Packing Heat: Visiting The Hot Rod Drivers Of RMC Miami

Miami is a city well-known for its white sandy beaches, some of the world’s best street art, and all-night dance parties. It’s also known for housing some of the country’s wildest cars; as is the case for many retirees in the United States, it seems desirable cars often head to Florida to retire.

A large part of the Cuban culture centers around tinkering with and modifying their cars. If you have seen or heard of the vast number of vintage hot rod Chevys and Fords that still exist and are being driven around Cuba today, and know that Miami has a large Cuban population, then you understand the roots of Miami’s car scene. If you didn’t know, now you do. In recent years, Miami’s car community has shifted its influence from heavy focus on domestics to more-exotic hot rods such as Porsche and Ferrari. It is a perfect scenario to observe some of the coolest modified cars and even cooler imports that are still hard to get for most of us.

This brings us to RMC Miami—also known as Real Muscle Cars Miami—which is a family-owned dealership that focuses on European and Japanese sports cars. If you’ve been following along, you’ll recognize the name from our DP 935 article. Peter Lima started the dealership in 1987, where he began selling Nissan Z cars, 240SXs, and 300ZXs. Over time he shifted to selling predominantly muscle cars, and by 2008, he started moving European performance cars. By 2015, the dealership’s floor space opened up to include a more-significant collage of vehicles. Peter’s son, Danny, started working at RMC Miami about ten years ago as he finished high school and has been grinding for the company ever since.

From time to time, you may find clean, virgin cars here, but RMC is known for stocking modified rides to suit the driver who isn’t looking for a run-of-the-mill factory-spec vehicle. I met Danny and Eddie from RMC years ago through Instagram and have kept in close contact with them ever since. These guys are automotive enthusiasts through-and-through, and on any given day, you can talk with them about any type of car for hours on end.

The inventory at RMC is vast and diverse, and there is no doubt you will find at least one vehicle that catches your eye. On this day, the same one called out to me as it did the previous year—an ’80s G-body Oak Green Metallic RUF widebody. This specific car is filled with history, and even after all this time, it still shines as bright as if it were just a few years old.

They also have their fill of more contemporary RUF pieces. Like the example that Mike from the PCar Talk Podcast picked up earlier this year, a beautiful 2005 996 Turbo S in sleek Seal Gray, which is fitted with RUF aero and enough boost to kick you into next week.

Perhaps motorsports are your thing? They have a small fleet of DP Motorsport slantnoses that will pique your interest: a 1982 DP I 935 with a BTR engine and a top speed record from Car and Driver Magazine, and a 1985 Porsche Turbo 935 DP with a Kremer turbo powerplant that was built for Mario Andretti. Lastly, our dedicated readers will recognize the 1989 DPII 935, one of only four examples ever produced with a long windshield. A long history of race-winning DP Motorsport race cars occupy the space and seeing them in person is absolutely amazing.

If aftermarket tuner vehicles do it for you, they have a small collection of Gemballa-built 911s in their inventory. One of them is a 1993 Gemballa Cyrrus, one of 15 ever made. At the time, this car cost more than a Lamborghini Countach and pushed the envelope of technology with the number of LEDs used in the dashboard alone. If that is too old-school for you, they have a set of RAUH-Welt Begriff Porsches built by the renowned Nakai-san from Japan. One of the RWBs at this location is the Need for Speed RWB, which is crafted around a 1991 964 with smooth fenders, and a backdate kit to finish it off. If you’d like to drive around with the top down, they have something to satiate that desire, too, in the form of a 1993 RWB C4 in Midnight Blue.

When I visited, they were a bit light on the JDM side, but one vehicle that did catch my eye was a 1999 Nissan Silvia S15 that makes close to 400 horsepower. Now for the Nissan-heads, you know what a treat the S15 Silvia is here in the States. Like the R34 Skyline, the S15 never made its debut here, but I imagine it would have been quite popular if it had.

During my visit, I had the chance to drive two cars. One was a 1990 Porsche Carrera 4 964 Turbo, and the other was the Gemballa Cyrrus. On the evening heading to Zweck (open house for a new dealership), I took a drive in the 3.3 Turbo, and I was delighted with the way it performed. Very much OE to the touch, but it had a lot of upgrades that made the drive more enjoyable. It was a well-put-together car that quickly sold after Das Renn Treffen (DRT).

The next morning we took it out for a lone feature by an open trailer lot. Now, some 964 widebodies look very strange as their owners incorrectly lower them, and the wheel gap is very present and too spacious. I have a saying, “Say no to wheel gap,” as I believe it creates a visual tension that ruins the look of the car, but that is just me. This 3.3 was lowered to the perfect height and demanded your attention. It was fitted with matching Forest Green Rotiform wheels that complement the car perfectly.

Later that night, I took the Gemballa Cyrrus out for a spin. What a throwback this car is in terms of visuals and feels! Numerous details make this retro 911 stand out from the crowd. Many parts were custom fabricated for this car, including the tail and tailpipes, which look like they are from Blastoise of Pokémon. It looks aggressive with an ’80s touch, no doubt! Slats on slats on slats mixed with big fenders. There is no denying the styling cues are from the ’80s. Gemballa removed each of the OE gauges and replaced it with a very ’80s technical touch. Whether genius or madman at the time—some things can be argued either way— you are a witness to history with this car, that’s for sure.

The inventory is forever changing at RMC because the cars go as quickly as they come. Whenever I visit here, it’s like visiting some old high school buddies where we gather for good laughs and talk cars. As you can imagine, they are always on the hunt for the next flip, and there is a good chance you may be enticed by a hot rod they just got in stock. If you talk to Danny about his thoughts on the car, he will give it to you real. Just know that he is like any of us car nuts, always chasing the next automotive dream.