Television shows are designed to cater to the diverse range of interests of viewers, including cars. There are plenty of car lovers on the planet, whose curiosity on the inner workings and exterior designs of cars are deep enough to make them commit a few hours of their time weekly to learn and follow the mystery of automobiles. For these viewers, a slew of shows have been designed to meet their needs. Some of the popular ones include Top Gear and The Grand Tour. However, among car enthusiasts are those whose interests lie solely on the vintage products; those whose definition of luxury cars are those made decades ago. For this subset of car lovers, South Beach Classics is their dope show.
South Beach Classics is a car television show that aired on the Velocity Network which is owned by the Discovery Channel. Being a reality show, it observes the day to day running of Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles, a classic car shop based in Miami. Essentially, the show follows a crew led by the now divorced couple, Ted and Robin Vernon as they trade and exchange different classic cars to enthusiasts. South Beach Classics started airing in 2011. Not long after, it became very popular, mostly due to the cast; a fast-talking Ted Vernon and his beautiful wife with a crew called ”gargoyles”.
South Beach Classic Cast
During its run, South Beach Classic got popular due to the eclectic nature of its cast members led by Ted Vernon, who owned the car shop that was the focus of the show and his wife, former model, Robin Vernon (nee Ziel). Here is an in-depth look at the cast.
The lead character and owner of Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles is one of the most professional acts on the show. Ted was born in Long Island, New York, but he made his name in the south. Considered one of the most colorful characters in the whole of Florida, Ted Vernon is a former boxer, actor, and producer. He has acted and produced a number of movies most of which are horror movies based in Florida. He has no fewer than 15 movie credits to his name.
Before he moved to Florida and became Wolfman Vernon, he followed his uncle to Cleveland but later moved with his wealthy developer father to Florida where he worked as a property manager in the 70s. He later left his father to start a business of his own.
Vernon was a boxer for a while in his colorful career. During his amateur boxing career, he had 21 wins and a single loss. His professional boxing career, however, did not share a similar record. He lost his first professional fight against Kent Baker but was able to rack up a few wins before he eventually retired from pro-boxing with a 3-1 record.
Born Robin Ziel, her life in the limelight started from high school when she began a career as a model. Robin met Ted Vernon on a blind date in 1998 and the two got married two years later. The relationship blossomed for a long while, with the couple being married for 15 years. Over the course of their marriage, Robin starred in South Beach Classic as co-owner of the car exchange business. She failed to appear in the last season of the show because of the couple’s divorce, she was replaced by Christine Morris in a move that fans of the show hesitated to appreciate.
Before Ted Vernon, Robin was an introvert who wanted to become a nurse or a physician’s assistant after she graduated from Boca Raton High School. However, after she bleached her hair, she began receiving a number of modeling jobs which enabled her to get her own apartment at the age of 17.
Marcus Ameneiro was a member of the eclectic crew of the Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles. He was charged with the responsibility of getting customers to buy and sell their exotic cars. At this time, not a lot of information is publicly available about Marcus’ life and career before and after South Beach Classics.
Lucy Clarkson was a recurring star on the show. The English model is most famously known as the fourth Lara Croft model for the Tomb Raider video games. Her stint with the video game lasted for 2 years, from 2000 to 2002. Other than Lara Croft, she has modeled for international designers including Vivienne Westwood. Lucy is an activist who speaks out regularly for animal rights and raises awareness for eating disorders. She appeared on three episodes of the show in 2017.
Other members of South Beach Classics cast include Cliff Barnes, Jeff Orgen, and many other guest appearances from multiple public personalities. The show was partly produced by Jeff Somerstein; he was a credited producer on the show for 23 episodes. Another producer was Michael Ball who had produced projects like Death Print, The X-Effect, and Lesbo-A-Go-Go. He was a credited producer on the show for 18 episodes.
Ted and Robin Vernon’s Divorce
As the success of the South Beach Classics show was mostly based on the chemistry between Ted and Robin Vernon, the show struggled to find stability after the divorce of the couple. The divorce, which was officially announced on the 14th of November 2016 in a twitter post by Ted Vernon, brought an end to a string of rumors about the couple falling apart.
Before the divorce, the couple lived a happy life together. Although Robin is very much younger than Vernon when they met in 1998, the two fell in love and their relationship blossomed into a marriage. The couple embraced the strangeness of their relationship and got married in a Buddhist ceremony in 2000.
Among other things, Robin and Vernon shared a son, Ted Vernon Jr. who was born in 2004. Their love and partnership continued long after and the two of them developed the South Beach Classics show starring as the leads. It was all going perfectly in the Vernon household until rumors of fights and domestic abuse between the couple started to filter onto the media. The rumors were confirmed when it was announced that Robin Vernon would not be starring in the show’s fourth season.
Apparently, the lovers had been having a lot of fights and irreconcilable differences for months leading up to their divorce. As learned from the divorce papers, there were accusations of cheating from both parties and domestic violence against Ted Vernon. In a particular incident, Ziel is said to have been attacked in a driveway by Ted Vernon who delivered multiple punches onto her face. Although Ted denies the incident and every other allegation of domestic abuse, court papers, and police reports show that he has a history of domestic violence that dates back to three decades ago.
Other Facts to Know
1. Robin Vernon’s Exit from the show Hastened its Demise
Although Ted Vernon’s legal problems which include cases of felony battery and gun violations were a major factor in the cancellation of the show in 2017, South Beach Classic ultimately faced its death with the loss of Robin as one of its cast. As the reality show portrayed Robin as the brain behind the operations, and Ted as the brawn, her exit from the show was a significant diversion in the narrative that kept viewers on the show. Even though she was replaced by a similar physical personality (a tall blonde woman), it was unable to keep the show from dropping in ratings.
2. The Show Ran for 4 Seasons and 35 Episodes
As a car enthusiast who is interested in unique antique cars, if you are looking to watch the show, be prepared to have only four seasons of 35 episodes that are one-hour long each.
3. South Beach Classics Helped Ted and Robin Grow their Business
The show, which was all about the activities of Ted and Robin Vernon’s auto business, Ted Vernon’s Specialty Automobiles, helped the couple grow the business into a multimillion-dollar venture. The show also helped them turn fans into customers.
4. There was an Online Petition against Ted
Perhaps due to one of the contributors to the show’s eventual cancellation, an online petition was opened against Ted Vernon and South Beach Classics in the wake of allegations of domestic abuse. The petition was signed by 131 people.
5. Starting Capital and Net Worth
It is said that Ted Vernon started the car business with $1000 cash, started trading $200 cars and as he grew, moved up to $400 and then $800 cars. In all, Ted has built a net worth estimated at $15 million. The wealth is a result of his car trading business and his reality TV deal.
6. Robin Vernon Isn’t Ted’s First Wife
Ted Vernon’s first two children, Alexander Vernon and Mark Vernon were birthed in 1990 and 1987 respectively with his first wife, Monika Sula. His third child, Ted Vernon Jr was born in 2004.