan Mott. Jack built this Cyclops and it is powered by an electric motor.

This sweet ride is a 1927 Ford Model T Tudor Sedan. It is powered by a supercharged 355 cubic inch small block Chevy.  Two 550 cfm carburetors sit on top of the 871 BDS blower. The 700 plus horsepower motor is hooked up to a modified 700 R-4 transmission. The body is steel while the running boards and fenders are fiberglass. This hot rod belongs to David Luckash of Saint James City, FL.

This 1965 Cadillac DeVille is sitting on 22″ rims and airbags. The Caddy has all kinds of custom upgrades ranging from new leather interior to state of the art audio components. The engine has been punched out to 510 cubic inches along with valvetrain upgrades. Bob Birchmeier from New Port Richey, FL is the owner of this amazing classic.

Representatives from the National Corvette Museum came all the way from Kentucky to attend the event.

Parks Alfa Romeo of Wesley Chapel had a few of their new models on display. This wicked looking sports car is an Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. The 4C Spider has a turbocharged I-4 that makes 237 horsepower and 258 feet pounds of torque. The car is capable of doing 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds with a 160 mph top speed.

The 2014 McLaren was one of the most extreme cars in attendence.

This 1962 Corvette is like no other that has ever been produced. It is a true one of one that came from the GM Styling Department to be an experimental vehicle to test out the gold exterior and tan interior combination. The purpose of this project was to create a line of vehicles that celebrated Chevrolets 50th anniversary of its golden year. This Corvette has been shown at numerous Concours d’Elegance events and was even sold at the Mecum Auctions.

A 1974 AMC Matador owned by Larry & Pam Broga of Seminole, Fla.

The 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo was Europes first mass-produced turbocharged car. During that time, this type of vehicle was not popular so BMW stopped production in 1975. The 2002 Turbo was before its time and is a landmark collector’s car today. There were only 1672 units of the 2002 Turbo ever built and this one belongs to Fares Rached of Odesa, Fla.

At a Concours d’Elegance, it is common for vehicle owners to dress in period correct attire that aligns with the era that their vehicle was produced in. Veronica DeGuenther is the owner of this 1962 Citroen Duex Chevaux and she daily drives it. Veronica and her Citreon were featured in the Wall Street Journal on June 27, 2018.

This 1959 Pontiac Bonneville had the largest trunk that I have ever seen. The car is powered by a 389 cubic inch engine that features three 2-barrel carburetors that is also known as “tri-power” fuel induction. Richard Fedor of Wesley Chapel, Fla is the owner of this amazing classic.

The Strokers Car Club is the oldest of its kind in Tampa, Fla. The club was founded in 1954 and is dedicated to preserving traditional hot rods and customs. The number 10 B car is a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster.

The Mercury Cyclone was produced from 1964 to 1971. This example is a 1970 model that has a 351 cubic inch engine under the hood.

Cigar City Concours d'Elegance

Vette Works had three 1966 COPO Corvettes that came all the way from New York. Every car that made the trip is a true 1 of 1 built for different individuals. Sergio Fernandez founded Vette Works in 1999 and has put together many landmark cars over the years. One of the shops notable accomplishments is that they built the 1967 L88 Corvette that shattered all Barret-Jackson auction records in January of 2014 for $3,400,000!

Cigar City Concours d'Elegance
Photo Courtesy Of Jim Hinchey

Tyler was our youngest correspondent on the scene and he felt that the Jaguar Roadster should have gone home with him.

Cigar City Concours d'Elegance
Photo Courtesy Of Jim Hinchey

Pure Precision Custom Detailing is a business that specializes in everything from window tinting to self-healing ceramic paint coatings. Their booth showcased some upscale cars that they have worked on. The Mustang Fastback that they had on display was badass and had a late model 5.0 Coyote under the hood.

Introducing The 2018 Judging Panel 

William S. “Bill” Culver Jr.

Joe Vicini

Don Gilbert

John Giltinan

Harry Krix

Sergio Fernandez

There were many different winners and prizes that were announced at the end of the event. Chairman’s Choice winners received an amazing custom Cigar Humidor with the Cigar City Concours d’Elegance logo on it.

Cigar City Concours d'Elegance

The Concours d’Elegance First Place Winners 

  • Larry Van Galzer: 2016 Cadillac ELR- St. Pete, FL
  • Steven Tuck:1962 Cadillac El Dorado- Land O Lakes, FL
  • Sergio Fernandez: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette- College Point, NY
  • Linda Fernandez: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette- College Point, NY
  • Bob Hagan: 1960 Austin Healy Sprite- Brandon, FL
  • Warren Wubker: 1956 Lincoln Premiere- Mount Dora, FL
  • Richard Flynn: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette- Williston Park, NY
  • Tommy Route: 1962 Chevrolet Corvette- Lutz, FL
  • Ned Cohen: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro- Hudson, FL
  • Shellie Stewart: 1914 Ford Model T- Reading, PA
  • Michael & Kathy Sydney: 1940 Ford Cabriolet- Homosassa, FL
  • Rick Schmidt: 1956 MK II- Ocala, FL
  • Evan Goodro: 1964 Chevrolet Impala- Sorrento, FL
  • John Edge: 1952 Chevrolet Suburban-San Antonio, FL
  • Kerry Kendall: 1962 Chevrolet Nova- New Port Ritchey, FL
  • Jeremy Waters: 1929 Ford Model A- New Port Ritchey, FL
  • Keith McKee: 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle- New Port Ritchey, FL
  • Fares Rached: 1974 BMW 2002-Odessa, FL
  • Tommy Small: 1947 Ford Sportsman
  • Tom Wanzie: 1966 Sunbeam Tiger- New Port Ritchey, FL
  • Bob Birchmeier: 1959 Chevrolet Impala- New Port Ritchey, FL
  • Bob  Birchmeier: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette- New Port Ritchey, FL
  • Bob  Birchmeier 1955 Chevrolet Nomad- New Port Ritchey, FL
  • Steve and Charlotte Garske: 1964 Ford Galaxie- Marco Island, FL

Cigar City Concors

About The Founder & CEO of the Cigar City Concours d’Elegance


Vic Piano moved to the Tampa Area from New York around 25 years ago. In 1962 his father started the Mizlou TV Network. Mizlou was the syndicator of college bowl games from 1968 to 1990. Since then, the company has become the Mizlou Thoroughbred Racing Network (MTRN). MTRN airs broadcast spots and billboards between live simulcast of thoroughbred racing from racetracks across the U.S. MTRN-Mizlou still produces, distributes/syndicates sports and entertainment programming, on an occasional basis.

Vic Piano has been a true automotive enthusiast all of his life. Over the years, Vic has produced and syndicated many televised events such as the Long Beach Grand Prix to numerous Nascar races etc. He has major affiliations with car clubs and common interest groups all along the East Coast. Today, Vic Panio is preparing for the second annual Cigar City Concours d’Elegance!



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