Lake Dora Show Breaks Record! “Our Biggest Show To Date”

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Full docks, lots of rides.

The numbers are in and as expected, the 2017 Lake Dora show was the largest in there 30 year history. Or is it 36 year history. This year was the 30th anniversary but the show really started as a small gathering 36 years ago. Either way, this year was the largest! You could feel it in the air, on the docks and in peoples emotions. The weather was perfect as were the boats. Below are the numbers in from Hall of Famer, and chairman of the show, Terry Fiest.
140 boats in the water
45 in the land display
41 boats in the Field of Dreams


In the field of dreams!

12 Woody cars
9 Amphicar’s

Ampha car

Rush hour in the Dora Canal!


Carla from Hagerty and Terry Fiest with his hall Of Fame award, at the big Dinner.

350 people attended the Sat Night banquet.
13 Boats from the Glaspar club.

FLA Fri Staib

We picked up one of these from Jim Staib at Fine Wood boats

63 flea market vendors.
Approx 4K people can thru the main gate.

“Our biggest show to date” Terry Fiest


26 replies
  1. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    In about 50 weeks we will be back to do it again. Cold, crappy, and rainy all night. Could be the snow that Troy is heading towards. A week is not long enough. Need to plan longer vacation next year.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    If I was paying attention in history class on Saturday, it was the 36th annual Sunnyland chapter boat show, the 30th on Lake Dora and the 10th at Tavares.

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Your arithmetic is pretty good….But the suggestion that there is only one living founder is a bit exagerated…I can think of several of us who were there that are still among the living. What is it they say,”Ole boaters never die….

      • floyd r turbo
        floyd r turbo says:

        Thanks to the “old guard” who kept this show going before Terry. They include, but not limited to the Matheson’s (Mike and Ann), Wilson Wright, the Sherb’s (Gary and Ingrid), Dean Guy, Stan Peterson, Tom and Mary Flood to name a few. RIP Dale Tassell and John de Sousa the originators and George Shinn. I’m sure I’ve left some out.

  3. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Lotta changes Jim since we first met at the Holiday Inn at Sanford and went up the River to Hontoon Island for lunch. It was at one of those lunches I met Charlie Cross who seemed to know more and remembered more about Chris Crafts than almost anybody I ever met. Good ole days.

    • Tuobanur
      Tuobanur says:

      Wilson, back in November of 1999 I went to a show in Cypress Gardens, FL, and as luck would have it, there was a boat almost identical to mind there, with the pictures I took of it it turned out to be very helpful. My question, did SunnyLand have any thing to do with that show and are you familiar with the boat?

      • Stan Petersen
        Stan Petersen says:

        It may have been my boat, a 1938 17′ Chris Craft
        Delux Runabout. We named it “Lille Ven” which translated from the Danish language, means “Little Friend” The boat is presently on e-Bay,

        • Tuobanur
          Tuobanur says:

          Stan, I’m assuming you are replying to my question about the boat I have pictured (Cat’s Meow), that boat is a 1941 16′ CC deluxe runabout, same year and model as my boat. The only difference, it has only two vents my boat has four, they changed to four about middle ways through that production year.

      • Jimmy
        Jimmy says:

        I think I’ve seen that boat somewhere before or I want to think I’ve seen it before. That U22 behind it I saw at Hilton Head Concours.

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Just for kicks, I went back and checked. The first Southeastern Antique And Classic Boat show was held at the Holiday Inn at Sanford, Fl. April 23-26, 1981. The show drew almost 100 people and about 30 vintage boats. Charlie Cross conducted a seminar and it was coats and ties for the Saturday night banquet

        • Wilson
          Wilson says:

          I’d have to check…but the show continued to grow. It was also the year I got tagged to draft and submit a charter for the Sunnyland Chapter…which as some will recall was promptly rejected by the powers that be at ACBS headquarters at the Sagamore hotel on Lake George, NY. They said there weren’t enough wooden boats down there in the swamps in Florida to justify a chapter. Like the little engine that Could….the story goes on….Perhaps we should have told it at the Saturday night dinner…It would have been good for laughs and reminders for the 13 past International President’s on hand.

        • floyd r turbo
          floyd r turbo says:

          And now ACBS can’t seem to schedule a Spring Quarterly meeting anywhere but Mount Dora/Tavares. Having been at all Lake Monroe events, including the first, bringing my ’64 Westco flatbottom v-drive raceboat kind of made me persona non grata for not bringing a woodie. Dale Tassell and John de Sousa, show originators, were very friendly to me as Dale was a motorhead and interested in the motor and being from Maine, John and I had a connection as he and his wife operated an antique store in Friendship, Me. That was my first time in a Florida lake and launched my boat in the “harbor” behind the breakwater. As I pushed off from the dock to start the boat … a direct drive no neutral Casale v-drive with 27% overdrive “point and shoot”, powered by a 454 bored .060 with twin Holley carbs on Edelbrock TR2X tunnel ram manifold running velocity stacks, the engine backfired and caught the carbs on fire which it frequently did, my close friend immediately jumped overboard into the water. I pointed to the gator floating about 75 ft away and told him he might want to climb back in the boat. What a dilemma for him. I wasn’t worried about the fire…all I had to do was hit the starter button and suck the flame back down the stacks and away you go (most of the time).

        • Al Benton
          Al Benton says:

          If I recall correctly, the Antique Boat Show in Sanford in 1981 was organized by members of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club. The Sunnyland Chapter of ACBS didn’t exist yet. But, as Wilson pointed out, once the Chapter was organized, they continued the show and eventually moved it to Mount Dora.

  4. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    …Well, yes,..Cypress Gardens was the second Sunnyland show.
    It ran for several years…I could check dates from old copies of Brass Bells….It was a popular event usually held in late Fall. They would let the antiques and classics parade in front of the stadium and it was quite a crowd pleaser

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Yes< John and Lois deSousa were a great couple. I spent the night with them in Friendship once…I wasn't there 10 minutes, when John took me in hand and headed for the docks. We came home with 1/2 dozen live lobsters and Lois knew just what to do with them.
      That was quite a collection she had in the antique shop.
      I also remember John's story about being invited to make a speech at a convent where he was introduced as Rev. John sedousa.
      Wonder where son John was during this year's boat show?

  5. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Several times I would go to Cypress Gardens. Find a place to store my boat for the winter. And come get it just before the Mt. Dora show. Seemed to work real well.

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Cypress Gardens was a great location for a boat show back then. I haven’t see it since the Lego people bought it and turned it into Legoland.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Thanks for bringing the Donzi’s. They add variety and interest to the event that would be sorely lacking if it were just pre-war triple cockpit Chris-Crafts and Garwoods.

  6. Richard
    Richard says:

    PHOTO OF AN ORIGINAL WOODEN RUNABOUT kiddie ride reportedly made by Chris Craft in the 1950s.
    Recently sold at Showtime Auctions.

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