All of Miami’s Exceptional Cars Are Headed to Motorcar Cavalcade
We spoke with founder Jason Wenig about why the event is ideal for enthusiasts and newcomers alike, and why he loves Land Rovers and one "dilapidated 1923 Citroën"
In South Florida, it’s not unusual to walk out of a restaurant and see a car worth six figures parked outside. The area has a long history as a hotspot for rare, luxury and vintage automobiles, and this month, car enthusiasts can look forward to the Motorcar Cavalcade Concours d’Elegance, one of Miami’s premier events. Held at the JW Marriott Turnberry Resort & Spa on Sunday, January 15, the gathering is a lively garden party of sorts — with a collection of rare and unique cars on display, of course.
“The event is very fun and chic,” event creator Jason Wenig says. “It’s also very welcoming to non-car enthusiasts. Without giving too many specifics, we’ve got some extraordinary cars that will be on display. We have rare Mercedes-Benz cars, vintage Lamborghinis and modern hypercars like McLarens, Bugattis and Ferraris.”
Wenig has decades of experience restoring, collecting and building cars as the founder and owner of The Creative Workshop, a restoration shop in Dania Beach, and we recently sat down with the expert to talk about how to get started in car collecting, the marques he finds underrated, and what people can look forward to during the upcoming Motorcar Cavalcade event.
InsideHook: Not only are you the creator of the Motorcar Cavalcade, but with The Creative Workshop, you restore vintage cars and custom-build special cars. Does car collecting run in the family?
Jason Wenig: My family never collected cars, per se, but we were always passionate about cars. I learned how to work on a car from my dad with a 1967 Jaguar 420. I was five years old, and he would dangle me over the engine compartment. So it wasn’t collecting, but it was a car love affair that started when I was a kid. As for my first car, I’ve always been a truck guy, and my first vehicle was a 1968 Ford Bronco.
What’s exciting about the car scene in South Florida?
South Florida is somewhat unique. The weather is warm, and it’s also very wet, so it’s not as dynamic of a car community as, let’s say, Southern California. But there’s a remarkable amount of wealth, it’s very international, and there’s a strong presence of supercars, hypercars and custom cars.
Social media has spawned a new interest in car collecting. What are some of the ways that social media influences the field? Are there any drawbacks?
I think what binds the car community together is our collective desire to share our cars with other people. Every opportunity we have to share a story about why we love our cars or how we got our cars, especially with young kids — we love it. And social media is an incredibly powerful platform for that. The modern car movement started with television — car shows and auction-themed broadcasts — and it’s now proliferated into the social-media world. We love social media because it gives people an opportunity to share stories and communicate with other car enthusiasts.
Is there a carmaker that you consider underrated?
It’s a hard question to answer because in almost every category there’s an underdog car. In the Italian car world, Maserati is often overshadowed by Ferrari and Lamborghini. But Maseratis are passionately built Italian sports cars with an older history than some of the more popular Italian cars. Alfa Romero is another underrated carmaker. I can’t speak about the quality of their modern cars, but the company started building cars in 1910, whereas Ferrari started building cars in 1949.
I also have quite a few vintage Land Rovers, and most people don’t understand the history of these cars — the explorations they’ve been on, the military responsibilities they’ve had or how these cars have supported the National Geographic Society. If you go and buy a modern Land Rover or Range Rover, most people don’t even understand what’s built into the DNA. You can practically put this car underwater straight from the dealership because it’s in the DNA of the car. That to me is an underdog car — something that’s bigger than what people really understand what the car is.
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For readers interested in car collecting, where’s a good place to start?
If you don’t have any inclination as to what type of car you like, the best thing to do is to start going to car shows. Don’t go with any pretense, but just absorb. Just look and see and you’ll be amazed. Read what’s going on and educate and immerse yourself. That gives you a pathway forward to what to buy, what the values are or what the rarity is. This way you can eventually become an educated buyer and collector.
What are your favorite cars in your personal collection?
Right now I have seven cars, and they all have stories to tell. I have a dilapidated 1923 Citroën in my showroom, and one day I dream about my sons fixing it with me, but we haven’t gotten there yet. Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of owning a Land Rover Defender 110, and about two years ago I finally acquired one. They never sold them in the United States, and it spent its entire life on an olive farm in Spain, and when I finally started to disassemble it to restore it, we found olive pits stuck throughout the car.
What can attendees expect at the Motorcar Cavalcade?
There are a lot of car events out there, but not many like ours. It’s an event where we celebrate the automobile and the evolution of the automobile and we invite car enthusiasts, but more importantly non-car enthusiasts to share the day with us. Where some car events and car shows can feel intimidating, this is a grand garden party. You’re going to see cars you couldn’t even believe exist and you might just walk away with a better appreciation of why so many people around the world love cars.
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