Click on thumbnails to see full size images and captions

Roadsters In Roctober 8 • October 4-5, 2008

story by Dennis Sammon, photos by Corey Stover and Joy Wheatley

It’s Florida. What can I say? Yes, this past year’s Roadsters in Roctober 8 was a wet one to say the least. In the words of Johnny Clay, “Roadsters & Rooster Tails” would be more fitting for the day. But hold on, the day didn’t start out wet, so technically it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Regardless, it was a great turnout and we were treated to some of the greatest roadsters from all over the state and beyond, and of course, I’m blessed to have the best friends that drive them. What do you say we get down to details of the greatest Roadster gathering east of the Mississippi?

This year was an all new location and all new venue. Ray Featherhoff, and the crew of Doubles Beachside in Indian Harbour Beach, offered up their facility for our show this year. Plus the addition of the Lexington Hotel attached to the show site turned out to be a bonus for those who wanted to stay over.

Saturday night was the official kickoff party, which encompassed both places. Doubles furnished refreshments, sandwiches and entertainment; where the awesome tiki bar opened up to a great courtyard area, perfect for hanging out. I had brought my chassis up on the trailer so I officially started the party by cranking up the whole 331 cubic inches of Chrysler Hemi power. While the hotel parking lot was full of cars and folks socializing, the constant flow of hot rods made for a great night - a prelude to the next day’s show.

After a full night of activities, we didn’t make it too late of a night, as we were due for breakfast at 8:00am the following morning, and what a morning it was - nice temps with a bit of cloud cover. Port Canaveral’s Grills Seafood Deck on the water was expecting us bright and early. We had a total of 25 hot rods invade the Port, where the parking lot guys did a great job packing us into our special reserved area. Kudos also to Christine and the Grills staff for getting us all in, served, and out of the way of the normal 9:00am Sunday crowds. We certainly got our tanks full of great food, which would hold us until lunchtime at the show.

During breakfast we were also treated by a visit from our buddy Greg “Shooter” Goforth, whom this show was to benefit. Delivered to Grills by Danny Wheatly in his killer Factory 5 Cobra that Greg had painted last year. Greg and I work together at the Space Center, and he is a real good guy with a couple of young boys and a lovely wife. A famous hunter in these parts, and one of the best painters I’ve ever seen, Greg has a serious brain tumor that’s slowed down his hot rod painting a bit. So between surgeries, treatments and therapy they needed our help. Thankfully, we were able to.

Next thing ya know we all finished up and exited the Port on our way south along Merritt Island’s rivers edge. Out for an awesome Sunday drive to Doubles, where my lovely bride Donna was manning the T-shirt and registration tables. Todd, Don and my big brother Jack handled the parking and traffic needs. My son Corey took pictures along the cruise route and Joy Wheatley was shooting pictures from the back of Carlos’ tub along the way. The drive down Tropical Trail is truly a scenic one, with beautiful houses, wildlife, and towards the end of the trip is Mathers Bridge, an old drawbridge that’s a historic fixture, as well as a favorite fishing spot on the island.

We arrived at the Doubles parking lot with a few puddles and damp around the edges, but everyone was excited that we had such a great turnout. The parking lot filled quickly with 45 of the best roadsters, two coupes, a vintage airplane car and half of a Hemi Tub on a trailer. Sounds kind of like a hot rod smorgasbord doesn’t it?

Terri Robertson did a great job collecting funds through the 50/50, and I announced tickets for our great door prizes throughout the day, despite socializing and dodging raindrops, I was able to get them all out. Thanks go out to my buddy DJ Jeff for setting up the sounds; a remarkable job especially with the ever-present danger of electrocution. Inside Doubles there is plenty of room, TV’s abound, plus pool tables and games for everyone to enjoy. It proved to be a great call and everyone had enough choices for their refreshments, snacking and luncheon needs.

Door prizes were wrapping up, the raffle of the awesome polished aluminum piston clock (donated by Danny C’s expert polishing) was given away, and after the grand prize of High Tech Hi-fi’s Alpine CD stereo was awarded, everyone’s attention turned toward the famous “cruise” to Hot Rod Stuff’s open house.

The rains finally let up enough to cruise west for refreshments and ice cream. Gary and Elisa Moore graciously open their shop up for us every year and furnish us with sweets to end the day on a great note. We really appreciate that, and if you know Gary and his addiction to ice cream like I do, you’d understand his dedication.

All in all it was a great turnout, fun time, and a safe one. So, officially the Roadsters in Roctober number 8 is done and in the books. Thank you! I certainly couldn’t have done it without my family, friends and sponsors: Doubles Beachside, Lexington Hotel, Grand Prix Motors, HighTech Hi-Fi, Advance Auto Parts, Hot Rod Stuff, Danny C’s Expert Polishing, Murray’s Speed & Custom, Grill’s Seafood Deck, and Sandpiper Sportswear. Plus of course the participants that “weathered” the storm to get here. Thanks guys and gals for your support. Until next time, keep rockin’, roadstering and living the hot rod lifestyle.
-Dennis Sammon • F L A Roadsters