A Minute With… Tiny Nasworthy

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There is little that’s more alluring, masculine, or American then classic cars. The sexy curves, unique body types and concern over who has a bigger engine seem well, gay? 

Based out of Tampa Bay, the Flamingo Auto Group has been incorporating the love of classic cars into the LGBT community for years. The Flamingo Auto group is part of the Lambda Car Club International, which is one of the largest LGBT clubs in the country.
The Flamingo Auto Group is very visible throughout Florida. The group has been involved in St Pete Pride since the beginning, has made appearances at various events with the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg, and members continue to travel with their cars to the Sawmill Campground. 

In fact, on Sept. 12 the group will display classic cars from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Second Annual Sawmill Car Show. And just like any pageant-style event in the LGBT community—awards will be given after the show.

With 1,600 members nationally and nearly 120 members locally, Watermark knows there is interest in the auto group. Robert (Tiny) Nasworthy, president of the Flamingo Auto Group, took a minute out of his schedule to update us on the club.

TinyNasworthy_308266711.jpgHow long have you been involved in the Flamingo Auto Group?
I have been in the club since 1999, but have only been the President for the past three years (almost).

Is there a fee to join?
Yes. It is $58 a year. That fee is broken in two, with a portion of the money going to the region and a portion going to the national organization.

How can someone find out more about your club and the national affiliation with the Lambda Car Club International?

Google Lambda Car Club International. To check us out locally visit FlamingoAutoGroupSouth.com.

How do you feel this car club benefits our LGBT community?
This is a club for anyone who would like to be part of a social network, to learn all there is to know about cars. We also do our best to support the gay community.  This year, the club is holding its first ever benefit car show for the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas. All proceeds will go to the ASAP food bank. We have fun events scheduled each month, usually hosted and organized by members. 

How many women are involved in the club?
We have had a few female members in the past, but unfortunately currently we have none at this time. However, everyone is welcome.

How many classic cars do you own?
We own 10 different classic cars. We have five from the sixties, only one from the seventies, one from the eighties, three from the nineties, and have one new car from 2009

What other kind of cars have you come across through the club?

We have a lot of 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s cars—up  to present models. To be honest you never know what you are going to see. I think every car manufacturer is represented in one way or another. To be a part of the car club, you actually don’t even have to own a car…only love and appreciate them.
Other than cars, we currently have a 1975 GMC RV and a few pickup trucks.

What was the first car that really got your gears grinding?

In 1997 my dad and I were sitting at a light at 56th Street and Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. We were sitting behind a 1966 Thunderbird as it was turning left. I pointed out how cool the turn signals were and my dad’s response was that they didn’t make them anymore. I was upset. In 1999 I got a chance to buy a 1966 Thunderbird (see photo) and from then on, the rest is history.

Since you deal with classic cars, have you ever been able to take advantage of a rumble seat?
Nope. I have actually not been in a rumble seat, but I have ridden on top of a Stanley Steamer.

That just sounds fun! What has been the reception from the “straight” car clubs when the Flamingo Auto Group shows up at different car shows?
It depends on the people. In November we will hold our benefit car show and plan to invite all straight car clubs and people to attend. No matter what you are—gay, straight, whatever—being a car nut is what makes you family.

In your opinion, what’s the gayest car on the road today?

The Chrysler Sebring convertible was voted the most gay car. The Jeep Wrangler came in a close second, though.

What do you think is the gayest car in history?
In history?  I’d have to say the 1959 Cadillac and the 1959 Imperial. Both come without a hint of excessive chrome.

If you could pick one car to take on your dream date, what would it be?
I’d take a 1958 Buick Roadmaster nine passenger Station Wagon. Why be uncomfortable?

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