Larry Weisman was someone who so many people within the local car enthusiast and car show community knew after his involvement in helping construct the Ponte Vedra Auto Show.
According to Jake Weisman, Larry’s son, those early years played crucial parts in whether it was a success or not and have helped make it the tradition it is today.
“My dad was involved with Rotary at the time, and they were looking for some unique ways to get out in the community,” Weisman said. “So, they were just tossing ideas around and my dad mentioned an auto show.”
From there, the idea grew into a grand venture that the local Rotary Club would oversee for more than a decade.
Jake remembers as a child growing up and how it was tagging alongside his dad and soaking everything in with much fascination.
“I just remember how passionate my dad was about it, and you could see it in how much he cared about it and the people involved in it,” Weisman said.
Those memories will always be a part of Weisman, who became a car-lover himself.
“I’ve carried on that appreciation that he felt toward and now my kids are starting to get fascinated by cars and all that they have to offer as well,” he said.
According to Jake, family ties, and the generational aspects of it is one of the many special things about car shows that make them even more significant than they already are.
After all, the car enthusiast world is rare, but then you add all the different cultures within it, and each with its own rare history.
“Car shows will always be for anyone who their cars and wants to show them off with others who appreciate the same,” Weisman said. “And it doesn’t matter what you like, because I’m a Corvette guy, but there are all kinds of makes throughout the world and you’ll find a little bit of everything at a show. But through it all, we’re just a bunch of guys talking about cars.”
He understands that concept and it was something his dad appreciated as well, and the way in which an auto show can bring people together.
After being such a major focal point of the event for 14 years, including the many years the show was held at TPC Sawgrass, Larry Weisman passed away in 2019.
It did not take long after that for new owner Justin Felker and his family to ask Jake that they were thinking about honoring his dad by naming the overall “best in show” trophy awarded after his dad.
“I remember first meeting Justin and his family when my dad and I got to take a tour of the inside of Art n’ Motion,” Weisman said. “My dad went on and on about how much he loved that place.”
After his dad served for years as the head judge for the competition, so in many ways gracing the trophy with the name of Larry Weisman is a fitting approach, especially since he was the primary one handing out the award to the winner each year.
Jake has also spent time as the show’s head judge in the past, which is just another way he has been able to follow in his father’s footsteps and carry on his legacy.
“I still remember the last show we did together,” Weisman said. “I’ll never forget it.”