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The Swamp Buggy Races: A Bit Of Old Florida Tradition

Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2015


(some buggies in the jeep class ready to roll)

A bit of Americana, a bit of swamp, a bit of competition, lots of deep fried and sugary food and a great time … The Naples Best Addresses team ventured over to the Florida Sportsman Park last night to watch the swamp buggy races.  What a great time.

First you need to understand how the sport of swamp buggy races started here in Naples.  Back in the day the eastern approaches to the little hamlet of Naples were all swamp with no roads and a few foot paths.  Clever local citizens modified cars and trucks to navigate the mud and water with elevated contraptions of all sorts.  It wasn’t long before they started to racing the machines in the swamp.


(fans await the start of the big race.  Go to for the video if you must)

The buggies (as they are called) come in all forms and divide into classes from lower powered jeep like things to pro class machines traveling at 90 miles per hour on special fuels through mud and water.   All of them must traverse a challenging modified oval with varying depths of water – like 2.5 million gallons of it pumped in over days.  The jeep like guys  sink in to the holes and are literally flooded out – only the snorkel keeps the motors running.

You really need to jump over to Youtube and see our video from last night.  This will get you fully exposed to one of the runs – see us at

This has to be the only sport where the safety guys drive a front loader which goes in the water and mud to tow out wrecked or broken down buggies or may actually transport the safety crew in the bucket now and then.


( jeep complete with snorkel ready to go!)

When you go to the swamp buggy races you really need to know what to wear.  I suggest for men and women starting with cowboy boots, jeans and work from there.  Outdoor themed ball caps, NRA gear, Real Tree brands are all good choices.  Don’t forget a tee-shirt with some message important to you.

Keeping with the “boys-with-toys” them you might want to take in the model airplane show at the intermission.  Great fun provided by the local model airplane club and a great time to seek off to the concession stand for some incredible sugary and deep fired delights.


(dressing up like “Swampy” is also an option)

Whose our favorite driver?  Well my favorite has to be Billy “barefoot” Williams.  The name alone captures your attention.  One of the 64 grand children of the original Barefoot Williams and pioneer from the early 1900’s moving his family here from Michigan – like so many of our real estate clients.  It is said he travelled here on vacation here and his family is a part of local history.  His buggy was running great until a break and never went back home! Sounds familiar to some of our clients! This morning the Naples News reported Eddie Chesser won the pro modified A main event and you might want to check out the article at

I hope you have an opportunity to visit or live in Naples or Marco Island.  If you would like to know more about living here just give us a call at 239.595.3921.

Please also consider reading our book “Understanding Naples Real Estate” to get you started on a real estate search or just give us a call about things to do here.

We look forward to meeting and talking with you soon,

Mark Goebel PA, Nan Goebel PA and David Goebel, PA

Co-Founders of the Naples Best Addresses Team

Coldwell Banker

Mark Goebel, PA and Nan Goebel, PA

REALTOR Coldwell Banker 5th Avenue South

Mobile: 239.595.3921 239.595.3920

Facebook: NaplesBestAddresses


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No legal, investment, or tax advice is being given in this Blog. Consult with legal, financial and tax professionals before acting on any real estate transaction. Actual real estate price and sales results are subject to market forces and are not completely predictable. The writings of this Blog are intended for the sole use of our clients.

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Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan and son David. Talk to Mark, Nan and Dave about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.

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