end of his territor y down by Charlotte Harbor, he lost 600 fleet car ts that were all leased. The courses were under-insured, and many went bankr upt. In tur n, Caddy Car ts took a hard hit, but they are thr iving once again now. Cucch has five children of his own - the youngest being 29 - but he also looks out for thousands of other kids in his community. He created a non-profit or ganization called For the Children. After having ser ved three terms as president of the Nor th Por t Kiwanis, he created the group to help homeless children who attend school in Sarasota and Char lotte County, as well as at-risk children. "There's a lot of need in south Sarasota and Char lotte counties," he said. He also donated a car t as a hole-in-one pr ize for many, many years at the Hank Wright Golf Tournament. He's been tr uly blessed by his community and his customer s, he said, and it feels good to give something back. A man with a car t obsession Thoroughbred Golf Car ts has been located in Grove City for 20 years, and Dave and Dana Lutz have owned the business since 2005. They moved down to Florida from Connecticut in 2004 to escape the cold and haven't looked back. Their two daughters, 9-year-old Meghan and 7-year-old Madison, attend Vineland Elementary. Dave and his staff have created some pretty fantastic golf car ts in the year s since then, and it's a passion for Dave. "We were looking for a life change when we came down here," he said. "When I was younger I was a sales per son for Mercedes Benz and Acura, I've had good people skills. The golf car t industry has always fascinated me, even since I was a little kid. I've always just had a weird infatuation with golf carts. With some people that would wear off when they got their driver's license, but not for me." Dave and Dana came down in August of 2004, two days before Hurricane Charley hit. They took a look at the business, knew they wanted to buy it and went back home to Connecticut to finalize the details of moving. Charley didn't deter them; they came back to Florida "ready to rock n roll," as Dave said. Some of Dave's fantastic creations include a Bentley cart, a 14-foot-long 1957 Chevy, a 1934 Ford cart and a $31,000 Jeep cart, complete with winch and knobby tires. There are licensed dealers to sell these body kits. Dave starts with the traditional chassis, then special orders the body. All of the customizing and fitting is done in house. "We take the body kit and make it into whatever it needs to be," Dave said. "About 90 percent of our carts have a Club Car chassis because aluminum doesn't rust. All of the carts we create are electric. You can go and order a brand-new cart that's kind of what you want, but that's pricey. We can make you one heck of a cart for a lot less. And there won't be another like it in the world." About 60 percent of Dave's business is from Boca Grande, but with carts gaining in popularity all the time word of mouth about his works of art is traveling fast. . "It's a fun hobby and a career," he said. It's what I love doing. I come up with new and creative things. We've been approached by a couple of different producers to create some kind of show, kind of like ‘Pimp My Ride,’ but we haven't gotten it going quite yet. As we progress and take it to the next level we'll see what happens." It started with Barney's golf cart It all started with Barney’s cart. Don Ware of Don’s Battery Outlet in Venice was in the battery, alternator and starter business. He was at work one day, chatting with his friend Barney. A customer came in and asked for a quote on batteries for his golf cart. Don told him how much they cost and the man said the price was too high. Don offered to buy the cart from him instead, and the man accepted. “Barney said he wanted the cart,” Don explained. “Then he asked me to paint it the same color as his Jaguar. From there I was putting Thoroughbred’s Jeep golf cart is very popular.
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