If there is irony to be found in genuflecting at the chrome hubcap of the automobile at a time of year when the weather could not be more hospitable to the idea of walking (with its added payoff of contributing to a more healthful lifestyle, like we just resolved to do) … well, it’s not entirely lost on out-of-towner Dennis Gage.
“Evansville [Indiana] is actually a pretty nice place to live, but … it’s always good to come down and get a little sun in January,” says the famously mustachioed host of longtime Speed Channel show “My Classic Car” and the celebrity guest of the Downtown Hollywood Dream Car Classic on Sunday. The car show, featuring dozens of vintage and custom vehicles on display along Hollywood Boulevard between 19th Avenue and Dixie Highway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., joins two others in South Florida this weekend.
The 19th annual Fort Lauderdale Beach Car Show and Auction will bring 350 cars, some dating to the 1930s, to the War Memorial Auditorium (800 NE Eighth St.) Friday through Sunday. Tickets cost $15, $5 for children 12 or younger. Info: FTLauderdaleAuction.com.
The South East Rods and Customs Cruise In will offer a selection of custom vehicles, muscle cars and antiques at Legacy Place (11290 Legacy Ave., Palm Beach Gardens) from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, with $5 vehicle entry benefiting the Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation. Info: ShopLegacyPlace.com.
Gage, who will be followed in Hollywood’s Dream Car lineup on March 2 by George Barris (creator of the Batmobile) and April 6 by Genevieve Chappell (whose famous chassis has been seen on the Speed Channel, ESPN and the Velocity Channel), agreed to take a few questions about his own favorite classics.
If you could own a classic car from any era, what would it be?
I love all cars, but I’m probably most fond of big 1950s land yachts. Their styling is so over-the-top, and they float down the road like you’re driving the living room.
What 2013 car do you think has the best chance to be a collected “classic” 50 years from now?
The new [SRT] Viper and the new ’Vette are pretty cool. They both pack a lot of punch for the money, and will always have a following. Most mainstream cars aren’t particularly exciting, but they are more reliable and better built than any time in the past. Of course, all the exotic supercars are instant classics, but with price tags starting at around $300K, they should be.
What car do you drive day to day?
My daily driver is a ’91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC with about 50K miles on it. This was a car that was way ahead of its time when it came out in 1984, with computer-controlled air suspension, keypad entry and ABS brakes. With the 5.0-liter HO engine, it was also sort of a banker’s hot rod. I also have Gen 1 and Gen 2 Taurus SHOs because they are some of the fastest performance sedans out there. On nicer days, I go with either my ’99 Jaguar XK coupe or my 2002 T-bird.
Does your wife ever give you a hard time about the mustache?
I have known my wife most of my life. We even went to kindergarten together. I’m not sure she’s really all that wild about the ’stache, but she hasn’t seen me without it for nearly 40 years.
Favorite mustache that’s not yours?
WALK, DON'T DRIVE
But here’s that irony thing. This weekend offers a rare confluence of events that, as they flow into each other, show off downtown Fort Lauderdale at its most organically, exuberantly, pedestrian-friendly best. On Sunday, the newspaper-and-a-mimosa vibe of the SunTrust Jazz Brunch will unfurl east along the New River from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Esplanade Park to within a few hundred yards of the edge of the weekend-long Las Olas Art Festival, where the five blocks of colorful hubbub is traditionally extra bubbly. It is not often that these two strolls happen on the same weekend. Don’t miss it. Info: FortLauderdale.gov/events, ArtFestival.com.
RUN, DON'T WALK
The Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society will introduce its new Florida Panther, Mira, with the inaugural Save the Panther 5K on Saturday, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Runners will receive free zoo admission for the day and discount coupons for supporters who want to cheer them on. At 9:45 a.m., after the chip-timed, USATF-sanctioned run through Dreher Park, Mira will make her official public debut. Registration is $35, $20 ages 17 or younger, at PalmBeachZoo.org through noon Friday. Race-day registration is $40/$25.
RUN, DON'T BLUSH
In case your New Year’s resolution includes more running, be aware that the inaugural X-Rated Run, an “adult-themed 5K obstacle course and mud run for men and women of all fitness levels,” is ready to take your registration information at XratedRun.com. Sponsored by the swingers website Kasidie and One Condoms, the run takes place March 22 at Mud Muckers Park in Bunnell, near Daytona Beach, usually home to a lot of four-wheel dirtiness. There will be no nudity or sex during the run, organizers warn, but the afterparty will have live music, food vendors, beer stands, a mud wrestling pit and “adult starlets.” Registrants will receive an X-Rated Run T-shirt and a condom wrapper-shaped medal. Registration: $65, $25 spectators (if you just want to watch). A portion of the proceeds will be donated to sex-positive organizations, including Clitoraid.org and its global campaign against female genital mutilation.
SATISFY YOUR DAP-TONES JONES
Put some soul in your bowl on Sunday at the Sharon Jones Soul Brunch at Radio-Active Records (845 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale), a noon-5 p.m. event celebrating the Daptone Records release of the newest Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings record, “Give The People What They Want” on Jan. 14. Along with a preview of the album, there will be free mimosas, breakfast from Eggstatic food truck and the South Florida Soul Club spinning classic funk and selections from the Sharon Jones catalog. Info: 954-762-9488, Facebook.com/RadioActiveRecords.
DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT HER
Molly Ringwald is the author of a critically lauded novel, “When It Happens to You,” and a singer whose lissome touch with jazz standards (as the daughter of jazz pianist Bob Ringwald) on her debut album, “Except Sometimes,” can make you almost forget she has a career as an actress. That is until she begins to stretch and caress “Don’t You Forget About Me” into a fresh meditation on the ephemeral flowering of love and the passage of time. Catch Ringwald at 7 and 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Jazziz Nightlife (201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton). Tickets: $55-$85. Call 561-300-0730 or go to JazzizNightlife.com.
GOOD FOR YOU
In case you were wondering, last Sunday’s Arts Garage benefit by the singing duo Double Trouble raised more than $5,000 to help Delray Beach resident Judy McMahon pay bills related to her husband’s cancer treatment. McMahon helped once-homeless twins Rashad and Tashad Gardenhire get back on their feet and twice drove to successful auditions in South Carolina for Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” earlier this year, a decade after she taught them at Banyan Creek Elementary School. Sunday was payback time for the brothers, and organizers say the community responded. “It was such a moving event,” said Alyona Ushe, executive director of the Arts Garage, where the Gardenhire brothers were given jobs.