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Auto enthusiasts troll collector car show and auction

Some attend the Winter AutoFest in search of parts. Others go to buy or browse. The festival ended Sunday.


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 26, 2001

[Times photo: Dan McDuffie]
Bryce Regester, 4, of Tarpon Springs is surrounded by automobile parts as he talks to his aunt on a cell phone at the Winter Autofest.
ZEPHYRHILLS -- Anne Demmons and her husband, Mark, came to the Winter AutoFest looking for Mustang parts.

"We haven't found any yet," she said as she lunched on a barbecue sandwich. "But there are tons of stuff. This is the best show and the best time of the year."

The Clearwater resident bought antique gas signs and a $2 liner for her wire pull cart.

The 27th Annual Zephyrhills Winter AutoFest, held at Festival Park on U.S. 301, south of Zephyrhills, stretches over four days. The largest crowd turns out Saturday and Sunday for the collector car auction.

This year, a ramp was added to the building where the festival is held so bidders don't have to stretch their necks to see the cars.

Scott and Andy Adcock, brothers from Pennsylvania, took turns serving as auctioneers.

"This is an absolutely gorgeous auto," Scott Adcock said of a 1961 Chevy short-bed pickup truck.

It sold for $3,800.

Twenty cars per hour went through the building that was filled with people, some bidding, some just watching.

Sandra Prather of Leesburg was one of the observers.

"I love to come to the auction, and my husband likes to look at the ones in the car show," she said. "I'd like to own that light-blue VW, but it had a $5,500 reserve price on it, and it didn't sell."

Cadillacs, Chevrolets, a BMW ragtop, Pontiacs, Dodge Darts and Corvettes were among the cars that did and didn't sell.

When the 1975 Dodge Dart rode up on the ramp and the auctioneer announced it would go to the highest bidder, with no reserve price on it, 12 men went up to take a closer look.

It sold for $2,400.

When one of the cars had to be pushed off the ramp, Prather said: "Not a good sign."

A white 1964 Chevrolet was said to be a one-owner car with 4,800 miles on it.

"The owner's death certificate comes with all the paper work," said Scott Adcock.

Outside the building, under big, moss-draped oaks, people perused the car show, where they could see customs, classics, antiques, street rods, muscle cars and sports cars.

Tom Cournayer of Valrico brought his black 1957 Thunderbird. On the license plate was 1 FINE T.

"I drive it on weekends," he said. "It's the next best thing to sex."

Jerry Younts, who comes from Michigan to Wildwood for the winter, admired a 1948 cream-colored Crosley station wagon that would be auctioned later in the day.

"It's just a little bitty car, the first economy car," he said.

Bill Maugar of Zephyrhills said the owner could get about $1,500 for it.

"I have seven of them at home," said Maugar.

Maugar said that there is a Crosley jamboree at the Powel Crosley Mansion in Sarasota the first weekend in December.

Crosleys were built from 1939-1941 and from 1947-1952.

Bill Hopper of Zephyrhills brought his 1937 Ford coupe to the show.

"I rebuilt it myself three years ago," he said. The exterior is purple and cream with yellow graphics, and the interior is pink and blue.

Hopper said he recently took the car on a round-trip excursion to Chicago.

"I like the way it drives, nice and smooth," he said.

In addition to the show and auction, vendors were selling everything from gold-plated golf balls to rusty automobile fenders.

Mike Musicaro of Spring Hill wore a sign pinned to the front and back of his shirt advertising his desire for Pontiac parts and a straight-8, flathead engine.

"I got the sandwich board idea from an Abbott and Costello movie," he said. "So far, I've got a few phone numbers of people to call."

At one of the vendors' stall, a restored Western Flyer bicycle was for sale for $395. Next to it was a coffee pot for $5.

- Michelle Jones covers central Pasco community news. She can be reached at (813) 226-3459. Her e-mail address is

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