San Jose Car & Truck Show’s record turnout generates $10,000 for the Bishop Snyder Community Center

By Joe DeSalvo

Despite a blazing summer sun and an ongoing pandemic, car enthusiasts were ready to show off their shiny customs and classics in record fashion at the San Jose Car & Truck Show at Dupont Station Shopping Center on Aug. 15.

The fifth annual event, originally scheduled for April 4, had 93 registered vehicles and raised $10,000 for the Bishop John J. Snyder Community Center at nearby San Jose Apartments for seniors off St. Augustine Road. The previous highs were 42 cars (2017) and $4,180 (2018).

In addition to having Key Buick GMC Hyundai Genesis and North Florida Lincoln returning as presenting sponsors, the San Jose Apartments board of directors and staff also secured support from additional sponsors in an effort to reach their goal of $20,000 in total funding raised from the five shows during its 20th anniversary in 2020. Their hard work paid off as they have now surpassed the $23,000 mark.

The community center, located between HUD-assisted San Jose Apartments I and II on Galicia Road, was named in honor of Bishop Snyder, who served the Diocese of St. Augustine from 1979 to 2000; he died last September at age 93.

Many of the activities and services for the senior residents are held at the center. The complex is managed by Family Housing Management Company for the Diocese of St. Augustine.

“Words cannot express the excitement and gratitude for the community’s support,’’ said Alma Ballard, executive director/management agent of Family Housing Management Company. “The funds raised will help support the operations of the Snyder Community Center and provide, wellness and nourishment for the most vulnerable — our seniors.  The residents of San Jose Apartments are blessed by the support given this important fundraiser.’’

The board and staff made sure the show followed CDC social-distancing guidelines for outdoor events, placing signage, encouraging the use of face masks and making hand sanitizers available to car owners and guests.

Eric Thompson, a sales manager with the Key group, once again coordinated an onsite collection of new models for folks to check out at the show. It’s something he looks forward to doing each year.

“It’s been great; we’ve had a great time,’’ Thompson said. “It’s really nice to know that we’re doing something really good for San Jose Apartments, the Bishop Snyder Community Center and our community. And doing something that everyone loves and that’s showing off good-looking cars and looking at all these customs and collectibles — just getting everybody together and having a lot of fun. Car people are always nice to talk to. They are always very warm and engaging.’’

Dennis DuBois, owner of pristine 1966 Bahama Blue Volkswagen Type-1 Beetle coupe, is one such driver who enjoys this event.

“I love it; I wouldn’t miss this show. It’s for a good cause,’’ DuBois said, while wearing a face mask. “This may be the only show I do all year.’’

Why this show?

“It was getting tired sitting in the garage,’’ DuBois said. “Buggy wanted some fresh air.‘’

DuBois and “Buggy’’ made it four awards in four years as they took first place for Best European (pre-1970).

The Best of Show award, sponsored by A-Coin & Stamp Gallery, was won by Ross Bremer’s 1958 Eldorado Brougham. Steve Edenfield’s 1948 Chevrolet truck was the top vote-getter in the People’s Choice balloting, sponsored by Krispy Kreme in Mandarin.

An outstanding collection of vehicles of various eras created a challenging assignment for the judges, including first-timer Chris Brewer, director of communications for the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation, Inc.

“Working with Dan Scanlan and Bill Bortzfield to select the best of the best from the incredible variety of vintage and late model cars and trucks wasn’t easy,’ Brewer said. “North Florida’s automotive scene shined brightly with more than a 90 vehicles gathered to support Bishop John J. Snyder Community Center.

“Watching folks interact while respectfully social distancing and wearing masks added to the inviting nature of the event,’’ Brewer said. “It was apparent that everyone was unified not only in support of the show, but of at the local car scene.”

The show received the support of the First Florida chapter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. The group had 12 vehicles and 16 members at the show.

Alexander Watkins, who has been at the show four of the five years, coordinated the MVPA’s outing. 

“It’s fantastic — great day; great weather; great turnout; beautiful cars,’’ Watkins said, owner of a well-equipped 1945 Ford GPW (General Purpose Willys). “Cars from every era. People enjoying themselves. This is the place to be if you need to get out of the house.’’

The group hasn’t done many shows this year because of the pandemic.

“We love seeing each other,’’ said Watkins, who has been with the local chapter for five years after bring involved with one in North Carolina. “Love to be here to support the cause.

“To have an event like this is a godsend for us to get together and have fellowship, and to get out in the sun and enjoy life again,’’ Watkins said

The 2021 show will return to a spring date, which has not yet been determined.

2020 San Jose Car & Truck Show Award Winners

Sponsor: Trad’s Pest Control
First Place: Ross Bremer’s 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Sponsor: Jim and Joyce Dolan
First Place: Tommy Entenza’s 1954 Swallow Doretti

Sponsor: Kathy Scott State Farm Insurance
First Place: Bill McDermott’s 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Sponsor: IMC Telecommunication
First Place: Paul Nesbitt’s 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT

Sponsor: San Jose Apartments Board of Directors  
First Place: Ronnie Edge’s 1963 Split-Window Coupe

Sponsor:  Jason Miller, Morgan & Morgan
First Place: Chris Railing’s 1948 Willys pickup

First Place: Tren and Donna Brownley’s 1974 Triumph TR6

Sponsor: Walsh Investment Consulting
First Place: Dennis DuBois’ 1966 VW Type 1-Bug

Sponsor: Walsh Investment Consulting Group
First Place: Mike Farhat’s 1959 Chevrolet Apache 3200

Sponsor:  Krispy Kreme in Mandarin
First Place: Steve Edenfield’s 1948 Chevrolet truck

Sponsor:  A-Coin & Stamp Gallery
First Place: Ross Bremer’s 1958 Eldorado Brougham