Classic Car Night draws thousands, raises money for local organization

 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY JANIE ROSMAN

The officer must have overheard the teenagers talking. “The Batmobile’s over there,” He said, indicating Cedar Street. No sooner did the Nyack Chamber of Commerce’s Sixth Annual Classic Car Night begin than a small crowd gathered around the familiar black-and-orange car.

Despite threat of rain from late July skies, the Chamber’s popular event that draws thousands went on without a hitch. Project organizer Mark Mangan said “this has been our (the Chamber’s) biggest turnout so far and raised almost $500 for Soup Angels.”

A ride in the 1966 Lincoln Futura — signed by the late actor Adam West, who portrayed Batman — was the raffle prize with proceeds going to the Nyack-based organization. A gentleman named Edwin was the lucky winner, his $5 raffle ticket chosen by Catwoman.

“We (Soup Angels) have china, we have silverware, we have flowers on the table,” Nyack Trustee Marie Lorenzini explained, standing behind a table depicting a full place setting. “We have no requirements and ask no questions. We have seniors who are lonely, we have families that have small children, we have homeless (people), we have working people whose dollar doesn’t go far enough.”

Starting next month, the non-denominational organization will add a third night to its twice-weekly dinners at First Reformed Church in Nyack. For more information, visit www.soupangels.com.

Curiosity and awe surrounded Vinny Mocerino’s Creepshow 1988 Cadillac Hearse. “These kids here don’t know the Batmobile,” he said. Mocerino was having as much fun as the kids and adults who asked questions about — and were allowed to touch — the display attached to the blue-and-white hearse.

Bloody-eyed Morticia peered at onlookers through a blue-draped side window. “I keep it parked in my driveway,” he laughed, “and the neighbors think I’m crazy.” It certainly must be interesting when his recently-finished black hearse, a 1990 Cadillac named Morticia, is parked next to the Creepshow hearse.

District 6 Legislator Alden Wolfe brought his 1969 Fiat 500L, which attracted lots of attention. “It was a great opportunity to support the Nyack Chamber while sharing my passion for cars,” he said. “I had a lot of fun answering questions and seeing the kids smile as they recognized ‘Luigi from Cars.’”

It was Back to the Future for Craig Farr, whose silver 1981 DeLorean was equipped with a flux capacitor autographed by Christopher Lloyd. “That makes time travel possible,” he said. “Since I was young it was my favorite car because of the movie,” he said. While he drives a Toyota Camry, the DeLorean was a “must-have.”

The DeLorean’s three-year life cycle ended in 1983, “and you can tell the difference between the cars by their hoods,” Farr explained. “There were also differences between the two 1981 models.”

Two adorable kids were posing against a hot pink PT Cruiser. “Smile!” their mom said, while they made funny faced, then turned to inspect the doors. Also returning were 1950s Chevrolets, muscle cars, several Mustangs, a 1966 Morgan and a 1926 Ford Model T that was once a fruit truck.

Rivertown Magazine caught up with auto enthusiast Andy O’Rourke near the monster trucks on Main Street. “I’ve seen a few oddities here that you never really see anywhere else, which is refreshing,” he observed.

Favorites include “classic Porsche 911, old minis, Volkswagens, some of the Waterboxers, old Mustangs, Fastbacks, mainly things like that,” he said. While classic European sports cars draw his attention, “I definitely have a respect for older American cars though. I lean more towards sports cars, though.”

Watch out for FinalDriveReviews, O’Rourke’s up-and-coming YouTube channel that discusses unique cars. “We’ll be driving around and doing comparisons of rare and unusual cars as well as common and affordable ones, measuring pros and cons relative to price point and completing challenges relative to each car or category. We’ll ask are they worth it, how expensive are they, what’s the market like, sort like a Top Gear meets Jay Leno’s Garage.”

“I guess that’s not meant for short people,” Denise Coram told the yellow truck’s owner. He smiled and indicated the running board which, he said, folds up when the driver is seated. “It doesn’t move down so people can step up into it?” she asked, half joking. “No,” he grinned.

The event was sponsored by Motorcar Manor, Autobahn Indoor Speedway, Palisades Auto Sales, SpeedPro Imaging and Rockland Rodders. The Chamber’s Septemberfest Street Fair is Sunday, the 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. rain or shine. Ghoulish fun returns to the village next month with the 30th Annual Nyack Halloween Parade on October 28.

For more information, visit www.nyackchamber.org.