The great thing about Naples, Florida is that it has the best of both worlds; on one part of the city you can be lying around on a recliner on a world class hotel, sipping a martini after a game of golf and an exotic spa massage, and on the other hand are the Swamp Buggy Races. For those of you who don’t know, swamp buggies are these massive motor vehicles that are used to get around thick and boggy swamp terrain. They may be built from scratch, putting together old jeep and tractor parts or just plain vehicles modified heavily to be able to move around mud.
The swamp buggy was born out of the innovation of the people of southwest Florida. The general terrain was swampy and difficult to navigate, thus the locals had to be creative. That’s why in the 1930’s they had this idea of putting together parts of vehicles and jeeps and made them what we now know as the swamp buggy. Now, going through the mud and murky waters and moderately dense vegetation and even driving through logs and some stumps has been made possible thanks to this great innovation.
To move around the otherwise impassable swampy grounds, these swamp buggies are usually outfitted with massive tractor tires giving it that big intimidating look and not to mention lots and lots of roaring horsepower. Its sheer size and power attract boys and men and in some cases women too (women even win races and prove to be serious competition).
The designs of these buggies vary greatly and it depends on the creativity and the engineering skills of the owners, but generally, there are two basic types. One is the Glades Buggy. It has a Model A frame, yes, the vintage Ford car Model A under chassis. It has large rear tires and has a low seat height, almost close to the ground and resembles a jeep build, overall. Another popular design is the Palm Beach Buggy, it has a highly raised platform with four large tractor wheels and therefore has a very high seat height.
These builds are then set into motion by insane amounts of horsepower and then set into the water. Now, that you have a powerful build, the next thing that you can logically think of is to test it for a race. And that’s how you get a good racing event started. People gather around benches in their shorts, t-shirts eating corndogs while waiting in great anticipation for these wild and dirty races. And as soon as the race begins, the massive splash of swamp water and the ridiculous amount of dirt and mud will be all drowned by the deafening roar of these gargantuan machines. What a stark contrast to the fine dining and quiet spas and relaxing golf matches of the downtown area.
So, if you want to experience some high pumping adrenaline action, with booming engines and don’t mind the mud swirling all over, then head down to the next swamp buggy race, happening this November. For schedules and other information, check it out on our website.