At a special event at Suncoast Motorsports on Saturday, car enthusiasts will punch the accelerator on some good car talk and a drive for a good cause.
While car enthusiasts—men and women—do their show and tell on Saturday at Suncoast Motorsports, the dealership is asking attendees to donate an unwrapped toy of their own to the Toys for Tots drive.
It's called the Holiday Toy Run where car lovers get together to shoot the breeze, hit the pedal on a leisurely drive and provide area kids with a Christmas.
"It's not about our brands—it's about the people and the cars,," said Phil Anderson, assistant parts manager at Suncoast Motorsports. "Especially with Toys For Tots, it's not for us—it's for the kids."
The Holiday Toy Run begins at 8 a.m. as part of the weekly Cars and Coffee event. To get in, donate a toy for Toys for Tots. The event also features a 50/50 raffle and prizes. All proceeds go toward Toys For Tots.
On the first Saturday of each month, the dealership hosts a meet and greet for anyone to bring their cars out and talk about their car and marvel at the beauties that stroll onto the lot, said Peter Tromboni of Suncoast's Internet Parts Sales Department, and helped organize the event.
"If it has wheels and a motor, everyone feels welcomed," Anderson said.
You'll never know what you might see parked at the event each month. It could be anything from a custom chopper, a Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Honda Civic to an Enzo Ferrari, a Nissan Skyline straight from Japan on even a race car.
"We had a GT 3 Cup Car—a pure race car. It's not street legal but he drove here anyway, attracting Sarasota's finest," Anderson said, chuckling. "The police officer walked around checking out the cars because he was a car guy, too."
The car enthusiasts who show up aren't shy or feel out of place when their Chrysler stares at a million dollar car. But it's not meant to be a way for you to buy a car at the dealership during the Coffee and Cars.
"It's very laid back," Anderson said. "We don't want our sales people being sales people at that time. It's more about a get-together. If someone says, 'I like that car,' sure, go and talk to the sales person and take it for a test drive."
The Holiday Run event includes an 80-mile drive called the Toy Run that Tromboni describes as a "spirited cruise." The rally's route will be a surprise and each driver will receive the route on the day of the event.
To participate, you'll have to donate an unwrapped toy or donate $10 so a new toy can be purchased for the drive and the lunch. RSVP for the rally by emailing Events@SuncoastParts.com. The Toy Run departs at 10:30 a.m. and returns to the dealership at noon for a barbecue cookout.
Knowing the horsepower possessed under the hoods of these cars that show up, Tromboni stressed it's not a rally race.
"No matter how you look at it, some people turn it into a rally," he said.
There will be a pace car at the front and the rear and at the 60-mile mark, the caravan will regroup, he said.
Can't make it to the rally? Drop of a toy for Toys For Toys from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.