Frank Tomes is always saying old cars equal happy smiles.
The Town ‘N Country resident began hosting car shows about three years ago. Every Wednesday, classic, antique, rod or muscle car enthusiasts display their hobby at the Flipper Car Show.
Tomes said he has loved cars for as long as he can remember. Both his grandfather and father worked at Ford in Ohio. And the hobby of collecting cars just grew on him.
Tomes started a club to go along with the shows called C.A.R.M, which stands for classics, antiques, rods and muscle cars. The club has about 140 members, all of whom collect these types of cars as a hobby.
Tomes said the members are a variety of different people, including women and seniors, and they come from all over.
Through the club, he began the car show. Originally held at the Chick-fil-A on Waters Avenue, it was known as the Chick-fil-A Car Show. It was not long before the show outgrew the location and they moved it to the Flippers Car Wash, 11203 Sheldon Road, about four months ago.
“It’s (the show) a way of networking and allowing others to enjoy cars and possibly start the hobby themselves,” said Tomes.
He explained there is no cost to club members for showing their cars. In fact, those who attend the event actually have a chance of winning prizes.
At every car show, donations are collected and a raffle takes place. It’s called a 50/50 drawing wherein those who purchase tickets have the possibility of winning half of the ante. The remaining half goes towards the club, which in turn is donated to different charities for orphans or abused children. Also, those who attend must register and the
names are entered into a drawing. Six people are selected to win and they can receive a prize provided by the sponsors of the car show. The prizes can be anything from a free car wash to an oil change.
The sponsors of the car show are the Sheldon Plaza, which includes the Shell, Clean Touch Dry Cleaners, Subway and Flippers Car Wash.
“The car show goes very well with what we are doing,” said Gary Kerr, co-owner of the Sheldon Plaza. “The fact that we have the car wash and deal with cars goes well.”
Tomes said the car shows also help the club members. Since they get to network, they find out about parts or someone who knows how to care for the car. He added the public can also venture to see if any cars are for sale.
“We have a good time,” said Tomes. “It’s an enjoyable evening out. Everyone visits and talks about shows and networks.”
The cars at the shows usually vary since not all members come at once. Generally, there is a good sampling of classics, antiques, rods and muscle cars, he said.
“When you look at it, it’s about looking at the workmanship,” said Jerry Levalette, a Tarpon Springs resident. “Every car is different.”
“There is something for everyone,” said Tomes.