Premier Parking Ventures solves commuters’ daily existential crises by carving out secure parking lots on six downtown Tampa corners. Strategically placed concrete pedestals glaze over highly trafficked avenues with affable attendants and reliable security. Drivers with a mallet to drop at the Florida State Circuit Courthouse can roll into the 1012 East Madison Avenue auto nursery ($66.20) and rest their vehicles next to safely snoring auto-tots. The 401 South Florida Avenue ($66.20) parking palace safely eases guests of the catty-cornered Tampa Convention Center into slots where their wheels may rest under the sun, heating leather seats and leftover food scraps alike.
As a kid, it was easy to say things like, "One day, I'm going to drive a racecar." For many, those thoughts came before the reality of having a mortgage, bills, and a budget set in, a realization that ended those most lavish of childhood dreams. As its name suggests, One Day Luxury strives to make those dreams come true—even if it's only for single day. The company rents out rides by the hour and by the day. Its garage gleams with exotic cars, including a Lamborghini and Audi A8, and classic muscle cars, including a 1978 Corvette. For a little less power and a little more zip, travelers can also hop on jet skis and Ducati motorcycles.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Whether toting elderly folks to the grocery store down the street or delivering a 15-person party to an airport on the other side of the state, Diplomat Airport Transportation, Inc. covers all conveyance needs with its fleet of taxis, limousines, and shuttles. Courteous on-call taxi drivers scoop up passengers 24 hours a day, while designated drivers transport bar-goers safely around town. Shuttles and mini buses also run all day and night by reservation, and can carry up to 15 people or 1 individual and 14 mannequins to any airport in Florida. For a glitzier ride, customers can reserve a luxurious limo—lined with fiber-optic lights, mirrored ceilings, and a stocked bar—or an executive sedan. Diplomat can also set up personal accounts for transporting elderly or handicapped patrons.
Using the experiences gained during years as a professional racecar driver and builder, Competition101 Racing School founder Stuart Lycett trains the next generation of podium finishers during one-on-one racing lessons. Whether behind the wheel of stock cars, Trans Am T2 sports cars, sprint cars, or open-wheel cars, pupils soak in on-track experience on dirt tracks, short ovals, speedways, or road circuits while radios and on-board video cameras record every turn for scrutiny during future feedback sessions.
In addition to their introductory class, instructors also offer one-, two-, and three-day school programs. After the three-day program, studious speedsters may complete their training by competing in a sanctioned race event in front of paying spectators and a real checkered flag. Stuart and his crew also welcome interns willing to work for six months in exchange for a free three-day racing school program.
Car Hunters boils the sometimes-rigorous process of car buying down to a simple science: clients tell the staff what kind of car they want, and the staff finds it for them at car auctions. Car Hunters also has an inventory of preowned cars from numerous makers, and all the cars they sell come preinspected and with a vehicle history report. On top of that, Car Hunters offers extensive detailing services, incorporating shampoos, waxes, and clay bars into cleaning regimens to make even the most mature cars look shiny and new.