Collecting cars, no driver’s license needed

Who says you need a driver’s license to collect classic cars?

Navarre Beach business teen Sage Offut would say that’s silly. Sage is the founder and owner of Sage Paddle Company.

At 15 she has already started her classic car collection, and she recently added a new vehicle to the mix, a 1968 Austin-Healey Mini Moke in a lime green paint job.

Modeled after the American Jeep, the Mini Moke was originally designed to be a lightweight wartime vehicle. It lacked doors and a roof and emulated the Jeep’s boxy, practical style, but the design proved impractical for off-roading and a little too mini to function as a military vehicle.

But the mini was just mini enough to make it on the beach. Once released to the civilian market, it gained fame as a beach buggy.

Relatively rare, there were only two for sale in the United States when Sage bought hers. She paid $20,000. The first car in her collection of two carried a similar price tag.

Sage’s first classic car purchase was a 1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition. This special edition of the Thing was specifically made for cruising along Mexico’s coast. With bright blue and white finishes that scream beach.

As her collection grows – and she is determined that it will grow — Sage plans to stick with the beach theme. On her shopping list is a Volkswagen Bus, a Jeep Willys-Overland and a Jolly Fiat.

“We do live on the beach, and they are all beach cars,” she said. “I have always been interested in classic cars. I bought the first one, and it started a collection.”

While this is an expensive hobby, Sage said the continued success of her business has made it possible.

The success is no surprise. Sage prides herself on great customer service which is why her rental business grew. She started off just walking the beach asking if people wanted to rent a paddle board. Now she has a thriving online rental store for paddle boards, bicycles and more with a new physical shop opening up to visitors. She still offers deliveries and pickups so you can get your rentals brought right to the condominium, no extra charge.

Next summer Sage Paddle Company will add additional paddleboards, kayaks and bicycles to its rental inventory in response to increasing demand.

As for the classic cars, when the weather warms up locals and visitors alike will be able to spot them cruising down Gulf Boulevard or parked in front of Sage’s shop at 8228 Gulf Blvd.

Come check out this pint sized collector while you are on vacation.

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