Last night I attended my local weekly car gathering. The venue just recently changed due to hooligans and fighting. I wrote a little piece about what I saw for a website a friend and I run. It went a little something like this:

Tuesday nights at The Swamp; the infamous weekly vehicle gathering for locals to seek fellowship with other automotive-driven enthusiasts. Sort of. The Swamp, while it is a beach club for locals and tourists alike, is know by gear heads as the weekly Tuesday night car meet. The Swamp has been the host of many Tuesday night gatherings which included burnouts, plenty of rev limiter thrashing, and even the occasional fight. There’s something about the veil of night that brings out brash personalities.

After many years of Tuesday night meets taking place at The Swamp, the owner of the parking lot had finally had enough, called the cops, and had the Tuesday night gathering effectively shut down. Immediately following the death of The Swamp, the entity that is this car meet has been reincarnated through the owner of the local diesel performance shop Hardway Performance.


The opening of the overhead shop doors at Hardway, inviting enthusiasts to congregate around the shop, was likened to a breath of fresh air for the local automotive scene. Even though the group consisted mostly of regulars, the overall atmosphere was more inviting for anyone to approach a fellow enthusiast and strike up conversation about the vehicle they might be pouring over. Interpersonal networking seems to be overcoming cliques with this new atmosphere.


While taking pictures I found it somewhat difficult to capture people just interacting with each other. It seems to be that when the lens goes up, people disperse. Unless the person really doesn’t like to be photographed, I encourage people to pretend there is no one taking a picture. The owners of this Chevelle understood this concept and even requested a portrait of them. This next one is for you, @ShinerunnerSal.

This is what these weekly gatherings are for; the people. Between all the wrenching, racing, car shows, and other automotive events, it’s nice to have a venue where enthusiasts can unwind and interact with each other. Talking to people within your automotive circle continues to breed the passion, while networking with those outside your particular niche allows you to expand your horizons and maybe even learn something new that can be applied to what you’re interested in. Get out there and network with others.


Although the meeting known as The Swamp has come to an end, the concept of the local gathering lives on but in a privately owned location, and a location actually dedicated to development within the automotive realm. With the owner of Hardway Performance opening his doors to the community, an unspoken amount of respect fills the air and ushers in a new era of enthusiast interaction. A new form of fellowship has just been born in the Emerald Coast automotive community; it just doesn’t have a name yet.

There are more photos of this article at if you care to look. Or don’t, it’s up to you. I guess you could always go back to the front page of Oppo. That’s an option too. Do you, homie. Do you.