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We Looked For Gators and Found Chevys

When In Florida, It's a Good Idea to Watch For Swamp Creatures

Tony Kelly Jul 19, 2002

Way out beyond the finish line of the drag strip there's a great-looking pond. Certainly there must be fish in it, but we didn't notice anyone fishing. That may be because of the stories about alligators hanging around looking for "bigger fish to fry," as the saying goes. We just took one trip around on our swamp-rated golf cart and left. We city guys aren't comfy thinking about long, low creatures with big teeth that aren't wearing Bow-Ties and aren't powered by small-blocks.

Once back to the relative safety of the Gainesville Super Chevy Show, we found a dashound that was definitely a reflection of its owners' taste (see photo). Then, we talked to a man who has owned his '32 Chevy coupe 43 years. That's longer than he has owned any other thing and longer than his current marriage. His wife seemed resigned to the fact that she'd probably go before the car did. Actually, it looked like both of them received considerable amounts of TLC.

While wandering through the pits of the drag area, we found one racer (name withheld at his request) who looked extremely tired. We know drag racing can take it out of you, but this was around noon, and the guy didn't look like some kid who burned the candle at both ends. He told us that he left a 6:30 a.m. wake-up call at his hotel, and when the phone rang, he jumped up, took a shower, and was headed out the door when he noticed the clock. It said 3:00 a.m. The front desk admitted to calling the wrong room, but by then our racer pal was wide-awake. He got breakfast, then went to the track to watch the sun come up. Now I remember why I carry my own alarm clock to every show.


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Out of a collection of great Vettes, one was selected for the Trim Parts Best Corvette award, given in association with Vette magazine. Daniel Copeland from Tifton, GA, took the honors with this outstanding '62.

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Gene and Carolyn Keribel, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, race this spectacular '72 Corvette, and drive it regularly at home. It certainly deserved the Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award we gave it.

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The '70 Nova racer belonging to Dallas Burger and Johnny Thompson, from Albany, GA, caught our attention. We gave it an Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award.

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We see a limited number of '58 Impalas and very few with Rochester fuel-injected small-blocks. Harold Doherty from Tavares, FL, brought his bright-silver, first-year Impala, and we gave it an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award. Those unusual wheels were purchased several years ago at a Super Chevy Show from the Sears booth when that company carried a line of custom auto parts--probably hard to find now, but they look great on this car.

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