Chevrolet sponsors September Luncheon and presents the new 2014 Corvette Stingray
By: Paul Borden - 26 September 2013

With more than 65 members and guests in attendance, SAMA’s September luncheon drew a record crowd to see and drive -- however too briefly! -- a global automotive classic, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette.

The luncheon was at Barton G’s in Miami Beach on Thursday, Sept. 26, with, natch, Chevrolet as the sponsor.

The full house in attendance heard John Fitzpatrick, Chevrolet Performance Cars Marketing Manager, give an overview of what the new Corvette is all about.

Just how good is this car?

For one thing, it is the first Corvette since the 1960s and early ’70s earn the legendary “Stingray” badging. Anybody who has the slightest inkling of Corvette history is aware of the significance of that.

“We didn’t set out to build a Stingray,” Fitzpatrick said. “We set out to build the greatest Corvette we could. It wasn’t until we got done with that that we said, ‘You know, this really does remind everybody of the ’63, in terms of not only in the look of the car but how the car feels and how it reacts.’

“We thought it was natural to add the Stingray name at that point.”

To see Fitzpatrick’s presentation, click on the video link accompanying this page.

In addition to Fitzpatrick, Monte Duran of Chevrolet Communications and Stephen Martin of GM Communications were on hand, and the good folks of the Axis Agency -- Angie Diaz and Mariangela Imbrenda and Executive Vice President Stan Stein -- made sure the luncheon went along smoothly.

Before the presentation, Secretary Tony Lesesne and Treasurer Marcello Serrato conducted the business meeting in the absence of President Jaime Florez and Vice President Bill Adam, both in the process of returning from business trips.

This is the onset of a special -- and busy time -- for SAMA.

Coming up Nov. 8 is Media Day for the Miami International Auto Show, which will include our annual awards luncheon.

Show Coordinator Cliff Ray said that except for the ride-and-drive opportunities in electric vehicles, the same popular features from the successful 2013 show will return this year.

They will include an exhibit highlighting vehicles from SAMA’s successful Topless in Miami competition, Memory Lane, and Million Dollar Alley.
“We’d love to see you all at Media Day,” Ray said. “Media hours will run from 8 to 4, 4:30, and we have a full media schedule.”

Ron Beasley once again will conduct the judging for our auto show awards, and though he has spoken with members about returning to serve as a judge, he asked that anyone interested in serving to contact him.

There will be at least one change. The top award formerly dubbed Star of the Show now will be recognized as “SAMA Car of the Year” award.

In Bill Adam’s absence, Paul Borden asked reminded people that the annual Rides-and-Smiles event will be Nov. 23 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and volunteers are needed to help with variable tasks on that day. Anyone interested should contact Bill at

Also, members are reminded to give the event the coverage it deserves, whether it be in print, video, or online, as a way of recognizing the support manufacturers provide in providing cars for the event.

Marcello Serrato announced that two new members have joined SAMA. They are Chris Brewer of  Stephen Cole Smith, who writes for many outlets, including Autoweek and the Orlando Sentinel.

Marcello also announced a balance of $7,150 in the SAMA treasury.

We want to take this opportunity to thank Chevrolet for sponsoring the September meeting and for the opportunity to drive one of the world’s iconic sports cars.

The South Florida Auto Dealers Association will be the sponsor of our next meeting to preview the upcoming auto show.

This is also the time we nominate officers for the next year. By SAMA’s by-laws, Jaime Florez is not eligible for reelection after serving two terms as president, so this is an especially key time.

The date is Oct. 24 at a place to be determined, so watch your email box for further details.

Balloting will take place at the November luncheon.



Click on photos to enlarge
Photos & Video by Pepe Delfino