By Joe DeSalvo
Tim Collins won two awards, but it was the Bishop John J. Snyder Community Center at San Jose Apartments that received the biggest gift at the fourth annual San Jose Car & Truck Show, held April 6 at Dupont Station Shopping Center.
Collins’ 1971 Buick Riviera was judged Best of Show for the second-straight year, while his 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible took top honors in the Best European class.
“It was quite a surprise, but I’m honored to have received them,″ Collins said. “I hadn’t planned to show the Mercedes, but it was a late-minute thing to bring it.″
Once again, the weather and quality of cars and trucks were both outstanding as 37 vehicles competed from various eras for awards.
The show was sponsored by Key Buick GMC Hyundai Genesis for the fourth consecutive year and was joined for a second year by North Florida Lincoln. The five lines are part of the Lynch Automotive Group on Southside Boulevard and Gate Parkway. Visitors were able to check out and test drive new models brought to the show.
The event raised just under $3,500 for nearby Bishop John J. Snyder Community Center at San Jose Apartments I and II on nearby Galicia Road.
The money will help fund activities at the community center located between the two three-story apartment buildings. Those events are coordinated by the San Jose Apartments board of directors and Family Housing Management Company, Inc. The Diocese of St. Augustine formed the company to manage low-come, HUD-subsidized facilities for seniors.
The show has raised $13,000 for the community center in the four years it has taken place. The center does not receive HUD funding.
“This annual fundraiser is so important to the well-being of our residents,″ said Alma Ballard, executive director/management agent of Family Housing Management Company. “When the community comes out to support the most vulnerable — our seniors, it gives us pause to say thank you for caring.″
As for Collins’ award-winning classics, the Jacksonville resident has owned the Riviera for five years and the 560SL for nearly four years. He attends six to eight area shows a year before it gets too hot. He also attends state events as a member of the national Riviera Owners Association.
“The Riviera is an attractive vehicle, especially to women,″ said Collins who has won close to 30 awards since buying it from an estate in Pennsylvania, where it was in storage for 25 years. “They all seem to fall in love with it based on comments I hear. It is unique.″
Collins, who actually won his first San Jose award back in 2016 when the Riviera took the Best Modern Era class, has also won his share of awards with the Mercedes since finding it online in St. Louis, “but not as many as the Riviera.″
Florida Times-Union staff reporter and award-winning automotive writer Dan Scanlan, one of the car show’s judges, was quite impressed with the Riviera.
“I have always loved the “boattail” Buick Riviera design, which came from GM design chief Bill Mitchell’s team,″ Scanlan said. “In fact, I pleaded with my father to get one back then. Instead, he bought a Skylark.
“This one was so clean and very rare with its big V-8,″ Scanlan said. “And I’m told it gets used, with great a/c for a hot Florida day.”
Scanlan also gave high marks to Collins’ Mercedes 560SL.
“That Mercedes-Benz was obviously a car that gets used, yet not abused,″ Scanlan said. “It was clearly well maintained, with all the proper period equipment on it and a nicely patinaed interior.”
In addition to the Key and North Florida Lincoln dealerships, returning sponsors were Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Mandarin and Pepe’s Hacienda and Restaurant at Dupont Station.
SAN JOSE CAR & TRUCK SHOW WINNERS
Best of Show: Tim Collins’ 1971 Buick Riviera.
Krispy Kreme People’s Choice Award: Gary Kornatz’s 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS.
Best Classic American (pre-1970): David Poland’s 1929 Model A Ford.
Best Classic Foreign (pre-1970): Bill Taylor’s 1967 Volkswagen Beetle Rat Rod
Best European (pre-1970): Tommy Entenza’s 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II “Silverthorn.″
Best European: Tim Collins’ 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560.
Best Modern Era: David Combs’ 2013 Corvette Grand Sport.
Best Mustang (pre-1980): Art Yates’ 1971 Ford Mustang Mach I.
Best Mustang: Charlie Green’s 1965 Mustang Convertible.
Best Corvette (pre-1980): Denny Patten’s 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (split-window)
Best Corvette: Michal Fargnoli Jr.’s 2017 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible
Best Truck (pre-1980): Tom King’s 1956 Ford F-100.
Best Truck: Speedy Gonzalez’s 2011 Wrangler Sport.