1967 Apollo GT
Friday November 1, 2013
Back at Concorso Italiano earlier this year, we happened upon this very nice Apollo GT. Most people have never hear of an Apollo, but luckily we’re here to tell the tale. The vehicle is unique to other Apollos, and was constructed with a 325 HP Chevelle engine instead of the standard Buick 5.0L engine. That would make this particular car one of the fastest sports cars around in 1967!
Unfortunately, the Apollo production company was struck with financial troubles soon after launching this classic, and only managed to produce about 88 vehicles over the span of several years. Many originals survive, and we were lucky to have caught this one. Look for us next week with our vehicle spotlight!
When Ford Heacock stood at the top of the Terrace Hotel during its restoration in the summer of 1999, he looked down to see a newly refinished and restored Lake Mirror Promenade, with its wide sidewalks and 1920’s grandeur. An idea formed that day which grew into the event we know today as the Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival.
In the summer of 1998, our founder, Ford Heacock, attended the former San Bernardino Route 66 Rendezvous in California. At its peak, this event drew over 1,800 vehicles and 500,000 spectators to the San Bernardino area. Ford dreamed of creating an event like this in the Lakeland, FL area. In the summer of 1999, he sent out a mailer to 100 friends inviting them to participate in a car show to be held around Lake Mirror. It was never meant to be a recurring event, but the next year many participants called and asked “Where’s the show?” It was clear that there was a demand in the area for a classic auto festival. In the summer of 2001, plans began for the 2nd annual Lake Mirror Classic, and 14 years later our event has become larger than we ever imagined, including almost 700 vehicles and 35,000 spectators.
While Ford started the event, it’s been a labor of love for everyone involved. Heacock Insurance Group, the parent company of Heacock Classic, has been a major sponsor of the Festival from its inception. As a collector car insurance provider, we love classic cars. This event has been a great way to show it throughout the years, and we’re glad to continue that tradition in 2013. The Downtown Lakeland area is perfect for this event, and we’ve been lucky to be able to support this event for so many years.
The cars that appear at Lake Mirror on the third weekend of October are some of the best rides you’ll see anywhere. We’ve had priceless racecars like Brian Redman’s Porsche 910, The Dali Museum’s Rainy Rolls, Dan Gurney’s 1967 Eagle F1, a rare Delage D-8, Lucille Ball’s Rolls-Royce, the Cadillac Sixteen concept, and this list goes on. We’ve been lucky to have many of motorsport’s greatest personalities chair our events each year, such as most recently Wayne Cherry, Sir Stirling Moss, Bob Tullius, Brock Yates, and Don Garlitz. We also have many rare vintage motorcycles and beautifully restored wooden boats in the show, and every year it seems there’s something new.
In addition to the cars, the Lake Mirror Classic is also a philanthropic organization, and has raised money for many different non-profit organizations in the Lakeland, FL area, such as Junior Achievement and the Lakeland Regional Cancer Center. A new addition this year is the Friends of Lake Mirror Fund, dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Lake Mirror’s historic Promenade. We’ve raised over $135,000 towards our initial funding goal of $150,000.
If you’d like more information on the Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, please visit their website at www.lakemirrorclassic.com.
As a major sponsor of the Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, we’re lucky to be able to see some of the finest cars in the world. This rare (1 of 8!) Delage is just one fine example of a classic automobile. It was originally purchased in France by Felix Amiot, an aviation pioneer. During WWII, the German government seized the vehicle and sent it to Denmark around 1940. After the liberation of Denmark in 1945, the car was confiscated by the Danish government and sold to a famed resistance hero Jens Lillelund. A short time after, the vehicle changed hands two more times staying in Denmark until 2013, when it was imported to Florida.
This vehicle has quite an interesting story behind it, and we’re glad have learned a little more. Check back next week for our vehicle spotlight!
While there is no shortage of love out there for the Oldsmobile 4-4-2, it isn’t a classic car badge you’ll see GM resurrect in the modern era like the GTO, Camaro, Challenger, GT, Thunderbird, or Charger have been. Besides the fact that Oldsmobile is no longer making cars, the name 4-4-2 denoted a configuration that will never see mass production again: a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and power sent to two rear wheels via a posi-traction rear end. You may still see one of those three features rolling off a modern assembly lines, somewhere in the world, but the likelihood of seeing all three in one modern car again is slim indeed.
The 4-4-2 was a serious performance vehicle at its peak of performance in 1970, utilizing an Olds 455 V8 to crank out 365 hp and 500lb-ft of torque. If you tacked on the W25 option package and you got functional hood scoops good for 5 additional horsepower, an aluminum intake manifold and cylinder heads, a performance camshaft, and a fiberglass hood, all good for a quarter mile time in the 13 second range, from the factory.
While the delightful 4-4-2 setup may never see new car lots again, there are still lots of classic 4-4-2’s out there for collectors of classic cars to still enjoy. We hope to see these classic super cars on the road for many years to come, and take great pride in insuring them so their owners can continue enjoy them on the road.
The Annual Carmel by the Sea Concours on the Avenue was held under sunny skies on Tuesday, with huge crowds and over 200 fine vehicles on display. Here are a few of our favorites from a wonderful day of enjoying great collector cars.
Here’s a photo of Steve Moal, Wayne Cherry and Jeff Broadus at the Carmel by the Sea Concours on the Avenue. Steve’s “Riddler” Rod was also on location.