Home Attractions Classic Cars and Reminiscing Crowds Descend On The Lake District

Classic Cars and Reminiscing Crowds Descend On The Lake District

The Holidays Classic Car show was held at The Lake District on Sunday, December 10, 2023.

by Matt Wright

I suppose it’s ironic that so many classic cars were on display where auto racing was commonplace over 50 years ago. The Holidays Classic Car Show, which was held on a sunny, Sunday afternoon at The Lake District, had well over 100 cars show up for the inaugural event. A variety of classic cars spread throughout the parking lot ranging from Ford Mustangs and VW Buses to modern sportscars like Porches, a McLaren and even a Lamborghini Aventador, a supercar valued at $400,000.

It seems fitting that The Lake District, which now sits on the property that was once the Lakeland International Raceway and Dragstrip, would host such an event. Nobody could have guessed in 1967 that the Lakeland raceway, where James Taylor once filmed a movie called Two Lane Blacktop, would eventually be an upscale shopping district where some of the same cars they were racing would be on display for all to see.

Many attendees spoke about the old Lakeland Raceway. Above is a 1965 Ford Fastback Mustang racing at the Lakeland dragstrip and below a 1965 Fastback Mustang on display at the car show. Picture from the Lakeland International Raceway Facebook page.

Yehuda Netanel, the developer of The Lake District, was thrilled with the turnout to the shopping district. “The Holiday Classic Car gathering today brought to Lakeland over 130 classic cars and well over 300 new folks to the area,” he said. “Most admitted they have never been in Lakeland, or it had been a very long time. Some spoke about how they used to come to enjoy the amusement park and the drag races when they were young. What a great way to reintroduce Lakeland to the market.” Some attending the event planned their day around the show, eating and shopping before and after. “Fun day. Brunch with Santa at Villa Castrioti Lakeland then car show, shopping at Chosen Lines Boutique then more car show,” said Renee Leith in a Facebook post.

There was a wide variety of cars and trucks on display Sunday afternoon in Lakeland. Pictures of other cars can be seen on The Lake District’s Facebook page.

While the turnout of car owners was better than expected, shoppers and local residents also enjoyed pulling in and walking thru the property to enjoy the show and talk with other car enthusiasts. Families strolled past the cars together while some Fathers enjoyed bringing their sons to see some of the classics. “I took my foster son to the show this afternoon as an opportunity to connect with him around something he is very passionate about…cars!” said Chad Reynolds. “The excitement he displayed was priceless! I was pleasantly surprised at the number and wide variety of cars that participated.”

Mr. Netanel says the event was so well attended he does plan on doing another car show next year. “Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the crowd was so nice and well behaved I would love to do this again,” he said. “Now we have a better idea of what to expect and we can plan on making it even better next year!”