Auto show in Ocala, Florida helps local charities; will take place on February 26

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Marion County Tax Collector George Albright believes local car enthusiasts are weary of cancellations and eager to go to a car show.

“People are ready to go out and look at cars and have a fun family day out,” he said.

Early registrations are fast for the 12th annual Marion County Tax Collectors Charity Car Show, to be held Feb. 26, Albright said in a phone interview.

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The event will offer a wide variety of collectible vehicles, and members of several regional chapters of the Antique Automobile Club of America are expected to display cars in the show, Albright said.

“We already had about 35 registrations (ahead), which is ahead of any previous year,” Albright said.

Previous years have seen over 160 vehicles on display.

Attendees can register through Feb. 15 for $15 or enter the day of the show for $20.

Masks are optional at the event, Albright said.

Expected attendees at this year’s show include a rebuilt 1948 Jeepster convertible, an award-winning 1937 Packard sedan and a peddler truck like the one used by Mr. Haney’s character on the TV show “Green Acres.”

Tax collector George Albright, left, congratulates his cousin Lori Martin Gregory, center, at an election event September 21.  Its annual car show raises thousands of dollars for local charities.

The annual event, which was canceled last year, will also offer food, crafts, spaces to swap vintage car parts and fun for the whole family, while supporting a host of local charities.

A change this year: sellers of general antiques like glass and furniture are welcome but azaleas will not be sold due to a lack of available plants.

Vendors are required to bring their own tables.

Car enthusiasts are already planning which vehicles to show

Ocala attorney Frank Amatea plans to get into his fully restored 1948 Willys-Overland Jeepster convertible.

According to the Kaiser Willys Auto Supply website in Aiken, South Carolina, kaiserwillys.comthe Willys-Overland Jeepster combined features of the Willys Station Wagon and Truck to try to “bridge the gap” between the post-war “utility” Jeep “CJ” series and the “family” station wagons.

The website says the first 1948 Jeepster had rear-wheel drive and a 62-hp four-cylinder engine.

Frank Amatea of ​​Ocala leans against his 1948 Jeepster on Monday.  He will show it off at the George Albright Marion County Tax Collector's 12th Annual Charity Car Show on Feb. 26 at the McPherson Government Complex, 503 SE 25th Ave., Ocala.  Proceeds from the event support charities in Marion County.

Amatea, originally from Pittsburgh, has been a car enthusiast since the 1960s and owns an Austin Healy Sprite and currently owns a 1962 Porsche 356 Roadster and a replica 1957 Porsche Speedster, which has been a Star-Banner featured “Reader Ride”.

The Jeepster was originally acquired from a local part of the road construction industry, put into storage, then fully refurbished and updated with many parts replaced.

The body work and current turquoise and aqua paint was done by Liles Collision of Ocala.

Amatea called the Jeepster “nostalgic” and said the convertible gets a lot of friendly “honks and waves.”

Frank and Pamela Stafford of Ocala plan to show off their Antique Automobile Club of American Senior Award winner maroon 1937 Packard Super 8 Touring Sedan, also a Star-Banner star car, at the February 26 show. It marks seven years since the couple showed cars at the show.

Frank Stafford stands next to his 1937 Packard outside his home in Ocala on December 31, 2020.

“The tax collector show is an open show (and) you can see anything from a Model T to a (late model) Corvette,” Frank Stafford said.

The Packard will be one of many entries from Ocala-area members of the Kingdom of the Sun chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America expected at the show, Stafford said.

Lou Ann DeSantis of the Tax Collector’s Office said in an email that the office looked forward to a successful show with a large number of cars and spectators.

DeSantis estimated that the show raised a total of around $175,000 for local charities over its 12-year run.

Interfaith emergency services are among the many local nonprofits that benefit from the annual Tax Collectors Car Show.

“Each year we give Interfaith Emergency Services a check for $5,000 after each show for the Food 4 Kids program. Year-round we send money to Interfaith for this program (probably around $2,000 per month). We also donate canned food, coats, school supplies and clothing,” she wrote.

“We support Bring the Harvest Home, Helping Hands, Vets Helping Vets, The American Heart Association, autism research (CARD), Marion County Humane Society, Forest Animal Rescue, Breast Cancer walk, Bus Brigade, Wreaths Across America, the Interfaith Warehouse and pantry to name a few of the many groups we help throughout the year,” DeSantis said.

Gene Liles of Ocala’s Liles Collision Service plans to display his 1935 International pickup, a truck he says is nicknamed a ‘barker’ that was used by salesmen ‘like Mr. Haney on ‘Green Acres’. “to sell his wares”, he mentioned.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO

WHAT: 12th Annual County Tax Collectors Charity Car Show

HOW MUCH: Free admission for spectators; $20 fee on the day of the event to show a vehicle

For more information, contact Jacob Wicklein at (352) 368-8206 or [email protected]

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