The Thirty A Review March 2021

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Cars of 30A Automobiles, Beaches, and the Ultimate Mind Escape b y C a r o l B a d a r a c c o P a d g e t t

V intage Broncos, restored Defenders, rare Ferraris, custom Porsches. Car enthusiasts, marketers, and dream- ers Davis Brackett and Ashley Loyd could probably just stop right there in their creation of a new business venture. But they’ve added one more magical element that seals the deal: the beaches of 30-A. Together, the friends launched Cars of 30A on Instagram in May 2020, fol- lowed by a soft launch of their website in July. Their original con- cept is now coming to fruition with a chronicle entitled Cars of 30A , a high-end, hardcover coffee table book that features the cars and stories behind the brands, businesses, and local car enthusiasts along 30-A in every beach town from Dune Allen to Rosemary. “Cars are where I go when I need a minute to hit the reset button and let my

Many of 30-A’s biggest influencers and iconic business owners are showing keen interest in sharing the story of their cars. “The original idea with this book was to highlight the staple brands and businesses along 30-A,” Brackett notes. “They are all about supporting their community and our book will certainly build upon that.” In addition to their hardbound book, unique automotive-inspired gear will be available at local shops along 30-A and at “This could easily turn into a series of books,” Brackett hints. “I have peo- ple sending me pictures of their cars along 30-A all the time and wanting to participate.” After all, fellow die-hard car and

Land Rover Range Rover on Grayton Beach

beach enthusiasts are not difficult to find… they number like shells along the sand at low morning tide. As Brackett puts it, “There is something mag- ical about driving an epic car along the coast. It’s the ultimate mind escape. The ultimate freedom.” Brackett’s thoughts roll back to a childhood passion that put him on the road to Cars of 30A .

Ford Bronco in Grayton Beach

mind wander,” says Brackett, the business’s founder, and Atlanta-based automotive marketing and advertising professional who has spent years vacationing with his wife and two children on the beaches of 30-A. Over the years, Brackett confesses, he developed a deep infatua- tion with the cars he saw and photographed while visit- ing and driving the 24-mile stretch of coastal highway along the sparkling Gulf of Mexico. And he was intrigued to learn the stories behind the cars he had seen and those of area influencers. “I have always been interested to learn why people drive what they drive” he muses. “Cars are an extension and outward expression of ourselves… and they are the best conversation-starters.” His personal favorite at the moment? “My 1999 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG. It’s a rare AMG that repre- sents a lot for the brand and is a total blast to drive.” Brackett met Loyd, his business colleague, current 30-A resident, and a marketing executive who is designing the Cars of 30A book, when their wives worked together as entrepreneurs in the wedding industry. “At the time,” Loyd remembers, “I still had my first dream car, a 1996 Mustang Cobra with a Mystic paint job.” Between their shared love of cars and the fact that both were college athletes, Brackett and Loyd’s camara- derie clicked and their families became the best of friends.

Photos by Davis Brackett

“I have loved cars my entire life. As a kid I would build model cars, detail them, and place them in specific spots in my room. Since then, I’ve loved everything about cars—the experience, the smell, the speed, the challenge of shifting gears perfectly.” As an adult, what could possibly complement the thrill of the exquisite car-driving experiences of his youthful imagination? “The coastal breeze blowing through the cabin of a car is ‘it’,” he smiles, of course. Find a preview of the book at or on Instagram: @carsof30a.

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante in Alys Beach

Dreams of starting up a 30-A-based business always swirled in the air between Brackett and Loyd as they lolled on its beaches each vacation. “Every visit was filled with plenty of beach time, where we were often scheming business ideas that could potentially lead to us living on the coast,” Loyd says. With Cars of 30A , the friends have found their “in”; and 30-A residents and visitors alike are warmly embracing the new venture. “Virtually everyone has jumped at the opportunity to share their car’s story and even throw Davis the keys sometimes,” he shares., @carsof30a

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