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Winter AutoFest 2019 – A Show for the Ages

Warm weather, sunny skies and cool cars combined to create a great atmosphere for Lakeland, Fla.'s Winter AutoFest. Running Feb. 22-24, 2019 at the SUN ‘n FUN Campus, the event was the best Lakeland offering yet for Carlisle Events. Its success was due in large part to a dedicated core of auto enthusiasts within the Sunshine State and beyond.

Gates opened Friday at 8 a.m.; lines of anxious enthusiasts demonstrated that the demand for an event like this is considerable. Once on grounds, the lines snaked past hundreds of cars parked within the FREE cruise-in as well as vendors who set up in the blue field. Waiting for the guests past the tree line at SUN ‘n FUN were hundreds more vendors, thousands more pieces, parts, merchandise and collectibles, plus nearly 1,500 cars spanning the auction, car corral, free cruise-in, NCRS Winter Regional event, Corvette Fun Field and Imperial Mustang Club of Polk County Mustang showcase. The Corvette and Mustang camps boasted over 300 cars each. Of course there was a hearty line of people at the food stands too, enjoying the unique fair-style offerings.

Saturday ushered in even more guests and cars for a full day of festivities. GM Certified Technician Paul Koerner returned for another day of tech sessions and tech talks, former FBI agent and 9/11 first-responder Wes Wong spoke at the auction, while the Fly Adventure team from St. Augustine was up and down all day with their vintage Stearman Bi-Plane offering rides high above the facility.

Other highlights included seminars from Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair Inc, Corvette vs. Cobra from Fabulous Restorations and a Resto Mod talk from Extreme Mid-Years LLC. There was also a special screening of The Quest, a Corvette documentary film directed and produced by Michael Brown. Brown, Mackay and Lance Miller were also on hand to sign copies of the DVD following the screening with monies benefiting the Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation.

As the show wrapped on Sunday, guests had one last chance to pick up a little something within the automotive flea market, make a deal on a car corral sale or work with the auction team on a Still for Sale consignment.

Another piece of news coming out of the show was Carlisle Auctions' announcement of a two-day auction only event in Sarasota, Florida.  Suncoast-Carlisle spans November 8-9, 2019.  More details will be released on this event in the coming weeks, but complete info on Winter AutoFest can be found at, while auction news comes via  Save the date, because Winter AutoFest 2020 returns to SUN ‘n FUN February 21-23.