Driving in an Antique Car in the Tropics, in January

3 Chevy front 1 4000 Hollywood blvd jan 2020

Kats and Kittens in Minnesota or New York or Northern CAL have their basement Tiki Bars they use year ’round, but when they go out to get bar supplies in January, they’re probably driving through snow in a Prius. I’m not being judgey…you do what you do to live your life to the fullest!

53 Chevy back 1 4000 Hollywood blvd jan 2020
My 1953 Chevy Belair “Star Dust”, Wild Custom I built myself

But knock me your lobes for just a sec: There’s nothing like living in a tropical climate if you want to experience that Tiki feeling 12 months a year. Being in South Florida for the last 20 years, I’ve gotten spoiled rotten.

4000 Hollywood blvd jan 2020 2
In the garage at work, the lights make it look like a 60 year old photo.

Imagine driving a mid-century wild-custom hot rod on a 70° day in January, with the palm trees swaying and Les Baxter on the radio. Don’t get jealous…but that’s what I did yesterday. In fact, it’s a pretty common thing with me.

I know, I know…I’m bragging a little. This kat can’t help it. You see, kids, I bought this 1953 Chevy Belair back in 1990. My father and I restored it, and I drove it for 10 years in Jersey. When we moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2000, I decided to go with an open-front Cabriolet style custom, with shark fins and other mods. Almost 20 years later I’m still working on her, but she runs great.

1985 Cadillac Seville Hollywood blvd Dec 2020_7
My daily driver is a 35 year old Cadillac that still has a 1000% better ride than any new Toyota.

My every day car…a 1985 Cadillac Seville…is getting a new paint job this week, so instead of taking a cab to work yesterday I decided to drive the ’53 Chevy the 17 miles to Hollywood, FL. She drove like a new car (maybe better), and turned a lot of heads. The weather was perfect for an open car, too. I had the radio blasting, not a care in the world. My only gripe is there are so many traffic lights in South Florida it cuts down on the speed. That’s ok, it was still a fun trip.

1953 Chevy Belair hot rod Star Dust 1990 vs 2019
1990 when I first bought her, vs 2019. I put a lot of work into this car in the last 30 years!


-Tiki Chris, sipping a Mai Tai after work at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, Florida

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