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Deveraux-Kaiser Car Show in Sarasota • 2007
story and photos by Bill Mergens

One of the largest car show on the Gulf coast of Florida is the Deveraux-Kaiser Car Show. It is held every year on the 4th Sunday in January. This year the show was held on the grounds of Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, the winter home of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. In recent years the show has been drawing 800 - 1,200 vehicles. The amazing thing about it is everyone seems to know about it, there is very little advertising, there is no registration, no judging, and no trophies. Just a very large gathering of cars and trucks and a lot of people who like classic cars. This show attracts vehicles that are very rare, and are only seen a couple of times a year.

As the story goes, the show was started in the early 70’s by Maurice Deveraux, who held the first gathering in his front year. Four cars showed up, and Maurice provided the lunch. The next year 11 cars came. The show grew over the years with the help of Mr. Deveraux and Tom Kaiser. The show is now handled by the Sunshine Region of the AACA.

This year’s show started with rain, which kept the numbers down. By about 10:00am the skies cleared and the cars piled in. Within a couple of hours there were about 700 cars. Again this year we were treated to a great variety of vehicles. How often do you get to see a 1909 Stanley Steamer, 1920 Winton, 1921 Packard, 1927 Franklin and a restored 1968 Pirsch Fire Truck? Now throw in row after row of Muscle Cars, Classics, Street Rods, and Classic Trucks and you’ve got the formula for a great car show.

This may, in fact, be the perfect car show. No need to worry about getting there on time for registration - there isn’t any. No need to spend hours preparing your vehicle for judging - there isn’t any. This leaves more time to view all the great cars and trucks, which is really the reason we should all be there. When you have seen all you want, you go home. The perfect car show! Mark your calendar for next year, the 4th Sunday of January, and the Deveraux-Kaiser Car Show. Don’t miss it! CN