The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area is known for many things. Sparkling beaches. Gorgeous weather. Nude sunbathers. Also, scores of beautiful foreign vehicles, daily-driven luxe and brightly-colored exotics. Latin street car culture, the newly moneyed, and holdovers from the cocaine confiscation era all collide to make a singular kind of motoring atmosphere. With all the plush droptops and scissor-doored goodness you’ll see cruising down the strip in South Beach, it’s easy to lose the American metal. Especially when it’s hidden underground.
While staying with a friend in one of the fancy apartment buildings at the south end of town, I accidentally stumbled upon a collection of buried treasure. Security was tight. Every time I entered the building, I had to sign in with a guard and have my picture taken at the front desk. Down in the garage, my finger trembled every time I pushed to shutter button. Would I be pinched by men in black suits and herded to a backroom for questioning? There's no telling how many of those cars belonged to Russian oligarchs or NBA stars.
Of course, there was plenty of fine European machinery, from a Carrera GT and Aston Martin Vantages to squeaky-clean Bentley Continentals and a matte black Rolls-Royce Ghost. But I honed in on the vintage landyachts and tuned Detroit muscle, parked off to the side, out of the spotlight.
Here, a tribute to the oft-overshadowed domestic cars of Miami. Enjoy.