NEW-AGE dating has hit the highway in Florida.A company...

Salmagundi

July 14, 1993

NEW-AGE dating has hit the highway in Florida.

A company called Auto Dates makes it easy for singles to pick up that cutie in the next lane with its new dating service.

For only $19 a year South Floridians can advertise their eagerness to meet other singles via a bumper sticker. Each Auto Dates member receives a yellow sticker that displays a number, a personalized code and a picture of a car inside of a heart.

Members place the sticker on their cars' rear bumpers; any interested parties can call the number and leave their name, telephone number and the code number of the member they would like to meet. Auto Dates then passes the information along to the lucky driver.

President Cliff Dvorkin explained there are a large number of single drivers in Florida and meeting them is difficult. "There is an explosion of singles everywhere, and meeting someone through a car can be awkward," he said.

He and co-owner Dick Weinstein started the business three and one-half months ago. They have more than 400 members and hope to have 5,000 to 8,000 by the end of the first year.

Weinstein thought of the idea 20 years ago in California and started his first club there. He sold the business after five years and 100,000 members. When he moved to South Florida Weinstein realized the business could be a hit there as well.

"Florida is so spread-out, people are always in their car," Dvorkin said.

He said he has heard of similar dating services in California, Connecticut, New York and Texas.

There is even a forthcoming book on the subject, entitled "How to Master the Automobile Encounter/How to Pick-Up on the Road." The authors are a mother-daughter writing team, Linda Simon and Robyn Symon.

So far there have not been any brides and grooms that have connected through Auto Dates, but there is hope -- a handful of couples have been dating for a month or more.

If Auto Dates continues to increase in popularity, it could put a serious damper on the tinted-window business in the Sunshine State.

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