Many people ask me where my passion for cars came from. It all started when a young Gabe Llanes was watching a television show called Miami Vice back in the 80’s. I remember being at a family member’s house as a kid and across the screen popped up a white wide body car with lines that I had never seen on a vehicle. I immediately remember asking, “Dad, what kind of car is that?” He told me, “Gaby, that is a Ferrari Testarossa.” I said “Wow, I want one when I grow up Pop. Can you buy me one?” My father makes prosthetics for a living and I remember him chuckling and saying, “I’m going to have to make a lot of legs to be able to buy you that car son.” From then on, I watched the show religiously every week just to see Crocket and Tubbs ride in their Testarossa through the city that I called home. I was born and raised in Miami and loved seeing that Ferrari in places that I used to frequent with my family. At the time, Miami was not all glamour and glitz like it is now. South Beach was mostly a retirement community where drugs and crime were fluent throughout the city. This was a reality that South Florida was facing. But instead of a caped crusader or some superhero in tights, you had two cool detectives wearing the latest fashion and driving the coolest and most exotic police car ever seen. Every week there would be a part of the show where Crocket (Don Johnson) would be cruising his white Ferrari Testarossa through the Miami streets pondering his thoughts listening to Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight.” I just thought it was so cool. At that time, my father had one of his offices on South Beach. During summer break I would go with him to work. His office was literally a block away from the beach. One day he told me, “Son, today we are closing early and going to the beach.” Just as we were walking across Ocean Drive, we spotted a camera crew. Next thing we see is the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa speeding right passed us with Crocket (Don Johnson) and Tubbs (Phillip Michael Thomas) in the car. It was amazing and I will never forget it. Not only is this car my favorite because of the styling but because of what it and the show did for the city where I grew up and love. From that show and that car an Art Deco movement began on South Beach. The city went from a dump to a Neon filled glamourous town in the span of a decade. Now it is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations which many celebrities call home. One of the 2 original cars is displayed at the Swap Shop in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It was reportedly purchased from NBC for a mere $750,000 quite a while back. Today the Hero car chassis #63631 is currently owned by Adams Classic & Collector Cars in Buford, GA. This car is what inspired me to get into the classic collector car hobby and business. My passion for classic cars all started from watching that TV show with my father. To this day I still joke around with my dad if he finally made enough legs to buy me my Testarossa.
By Gabe Llanes