STORY AND PHOTOS BY JANIE ROSMAN
“Owners come to display their cars…it’s not a competition,” explained Chamber Vice President Roger S. Cohen.
Main Street from Franklin Street to Broadway was bustling with people, conversation, music, laughter, several interesting-sounding horns and, of course, classic cars galore.
While cars began arriving in early afternoon “many owners work, and the majority of cars usually arrive at 6 p.m.,” Cohen said. “We chose summer because this is a summer activity, and the date so it would be a hot, sticky night to bring people outside.”
Project organizer Mark Mangan credited his partner Laura Rothschild for the idea to start a car show several years ago, when Mangan was with the Nyack Chamber. “We had the parking lot (where local disc jockey Captain and Camille set up), three side streets and all of Main Street and the bank parking lot,” Mangan said.
Days before the show he’d good-naturedly warned, “The village gets crowded.” He was right: crowds browed stores, checked under hoods, and enjoyed the warm summer July night. Cancelled the previous week due to weather, the show “brought people to the village who wouldn’t ordinarily come here.”
Riverspace parking lot became a face painting studio, where fine artist Jamie Baldwin Gaviola, owner at Jamie’s Faces, turned young features into whatever characters they chose for the third year.
Many want to be transformed into a character from a book or a movie, and some want to be butterflies or rabbits or kittens. “The kid in my chair is respected and has a moment he or she might not get otherwise. I feel honored to do this for them,” she said.
The event was sponsored by Motorcar Manor, Palisades Auto Sales, SpeedPro Imaging and Rockland Rodders, which held a 50/50 raffle to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Several car owners like Steve Capone said they belong to national clubs, which provide easier access to parts — like headlight switches — that would otherwise be hard to find. Capone’s two-toned green 1955 Pontiac Chieftain was nearly three storefronts in length.
Oversized fuzzy dice and other adornments accented some cars, and many had LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH signs on their seats and inside windows. A BAD RAIL license plate was affixed to one street-legal sand rail that was built from scratch by its owner. “I drive it when there’s less than 20 percent chance of rain,” he said. “There’s no place I won’t drive it.”
“Someone told me, ‘Every Tuesday and Thursday my mom sent me for three apples, two oranges, a list, every Tuesday and Thursday from a produce truck. It might have been this truck,” Robert Vitetta said of his 1926 Ford Model T.
He bought the vehicle from an ad that caught his eye. “A woman put an ad in the paper, ‘Old truck, body, must go,’” he said of the wooden vehicle that he drives no matter what the weather. “They drove in every kind of weather back then, didn’t they?” he asked.
The show was originally held in the Main Street parking lot and moved to Main Street two years ago. Space was still at a premium, however, and Mangan said cars were turned away. “We outgrew the (initial) parking lot, and now we outgrew Main Street.”