Drive Out Event Brings Classic Cars to St. John

Drive Out Event Brings Classic Cars to St. John

When the traditional St. John Labor Day Car Show and Coral Bay Parade were cancelled due to COVID restrictions, organizers Yisrael Petersen and Halbert Joseph were determined to figure out a way to bring the FUN to St. John while remaining compliant with social distancing guidelines. 

Their brilliant solution was a DRIVE OUT – with car owners and enthusiasts joining a motorcade procession across the islands of St. John and St. Thomas in the vehicles that would have otherwise participated in the car show.

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There was something for everyone at the Drive Out. My personal favorite was a sweet little 1973 Karmann Ghia.

Early Sunday morning, participants on St. John waited at the car barge for the St. Thomas group to arrive.  From there, the convoy made their way across Centerline to Susannaberg where they stopped for lunch at the island’s new classic Drive-in Theater (more information about that soon to come!) and received their certificates for participation.  Mask-compliant residents stopped by to admire the cars and chat with the proud owners about their vehicles.

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I had the pleasure of visiting with this gentleman named Zula about his 1968 Dune Buggy Deserter.

Approximately 20 drivers, including members of the VI Classic Auto Club and Bug-R-Us Auto Club, participated in the event.  While some of the drivers cruise both islands in their beloved cars on a regular basis, others only bring them out from under their car covers for special occasions, such as this event.  The cars that were part of Sunday’s Drive Out included such classics as a 1955 Chevy, 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and Thing convertible, and a couple of rare oval window Volkswagen Beetles.

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After lunch, the drivers made their way to Coral Bay, and then back to the barge via North Shore Road.  It was an incredible sight to see all of these clearly loved cars against the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea!

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Photo courtesy of Nick Nico Heinemann

“We are grateful to Senator Steven Payne for his advice, support, and promotion of the event,” said Petersen. “We are hoping to make this a regular event on the first Sunday of every month, along with a New Year’s Drive Out, and a Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Drive Out, all destined for St. John.”

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If you would like to show off your shiny hot rod, be sure to follow our page for announcements regarding the next Drive Out event!

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