Maurice Devereaux was driving a 1929 Stearns Knight Sedan when he met Tom Kaiser in 1966. Thus began a forty-plus year friendship that created one of the largest car shows in Florida.
The first show, in 1970, was held at the Devereaux home, with baked beans and dishes-to-pass. Seven classics were on display, including the Devereaux Stearns Knight, and Tom Kaiser’s 1936 Packard. As the show grew, and moved, food was provided by the local Rotary Club, and later the Mennonite Church.
Early shows had some judging, but there were complaints, and in a “people’s choice” event, a bit of ballot-stuffing. It was decided to make the show a non-judging event thereafter.
As the show grew over the years, it was moved from the Devereaux home to an area near the airport to a spot on old US 301. For many years the event was held at a large shopping mall south of Sarasota and ultimately to its current location at Lakewood Ranch. From the initial seven cars, it now includes nearly 2500 cars, not including spectator cars.
The show remains a free, non-judging event, with vendors and a car corral. In the spirit of Maurice Devereaux and Tom Kaiser, the accent is on informality and friendship within the car-collecting community.
Maurice Devereaux died in 2009 at age 100. Tom Kaiser died in 2014, having attended his 45th straight Devereaux-Kaiser Show.
The show continues under the direction of the Sunshine Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America.
The Devereaux-Kaiser Collector Car Meet, hosted by the Sunshine Region AACA, is held annually on the last Sunday of January each year. This is a premier event where over 1800 vehicles, vintage 1990 and older, from all over Florida and neighboring states will be on display.
This is one car meet you do not want to miss!
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