Ready to roll: area auto shows, cruises are stepping up a gear
Now that the weather is warming up, cruising local auto shows is a cheap date. Held almost every day or night of the week until September, everyone is different. The Daily Gazette spoke to a handful of the many people out there.
“People love to go out and dine,” said Artie Rumrill, who runs the car and truck show at Pizza Hut in Johnstown. “It’s a night to go out.”
Held on the second Friday of every month for eight years, Rumrill said he buys all kinds of cars or trucks of any year. And there is no charge to be on the show.
“Why charge when they have invested all their money in their construction,” he said. “On a good night’s sleep, I had up to 100 cars – new cars, old cars or even cars behind the wheel.”
Rumrill himself is no stranger to auto shows.
“I won an award for one of the top 50 favorites at the Lake George show with my International ’35 truck and this year I’m bringing my Pontiac Catalina ’65,” he said.
Rumrill gives each participant five chicken wings. And there are trophies, which a friend of Mayfield’s made, and a 50/50 raffle.
At PJ’s Bar-B-QSA in Saratoga Springs, there is a cruise every Tuesday evening, weather permitting.
“It was my idea 20 years ago,” said PJ Davis, owner of the restaurant.
It quickly became so popular that Davis asked his longtime friend Don Williams to help organize it. Although the show only allowed cars until 1990, there are about 15 “regulars” who show up each week and there is still “a bit of everything,” Williams said, sometimes including members of the show. various automobile clubs.
“It’s like bringing back old memories,” he says. “Even the barbecue is kind of a throwback to the 50’s and 60’s. We get about 30 cars a good night’s sleep. “
There is no registration fee, but the PCs offer a five percent food coupon. There are no judges, but there are door prizes in the form of gift certificates provided by local sponsors. And money is collected every week for a different charity. There is also music from DJ Dr. Doowop.
Harbor House Fried Fish
If it’s Thursday night, check out Clifton Park Harbor Cruise. For 15 years, the Adirondack Shelby-Mustang Club has hosted this event and participated in the Metro Ford show in Schenectady, which will be held this year on August 15, club president Walt Dugan said: “he said. is packed and parked a certain way. Anything.. even bikes or Cadillac Club or Corvette Club members come in a trailer. We mix everything up. It’s a great variety. “
There is no charge and participants get a 10% food voucher for the Harbor House Fish Fry restaurant.
“People come in and out to eat – the restaurant is famous for its fish fry. People go out to drive and take a look. And in the last 10 years we’ve had a lot of people who just like to show off their cars. . . like the all new Mustangs. These are high horsepower cars – up to $ 150,000. But they like to come in and hang out with each other and compare stories, ”said Dugan.
Dugan himself owns three cars: a 1966 Mustang, a 1991 Mustang convertible, and a 1956 Ford.
There are door prizes, which are mainly intended for the automobile; a 50/50 draw with funds intended for the Make a Wish Foundation; and the music.
And just as the show has grown every year, so has its club: from 50 families in 1985 when it was founded to 100 families today. But the show is the thing.
“This is what we do. We go to other shows, support a charity. It’s a night out, ”said Dugan.
The Elks of Clifton Park
While these shows do not charge a registration fee and are generally not age specific to the car, several shows meet both criteria. On May 29, the Clifton Parks Elks will host a car show exclusively between 1975 and 2021. Up to 36 trophies will be awarded and the proceeds from the 50/50 draw will go to the Elks Scholarship Fund. There is a registration fee of $ 15.
Saratoga Automobile Museum
The Saratoga Automobile Museum at Saratoga Spa State Park sponsors shows every Saturday from June through September with a rain date on Sunday.
Many shows have trophies, plaques, a 50/50 raffle, a DJ, and food trucks. Some shows are model specific, such as the June 5 show for Cadillac and Buick owners or the June 12 show for “supercars”.
“We’re expecting around 20 McClaren sports cars, maybe Ferraris or Lamborghinis, special factory orders,” said Megan Hennessey, director of special events. “Everyone thinks their car is a great car. But they are all wonderful.
There are also a few vintage car auctions scheduled for the summer. Due to COVID restrictions, fewer cars than usual will be allowed at shows and all “drive-ins” are set up through a club.
“We can only have 500 people or about one to two people per car, which means around 200 to 250 cars,” Hennessey said. “Typically, lawn lounges have 40 to 150 cars.”
Although there is a $ 15 entry fee (spectators are free), the museum offers all attendees free entry to the museum, which opened in 2002 with the mission of celebrating the automobile of an educational and technical point of view.
A special show also free to spectators at the park on June 19 is the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Spring Nationals called “Horses to Horsepower,” presented in conjunction with the Charity Motor Club. The AACA, which is a global organization, was founded in 1935 and is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This is the first time the show has ever taken place in Saratoga Springs, likely because the AACA club chapter was only formed in 2017 and currently has around 80 members.
“We’re expecting up to 300 cars in a judged show,” said Tom Walsh, the president of AACA. “There is a lot of history to the show and the prizes are very coveted. If you get a senior car in first place, you can get up to 400 points. A lot of people aspire to it. “
The cars can’t be older than the 1990s, but the 125 judges – all of whom have been trained and certified – will be particularly interested in older cars, some of which come from the “brass age”. These are cars built between 1896 and 1915 that had several brass trims.
“They can be spectacular and are worth over a million dollars,” Walsh said. “But we are not looking so much for spectators as to have these cars judged. They are very serious collectors. Many have multiple cars. “
Adirondack Nationals at Lake George
The biggest show in the area is the Adirondack Nationals in Lake George, which this year takes place September 9-12. This is the group’s 32nd show.
“Registration is already closed, but we expect up to 1,500 cars with a door that works 10,000 or more,” said Steve Farina, public relations. “It’s the only show we do all year, so it’s quite a commitment. Most of the owners are from the northeast, but due to COVID, we do not yet know Canada’s contingent. “
This cannot compare with the Syracuse National Show, which will be held this year at the State Fair from July 16-18, where in recent years as many as 8,000 cars and trucks have shown and 90,000 people attended. But the Lake George spectacle is pretty big.
“The planning is done internally with around 30 people and volunteers in collaboration with the mayor’s office and the sheriff’s department,” he said.
Part of it has to do with crowd control and that on Friday and Saturday nights the show cars roam Canada Street where thousands of people watch with delight.
“People have an affection for old cars. We choose the 50 favorites that Grandpa had or that an owner had as a child, ”said Farina. “Everyone likes to talk about their car.”
Farina himself has two cars both Fords from 1962. In fact, they were the reason he bought his current home.
“I saw this four-car garage and that was it. The officer asked me if I wanted to see the house, and I said no, I would see enough, ”he laughs.
Although there is a registration fee of $ 15, the admission fee is valid for the entire festival. There are sponsors who sponsor certain trophies, but they also pay for advertising and publish a book, which is like a magazine, as a souvenir program for all participants, Farina said. And the show donates $ 10,000 to a charity and college endowment for automotive studies.
“Someone has to know how to fix these cars. It’s space age technology now, ”he said.
Because the show is also a few months away, he said he wasn’t concerned about the distance requirements.
“Broadway shows have to have a maximum capacity of 100 percent, so I don’t see any problem with the show being outside,” he said.
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