The Orange Blossom Tour was orchestrated by our friends at Classic Motorsports magazine. Publisher Tim Suddard put together a five-day tour of central Florida that serves as the perfect spring getaway for people who would love an opportunity to spend a few sun-drenched days in a classic car exploring parts of Florida that tourists usually don't see. "People come down here, go to Disney, and head home saying Florida is ugly and the roads suck. And I would love to show people that's not the case," explained Suddard.
As it turns out, he's right - there are definitely places in Florida where the roads don't suck. Of course, with Florida's highest point towering a paltry 345 feet above sea level, you won't be traversing breathtaking mountain passes, but Suddard did find some pretty good roads. And not once did the Tour merge onto an interstate. That, indeed, would have been no fun in the forty-three-year-old Cosmo, just as the Tour's relaxed pace would have been a drag in a modern car.
If the speed of the world has changed in the last forty years, one thing hasn't - how easy it is to make new friends in a group of people who share a common interest. Throughout the week, at the many lunches and dinners, museums and parks, conversation drifted from cars to just about every subject imaginable. Including, and specifically, my peculiar penchant for disco music in a little town called Tavares. (Come on - don't pretend you don't know who Tavares is!)
At the conclusion of five days, everyone headed home with their cars (if not a renewed affection for disco). That was because the $1995 entry price ($2995 for couples) for the Orange Blossom Tour included a flatbed trailer and an expert mechanic that swept the route to collect vital parts that any of the participating vehicles might spew onto the roadway. Amazingly, not a single car needed to be towed - not even a particularly beautiful Sunbeam Harrington Le Mans that completely lost its brakes - but the presence of the truck was enough to eliminate any anxiety about breaking down. It wasn't, however, enough to scare the Cosmo into behaving. Watching two hacks try to resuscitate the cute little Mazda time and again on the side of the road ensured that even the mechanic got a couple big laughs from the Orange Blossom Tour.