For most of us, having cars at Florida Gulf Coast University usually means trying to find a coveted legal parking spot. But for members of the FGCU Car Club, autos are more than transportation. They can represent everything from making a personal statement to satisfying a lifelong, driving passion.
Carter Kozminski, president of the FGCU club and a junior journalism major who plans to become an automotive writer, proudly points out that the club has about 200 active members and meets at least twice each week. “An additional group of alumni and close-friend members bring the total number upwards of 400,” he says.
Started in 2015 and with James Greco, University Marketing and Communications photographer and FGCU photo instructor, serving as its current adviser, the FGCU Car Club’s signature event is a January show that helps benefit the American Heart Association. The 2018 event drew 225 entries with half the entry proceeds — $2,100 — donated to the AHA, and the club handed out 25 awards.
Kozminski says the club hopes to draw more than 250 entries (and in turn collect a bigger donation for the heart charity) at the Jan. 19, 2019, FGCU Motor Show, which will take place around the bus loop near the plaza outside Cohen Center. For entry details, visit the club’s Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/fgcucc/. To see a video of last year’s show, check this out: https://bit.ly/2CdFwjV.
But the enthusiasts of the FGCU Car Club are more than just automotive tinkerers and exhibitors. Greco says club members also meet up at Southwest Florida autocross and drag-racing tracks to safely satisfy their need for speed in a closed environment, pushing and testing their cars’ performance limits.
Kozminski is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, which means he can put a lot of miles on the cars he owns – a 2001 Bullitt Mustang and 2016 Fiesta ST – if he’s driving to and from FGCU, which is about a 2,200-mile trip one way.
So, what does Kozminski think is the coolest car ever made? “The way I’d answer this question is by choosing the first car I’d buy if I won the lottery,” he says. “I think the coolest automobile ever made is the Pagani Huayra. I’ve ridden in one, and it is a great combination of brute power and sleek beauty.”
The Italian sports car has a base price of about $1 million, can reach almost 240 mph and goes from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. And, if you park one illegally at FGCU, it’s going to cost you $30.