Shelby Carlos may be a restauranteur, but he has a tangible link to sport.
A supporter of Filipino basketball teams in years past, Carlos is also keen on local motor sports. His latest move is helping to organise the Cayman’s Grand Autoshowoff that wants to energise racers and car lovers alike.
Carlos said his connection to Cayman’s car culture goes back many years.
“First and foremost, I am the founder of the autoshowoff,” Carlos said. “It all started with a group of guys that’s been doing car shows and events from Manila, Philippines when we moved here some 20 years ago. I took that culture with me, Cayman did not know anything about souped up cars back then and we started fixing up cars.
“I remember I made so much friends here in Cayman by putting on rims and lowering cars in the early 90s. I remember only my friend Minroy Hydes and I had Hondas and all of the guys here had Camaros and Trans Ams, but they liked our little cars. There weren’t too many Japanese cars then, but this whole car show scene is typical of the Asian lifestyle.”
Carlos, through his company Boknology Inc., is one of the organisers for the show. The others are long-time racer Michael Webster, via his company MJ Entertainment, and Shane Ebanks. Local automotive resource CSN.ky is also lending its support.
The totally free car show is slated for Sunday, 3 March, from 3.30 to 10.30pm at Seven Mile Shops. The event caters to all types of vehicles with prizes on offer for various classes in the following categories: “Super Street Legal”, “Best Island Domestic”, “Best Island Import”, “Best Motorbike” and “Crowd Favourite”.
For entertainment, there will be a bikini contest with a $250 cash prize and a live disc jockey. Webster said the sponsors include Napa, Automotive Art, Tony’s Toys, Saxon MG, Premium Touch, Detail Auto Body and Liquid Nitro energy drink.
Carlos said Sunday’s show will be the latest example of business mixing with his love for motor sports.
“When I was given the chance to come up with the Little Tokyo Mongolian Grill concept, part of that was to bring the car import culture here in Cayman with the Asian lifestyle. We had six shows from 2007 to 2009 and it just stopped because of the economic downturn. Everyone seemed to have financial difficulties, so we gave it a break.
“I’m now part of Carlos and Martin’s Tex-Mex Cantina,” he added. “After four years, we’re going to bring it back and this time it will be here to stay with the help of my old time friends Michael Webster, Tony’s Toys, Automotive Art and CSN.ky. We will have an average of four car shows annually and maybe an annual big event in Camana Bay through Tony’s Toys, but we’re on it.
“This lifestyle is here to stay,” he said. “The people of Cayman always loved cars and the Asians here, I don’t think they’re going anywhere so it’s all part of that mixed culture which is great for the Cayman Islands as a whole.”
Sunday’s event is free to the public and participants. Free parking will be available at Queens Court. For more information, call 925-5433 or e-mail [email protected]