America’s Classic Car Show – Dan’s Papers
The warm Palm Beach sun glinted off the hoods of many multicolored classics like jewels. The Breakers Hotel car park has been transformed into a treasure trove for car enthusiasts and attending guests. Everyone was delighted to see the classic American beauties in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.
My friend John Shibles of Ocean Ridge, Florida and Sea Girt, New Jersey began collecting cars in the 1960s. His late wife encouraged him to collect cars as a hobby after forays unsuccessful in painting, golf and tennis.
John worked his way through college and began buying problematic properties and properties with hard to determine titles. At one point, his real estate portfolio had 17 Home Depots. He uses the skills he acquired in real estate to trace the history and provenance of the cars he buys.
He takes pride in acquiring rare cars and discovering the history behind each one. He keeps in touch with the heirs, cousins and nephews of his cars. More importantly, six of John’s 13 cars have been invited to the prestigious Pebble Beach Classic Car Show.
“The Garage” is how John affectionately refers to his museum which houses his most prized cars. Visitors are welcome.
When John walks into his car museum, he says, “Hello kids! to his 13 cars which he named.
All cars were named by John:
“Coco” A 1924 Renault
“Dick” 1933 Pierce Arrow Sports Coupe
“Lipstick” Coupe Laconde 1939
“Stone” 1938 Bugati Teal Type 57c
“Buttercup” 1932 Muntz Jet
Murph 1929 Duesenberg
“Abe” 1933 Lincoln
‘Michelle Ma Belle’1947 Targo Lago
‘Earle’ 1933 Packard 12 Roadster
‘Bella Via’ 1929 Tsotta Franschini
‘Woody’ 1939 Ford Woody
‘My Latte’ 1935 Auburn
And the last car was a big surprise for Jill. He bought her a 1935 Auburn Boat Tail Roadster.
He doesn’t play favorites and takes great care of his car family. He maintains a full-time mechanic to look after them so he can use them.
“What good is having cars you can’t drive? he asks. “Classics are made to be driven!”
Jill came second in her class with the Auburn Boat Tail Roadster. Her Auburn lost points because the hood was not closed.
Every December 26, John hosts a Christmas party at his Classic Car Museum in Sea Girt, New Jersey, to put away the Christmas tree and decorations. Several years ago, Jill was invited to the party by a mutual friend. She left her reading glasses in the case with her business card. John phoned Jill and the romance began.
Jill learned all about cars since she was four years old from her older brother, Dr. Craig Zarelli. He encouraged her to identify all cars on road trips. She had learned to drive with a clutch in high school on a FIAT sports car and in college on a co-worker’s old car.
John was fascinated by Jill’s pizzazz, her classic beauty, and the fact that, unlike other women, she could drive her cars with confidence and ease.
John and Jill married with their families at the height of COVID-19 in October 2020. John loves being with his two sons and grandchildren, his friends and most importantly, John loves seeing Jill happy.