CAR REVIEWS / LOCAL SHOP STORIES / LOCAL BUILDS
TAK E ONE C E NTR A L
N E W
AUTOMOT I V E
M AGA Z I N E
DE TOMASO PANTERA The “Panther” of Italian mid-engine supercars Pg. 26
Putt-Putt-Putting in a Ford Model A (Pg. 14)
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RJ CARS Strong Through 30 Years (Pg. 42)
Speeding Ahead with Trackmasters (Pg. 34)
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Full Service, Muscle Car, Corvette, Antique, Collision Repair Shop We can handle insurance claims for you.
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CENTRAL NEW YORK'S AUTOMOTIVE MAGAZINE.
Visit apexautomag.com for all the latest events, photos and more!
A LETTER FROM OUR TEAM
Publisher Kevin Crandall Production Manager Bob Sblendorio Layout & Design Colleen Ingerto
The cold has set in. The show cars are safely nestled in their winter hibernation spots for the next several months. Hopefully time passes quickly and we can look forward to warmer weather again. However, until then, feel free to warm up with this latest issue of Apex and check out some of the hottest car stories from Central New York. In this issue, we cover a number of classic rides from several different makes, give an update on the local Motorcycle Cannonball Run participant, dig into Trackmasters, talk shop with Mr. A, cover a unique car cruise-in, and talk with the owners of RJ Cars in Arkport, NY. We are proud to be the only Upstate NY car enthusiast magazine offering a variety of stories. Remember to support our advertisers! If you have ideas or comments, or want to help out, shoot us an email: email@example.com. As always, thanks for reading!
Director of Photography Chris Penree Photography Dalton Dobson, Pete Maio, Darren Ohara, Barry Alt, Ron Alexander Contributing Writers Bob Sblendorio, Jacob Cetnar, Mike Mastracco, Pete Maio, Jim MacLachlan, Ron Alexander, Barry Alt, Natasha Wright Proofreader Denise Crandall Account Manager Elise Robinson Syracuse Regional Manager Mike Mastracco Advertising Executives Elsie Massett, Hal Philp Proudly printed by Freeport Press Inc. Advertise with us! Apex Automotive Magazine is the only publication of its kind in CNY. Each issue contains articles featuring custom builds, local car shows, area custom shops, unique car stories, and everything else automotive. Want to advertise your business with us? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and letâ€™s discuss!
A home built hot rod truck build that truly inspires.
The Model A that beat an Oldsmobile 442 in a drag race.
We take a look at this locally owned classic super car.
Tracy talks about the Trackmasters driver education program.
'49 CHEVY PICKUP TRUCK
By Pete Maio
PUTT-PUTT-PUTTING 1931 FORD MODEL A
By Bob Sblendorio
1974 DETOMASO PANTERA
TRACY LYMAN & TRACKMASTERS
By Mike Mastracco
By Bob Sblendorio
COOL CAR STORIES
EVENTS / CLUBS / NEWS
06. M&M VW Beetle Baja Bug
05. Readers' Rides
18. '41 Chrystler Windsor Highlander
32. An Update on "Distance Learning"
23. It's Chrome with Red - 1951 Mercury
38. J/C Cruise-In Car Show
42. Business Profile - RJ CARS
46. Driving for Change in the Digital Automotive Marketplace
48. In the Shop with Mr. A.
50. Mohican Model A Ford Club
Online: apexautomag.com | Facebook.com: facebook/apexautomag.com | Instagram: apexautomag COVER & CONTENTS PHOTOS BY CHRIS PENREE
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Thank you! We appreciate all of our amazing advertisers, without them this publication would not be possible. Please give them a chance to earn your patronage and tell them you saw them in Apex Automotive Magazine. Online To find out more about advertising in Apex, visit apexautomag.com or call 315.280.8305 Apex Automotive Magazine is published four times per year by Seven Horsepower Publishing, LLC. To subscribe: Please send $20 to the below address. Magazines will be delivered via USPS. Apex Automotive Magazine PO Box 344 Sherburne, NY 13460 We welcome feedback, story suggestions, reader contributions, and anything else you might like to share with us. Send us a note to email@example.com. All contents copyright 2019, Apex Automotive Magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without consent. For entertainment purposes only. We do our best to fact-check specs/stories, but cannot guarantee 100% accuracy. Apex Automotive Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, photos, or artwork.
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YOU SEND YOUR FAVORITE CAR PICTURE WE PUBLISH IT YOU WIN FREE NORTHEAST CLASSIC CAR MUSEUM TICKETS
Readers’ Rides EACH ISSUE WE SHOWCASE A FEW OF OUR READERS’ RIDES!
1969 PORSCHE 911S “If I want to go slow, I drive the Model A…If I want to go fast, I drive the 911S!”
Words by BOB SBLENDORIO | Photos by the owner
member of the Mohican Model A Ford Club since the early 1970s, Bill Kritzler owns a 1930 Model A…but that is not a requirement to becoming a member. The Club welcomes anyone that wants to be a member regardless of the car that someone may own; in fact, car ownership is not even required. Bill also owns a (now) mint 1969 Porsche 911S, a car purchased back in 1999 in Virginia. It was a car his son found for him; actually, the purchase included two cars for the price of one. What a bargain! Well maybe… The deal included another 911, albeit a parts car. Bill acknowledged the “good” car was unrestored and had rust and mechanical issues. After utilizing parts from the parts car, he sold the parts car to another owner who needed to do additional scavenging. Was there anything left? The car now is a beauty with body work and a paint job done by Mark Schultz, owner of Schultz Autoworks in Utica, NY [see Summer-2017 cover article about Mark and his business]. It was painted to the original color, which is “Gemini Blue.” The engine is an air cooled 2.2L flat 6-cyl with six Weber carburetors with 160 hp. It has a 5-speed transmission and the original Fuchs wheels. The engine was rebuilt to the original specs by Fehlman Brothers Automotive in Syracuse, NY. The “S” model designation denotes special body trim modifications and an engine with bigger displacement. These days, the 911S is a sought after Porsche and can fetch northward of six figures. It was very enjoyable to meet Bill and talk to him about his beautiful rides.
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m&m CHARLES RAY'S 1969
Volkswagen Beetle Baja Bug Words by JACOB CETNAR
I received a call one day from our magazine article coordinator, our standard process before any article that I write. We scheduled a time, place, word count, etc. This time though, he told me that I was going to be writing an article about Eminem’s Volkswagen Beetle. With surprise I asked, “Eminem, like the rapper?” to which he replied yes thinking I said wrapper. I was confused how Apex had gotten such a high profile car, and what was it doing in Central New York. It wasn’t until a few moments later when his wife who overheard the call yelled out, “no, not the rapper, the candy!”
Photos by CHRIS PENREE & DALTON DOBSON
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With that small detail cleared up, I finally got the chance to meet Charles Ray, the owner of this eclectic beauty a few weeks later. Turns out this guy really likes Eminem...I mean M&M’s! The entire car was filled with figurines, collectables, and decals representing the brand. He has so much memorabilia that his wife Jill often follows him to shows in their ‘67 Volkswagen van to haul them all. Naturally, I asked Charles if he ate M&M’s a lot, knowing the answer was pretty obvious. Of course he doesn’t eat them, he is a diabetic, candy would kill him. With that deadly detail cleared up, I finally got the chance to really look this car over. The first thing that caught my eye was the “Turbo Action Lee
Radial G/T” tires. I can’t think of a more obnoxious but fitting tire name for a car with such a fun theme. The front bumper, baja fenders, stinger exhaust, and unique paint job makes the car truly one of a kind going down the road. If that’s not enough, Charles even has a horn that makes various animal sounds under the hood. Sitting in traffic or at a red light, he claims belting out a rooster call or dog bark really lightens the mood. Unsurprisingly, this 34,000 original mile Beetle constantly gets waves, stares, and pictures taken while going down the road, especially from kids. After listening to Charles’ story, I couldn’t help but wonder what made someone who doesn’t eat M&M’s so interested in owning this car. Before
I could finish asking the question he exclaimed, “it’s for the kids.” He loves hearing things like, “mommy, look, look, it's an M&M car!” as a child runs toward him. At car shows he encourages anyone to sit inside the car and take pictures, knowing that they will have a happy memory of that moment for the rest of their life. All this attention does come at a price though. At many car shows, Charles will buy M&M’s to hand out to kids. It isn’t uncommon to go through 30 pounds of candy for only one show. As a result, Charles admits that he can be found in his local grocery stores after Halloween buying apocalyptic amounts of M&M’s. Apex would like to thank Charles for showing us his amazing Volkswagen!
Charles Ray and his wife, Jill, in front of his 1969 M&M Volkswagen Beetle Baja Bug
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â€™PICKUP 49 CHEVY TRUCK Words by PETE MAIO | Photos by CHRIS PENREE
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Jim and Karen Mortis always had an affinity for cars that began with their purchase of a new ’59 Chevy Impala convertible. Over the years they’ve had a ’55 Ford Fairlane and a ’78 Corvette. They always enjoyed cruises and made friends with other car enthusiasts along the way. When they sold the Fairlane hardtop in 2000, it was with the intention of replacing it with a convertible, a classic they could cruise with and take to the car shows.
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While on the hunt for a Fairlane convertible, Jim saw an ad for a ’49 Chevy pickup, a “project” truck that really sparked his interest. After talking to Karen (always the supportive partner), Jim followed up and answered the ad. What he found was a disassembled ’49 Chevy five window truck with a bed full of rusty parts. What he envisioned was a fully restored classic. Jim was a plumber and accomplished carpenter by trade. This project would require learning a new array of skill sets and knowledge. Always determined, never deterred, Jim trailered the truck home. While his initial aspiration was to restore the truck to its original glory his idea quickly changed as he envisioned a high-performance street-rod with a hot drivetrain, modern suspension, and luxury conveniences. And so it began; a three year rebuild and restoration project that would involve family, friends (both old and new), and fellow enthusiasts from his car club, the Tappet Twirlers, and others.
Jim found a disassembled ’49 Chevy five window truck with a bed full of rusty parts. What he envisioned was a fully restored classic. Always determined, never deterred, Jim trailered the truck home. With the help of his sons, Randy, Brad and Todd, a frame off restoration began in 2000. Over the next three years the truck was reassembled to the exacting details Jim envisioned when he trailered the truck home. While Jim leaned on club members and friends who readily advised and assisted in the rebuild, his son Todd researched the technical aspects and was passionately drawn into the project. A Mustang II front end from Fat Man Fabrication was installed and a 350 cubic inch crate engine was dropped in after being tweaked to produce 300 hp. A Turbo-350 automatic transmission was used and a positraction rear end from a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am completed the muscle. Sixteen-inch wheels and tires were installed along with 4-wheel disc brakes. With the “mechanicals” complete, it was time to work on the modern
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H E L P WA N T E D EXPERIENCED SERVICE TECHS NEEDED
Sign-on bonus up to $2,000 depending on qualifications. $ 500 Sign-on bonus for Lube Techs
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Contact Jim Guzzardo, Service Manager 315-736-7310 ext. 6318 or jguzzardo@carbonecars
For more information Contact Sales Manager 315-736-7310
5009 Commercial Drive â€˘ Yorkville, NY
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With a written and notarized letter from his mother, Jim was able to join the US Marine Corp in February of 1957 at the age of 17. He signed on for a six year obligation. He served aboard a US Navy ship, and made landings, engaging in military conflict in countries in the Middle East.
conveniences. The interior was completely redone with the seats coming from a 2000 Chrysler Concorde. Air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, power windows and electronic door openers completed the luxury touches. Jim’s lifelong friend, Dick Bronson, milled cherry logs to provide the stunning truck bed. With a dazzling Indigo Blue paint job, the truck was ready to roll. In 2004 Jim and Karen attended their first car show with the newly completed restomod. It was the Wampsville show where they took first place in their class. Since then, Jim has had numerous “wins” at a number of shows including Best of Show at the Mexico VFW Post 369 Auxiliary show in 2017. A proud Marine, Jim was the winner of the first annual Veterans Trophy awarded at the J/C Cruise-In Car Show at the Unadilla Drive-In. That award is featured in this issue (pictured at right). Whenever they were awarded a trophy, Karen was as excited as if they had just won the Powerball lottery. She was Jim’s biggest fan. Sadly, Karen passed away in May of last year. Jim continues to compete at the shows with his friends as Karen would have wanted him to and he says the wins are now bittersweet as he is reminded of the excitement she had at winning and how much he misses her.
The first annual Veterans Trophy was awarded to Jim for his '49 Chevy at the J/C Cruise-In Car Show.
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Putt-Putt-Puttingâ€¦ in a 1931 Ford Model A
Words by BOB SBLENDORIO Photos by CHRIS PENREE
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that wasn’t going to happen in this case. Al held his position at the starting line and was watching the light pole at the starting-line, known as the Christmas tree. As he was intently watching and waiting—the yellow light lit-up—and then the green—and the 442 “exploded” off-the-line…and rolled about 100’ down the speedway and that was it. What? The engine blew-up and the 442 was done! Without missing a beat, Al carefully took off…“putt-puttputt” down the track he went…“puttputt-putt.” Al won! And the final speed and time at the finish was—who knows—because it didn’t really matter. What really matters is Al officially beat an Oldsmobile 442 in a ¼-mile drag race with his Model A. It really doesn’t get much better than that. (His best estimate was it took a couple of minutes to cross the finish line.)
Why a Model A?
Al Brandolini may be—just may be— the only person in the world to officially win a ¼-mile drag-race with a bone stock 24 hp Model A against a ‘60s era muscle car…an Oldsmobile 442 to be exact. Is that really possible? It was 1968 at the New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire and Al was competing in the Open Stock class, meaning the line-ups were completely random. The speedway was packed with fans. There were many cars lined
up behind the starting line—all muscle cars—revving their engines. It was loud and there were people everywhere. There were GTOs, Corvettes, Mustangs, Hot Rods and many more…but only one Model A. It was especially noisy at the starting line. There was the pungent smell of exhaust fumes and burnt tires from the 442 doing a massive burnout just prior to the start. Al tried to keep his composure and to not be intimidated, but it wasn’t easy. An in-line 4-cyl versus a big powerful V-8 muscle car…what was Al thinking? Most would have stooddown, put their “tail between their legs,” turned around and left the track, but
The Model A came out after its predecessor and highly successful Model T in 1928. There were a range of body styles and colors to choose from. The Model A was manufactured until 1932, and in four years there were more than 4.8 million sold. They have electric starting motors and cruise at about 45-50 mph. Al came from a working Italian family that owned a shoe business. In his mid-teens, he was working while going to school, but would not get paid. It was just the way it was. At 16 years old he wanted to buy a car from a friend’s brother. His mother encouraged the idea of him purchasing a car because she was tired of chauffeuring him everywhere. With his father, they went and looked at the car, a 1931 Model A. His father was not impressed. It needed a lot of work and was over priced at $600. Besides, his father was frugal…I think Al may have used the word “cheap.” The bottom-line: his father was not going to be the financier for this purchase. ‘Go ask your brother for the money,’ was the certain kiss-of-death his father assumed. Surprisingly, Al’s older brother agreed! This was much to his father’s chagrin and utter surprise. To this day, his father (94) still laughs about that story. Al worked three jobs that summer to pay his brother back. WINTER ISSUE 2019 APEX AUTOMOTIVE MAGAZINE // 15
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Al Brandolini is a US Army veteran, having served 21 years. He was a member of the plebe class of ‘73 at the United States Military Academy at West Point; and continued at Providence College in the ROTC program. He graduated with honors and received an army commission in military intelligence. When Al retired he was the Senior Intelligence Officer at the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command, having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Oh yeah, so why did Al purchase a Model A? Not sure…maybe to go drag racing, a good deal, or maybe to impress girls in high school.
First…and Last Kiss Al had his first ever kiss in the back seat of his Model A. Not exactly an uncommon occurrence for teens then or now…except in Al’s case there was a problem! Some might say a big problem…their braces got locked together and wouldn’t release. With lips locked, his date “trying to scream,” panic setting in, Al managed to reach behind the seat and grabbed a pair of cutting pliers. Somehow he cut his braces (and no lips or gums) to free them. This may have been his first kiss, but not too surprising, it was his last kiss and last date with this girl. It made me ponder how different it would be if that happened today. In Al’s case, I’m sure it didn’t take too long for the word to eventually spread around school back then; but if that were to happen today—in the age of cell phones and social media—just how quickly and widespread the news of that first kiss would get around.
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1941 Chrysler WINDSOR HIGHLANDER Words by JIM MACLACHLAN | Photos by CHRIS PENREE
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Pat Abbott of Kirkville, NY was participating in a local car cruise last summer at Lewis Park in Minoa with his 1930 Model A coupe. As he was listening to the band play, the priest from the church he attends came up to him and asked if he wanted to trade the Model A for the priest’s 1941 Chrysler Windsor
Highlander 4-door sedan. Pat thought he was joking, laughed it off and didn’t give it much thought. One Saturday evening a bit later in the fall, prior to Pat serving at his church, the priest again approached him about trading the Model A for the Chrysler Windsor Highlander. The priest explained that he currently had a
couple of Model T’s, had a Model A previously and now wanted another one. He said the 1941 Highlander was too “new” for him. At this point it became clear that he was serious about a trade. The two guys talked back and forth throughout the winter and in the spring of this year, after driving each other’s cars, shook hands on an even trade.
This 1941 Chrysler Windsor Highlander has a Fluid Drive transmission system that allows the driver to stop and start without using the clutch pedal. The car is not a manual, and not really an automatic.
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Owner of the Windsor Highlander, Pat Abbott
For the 1941 model year, Chrysler offered its entry-level, L-head six-cylinder Series 28 in a wide variety of body styles divided up into three trim levels: the Royal, the Windsor, and the Windsor Highlander. The Windsor Highlander was the most expensive and prestigious of these models distinguished by a trim package shared with the larger Chrysler New Yorker including standard leather interior with inserts of tartan plaid. Probably the most interesting feature of Pat’s Highlander is the Fluid Drive transmission system that allows the driver to stop and start without using the clutch pedal, or “Safety Clutch” as it is labeled. The car is not a manual, and not really an automatic. The column shifter can be shifted into 3 positions: reverse, low range, or high range. The clutch pedal is required to shift from one of these positions to the other, but not needed after that. The low range and high range positions each have a low gear and high gear
The 1941 Chrysler Windsor Highlander has a standard leather interior with inserts of tartan plaid.
1941 Chrysler Windsor Highlander Price New
$1,020 - $1,420
Between 1,000 and 1,500 made
110 @ 3600 RPM
3,135 - 3,661 pounds
that are automatically shifted by the transmission without any input from the driver. When driving the car in the high range, stopping requires simply applying the brakes to stop and hitting the accelerator to go, no clutch is needed. It is interesting to note that there is no park position in the transmission, so the parking brake
must always be used, or the car could just roll away. When Pat received the car near the end of July of this year, other than being repainted to its current color from the original black paint, it was pretty much as it left the factory with just under 30,000 miles. Pat is the fourth owner of the Highlander, the first being an undertaker that hardly drove the car which is probably the reason why it retains such low mileage today. The Highlander still sports it’s all original interior including the unusual red tartan plaid cloth and leather upholstery. Since owning the car, Pat has driven it around 500 miles, rolling the odometer over the 30,000-mile mark. He is an active member of the Mohican Model A Ford Club and this fall drove it on the club’s fall foliage tour racking up about 100 miles for the day. Pat plans on driving the car and enjoys demonstrating how the unusual transmission works to anyone that is interested.
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Open 9-5 Daily
Home of the Staley Collection 24 Rexford Street Norwich, NY 13815 607-334-2886 www.classiccarmuseum.org
Only closed Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas Day.
Over 200 vehicles on display 1899-1992 WWI & WWII Airplane Engines Gas pumps Vintage Fashions Gift Shop Wheelchair Accessible Scooters Available
Largest Car Museum in the Northeast USA APEX 17_Winter2019_KC.indd 21
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SAM WILT Speed Shop Manager 4475 Commercial Drive New Hartford, NY 13413 315-768-1015
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WITH RED Nancy Metrick's 1951 Mercury Sedan Words by BOB SBLENDORIO Photos by CHRIS PENREE
When someone asks about the color of her 1951 Mercury Sedan… “It’s chrome with red,” says Nancy Metrick with a laugh. She loves old
cars and chrome, hence her choice of a Mercury with voluminous amounts of chrome, especially that front bumper. One of her favorite design details is the chrome bullets on the front bumper, which are “super cool” looking. It’s certainly a bold look, and it has that 1950s classic design which is most appealing to Nancy. Nancy also loves old movies; one of her favorites is the 1955 movie, Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean. In the movie there is a dare scene between Dean, driving a 1949 Mercury Eight, and a rival character named Buzz. It’s an iconic car scene, one that sticks out in Nancy’s mind, to the point of having to find one. I know Nancy said her passion was inspired by all the chrome on the car, but the author pondered if the fact that the legendary (and handsome) actor James Dean driving it had anything to do with the decision. Nancy’s search was for a 1951 (versus the 1949) because there was a bit more chrome. For the 1951 model year, the chrome bullets were added to the front bumper which made it a must have year.
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1951 Mercury Sedan Body Style
4-door sedan with suicide doors
255 cu in, V-8 with 112 hp
3-speed standard on column
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She found the car in Hemmings Motor News Magazine and it was close by in Ballston Lake, NY. It’s never had a frame-off restoration, but it’s been restored as-needed. Many Mercurys have been customized into hot rods, but Nancy was determined to purchase an original, stock car. Her 1951 Mercury Sedan is the third generation of the Mercury Eight series of cars, first produced in 1939. The 1951 Mercury Eight model was the last of that era of cars and was changed starting in 1952. Nancy’s love of cars started when she was just a youngster, inspired by her father who was a mechanic. He would take her to see the car races, where they were frequently racing coupes. As a child, she really loved her father, the races, and fast cars. Now, she is still around cars all the time, going to as many cruise-ins as possible and the Syracuse Nationals. Along with her husband, George, they both find much enjoyment together in their mutual interest in cars.
Nancy’s love of cars started when she was just a youngster, inspired by her father who was a mechanic. He would take her to see the car races, where they were frequently racing coupes.
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Words by MIKE MASTRACCO | Photos by CHRIS PENREE Pantera, Italian for panther, a very powerful animal that adapts well to a variety of habitats. From 1971 to 1974 the De Tomaso car company of Modena, Italy produced the De Tomaso Pantera, a mid-engine supercar for export to the U.S. market.
This new Italian design sports car was sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. It was an Italian supercar design with a pure American ripsnorting-high horsepower V8 of the time. Ford was looking to follow up the now discontinued Shelby Cobra run of sports cars with something to compete with the Chevy Corvettes and the Ferrari Dinos of the day. Ford through their Lincoln-Mercury dealerships sold approximately 5,500 Panteras in the U.S. until Ford
decided to stop the import of these cars in 1975. At that time the Pantera was powered by Ford’s 351 cubic inch high torque Cleveland engine producing 335 hp, although later testing showed it put out more like 380 horses. Acceleration 0-60 mph was a swift 5.5 seconds, top speed of 159 mph, with a 0-100 mph run of only 14.1 seconds, all very respectable for the time. The magazine “Road Test” named the Pantera its “Import Car of the Year” for 1973 beating
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out marques such as Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, and Porsche. However, after Ford’s decision to stop importation of the car, De Tomaso continued to build several forms of the Pantera for the rest of the world until the final production in 1992. During the 1980’s there were several gray market Panteras imported to the U.S. by the importers of the day. In the twenty plus year production run, De Tomaso made slightly over seven thousand Panteras for the U.S. and world markets. This “Rosso Corsa” colored De Tomaso Pantera you see here is owned by Paul Staskowski of Oriskany Falls. Paul is the second owner of this exotic Italian
produced semi-wedge shaped super sports car. When growing up, Paul was looking through one of his father’s Motor Trend magazines and that’s when he fell in love with the looks of this Italian bred sports car. A boy’s first love, a De Tomaso Pantera, doesn’t get any better than this. Paul’s search for a mostly unmodified Pantera led him around the country as many Panteras of the day were modified. Owners would change and update the carbureted fuel system and
make other engine modifications along with many other modern day mods to make the car go faster and/or louder. Paul wanted a Pantera that was pretty much original, as he is a fan of the “keep it original club.” Paul’s extensive online search brought him to a small exotic dealer outside the Detroit, Michigan area. This particular Pantera was not the first car Paul traveled to check out, however it
This Pantera was delivered in May of 2000, which made Paul Staskowski the proud owner of a classy 1974 Pantera supercar with only 48,000 miles on the clock. APEX 17_Winter2019_KC.indd 28
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DE TOMASO PANTERA
was the car he envisioned owning. A total unmolested automobile with the interior and exterior top notch with reasonable miles were all items on Paul’s want list. Paul also desired a vehicle that he could drive, not a trailer queen. This car was pretty much all original from the interior, exterior, engine, and even the wheels, which are often replaced. After Paul and his oldest son went to Detroit to look at this particular car, Paul decided it was the one he had been looking for. This Pantera was delivered in May of 2000 which made Paul the proud owner of a classy 1974 Pantera supercar with only 48,000 miles on the clock. Since then, Paul and his siblings have logged an additional 12,000 to the odometer. Paul’s younger sons share his love of cars. These two younger sons
were lucky enough to get their father's blessing to take the Pantera to each of their respective Senior Proms. Additionally, these same two sons drove his Pantera to one of the “Historic Vehicle Associations” events and now it is part of the selective group of “This Car Matters.” Paul also has a young daughter, who at this point in time is enjoying his selective group of automobiles. Paul has motor oil in his veins which goes back many years. His father grew up in the Detroit area and was known for many of his automobiles. His father started out with a Model A, moved along to a Graham-Paige, early first year Mustang, and early Firebird just to name a few. Paul’s older brother was interested in sports cars as well. He taught Paul how to drive standard shift in his Triumph
TR3. Consequently, his older brother’s TR3 stuck with him all these years as Paul now owns one himself. Adding to the Pantera and TR3, Paul has amassed a 1970 Trans Am, a 1980 BMW M35i (1 of only 14 imported), and to round off his stable a 1968 Chevy C10 pickup truck. Taking this Pantera for a ride, as you first approach this rose colored cat, you would gaze at the sleek lines of the Italian designed body, then as the door opens you are encouraged to step inside, sit down and buckle up for a ride that brings one back to 1974 when the Ford V8 would howl power behind your head. Taking this Pantera through the gears on a straight road, and then seeing curves ahead, is a sports car driver’s vision. We at Apex wish Paul and his sons many happy motoring miles ahead.
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R E WA R D S
CARBONECARS.COM 12/19/2018 1:34:25 PM
MINNESOTA NEW YORK
SOUTH DAKOTA PENNSYLVANIA NEBRASKA
IOWA OHIO ILLINOIS
An Update on
“Distance Learning” Words and photos by RON ALEXANDER Being the youngest ever to compete in the coast-to-coast event, known as The Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run, the expectations were just to survive.
overall out of 107 entries. Ranking took into consideration the age of the rider and the bike. His father said, “his bike is just too new and he is too young.” They estimate a 1912 or older bike would allow him to break into the top 5, but he did have the best score possible in this event. Loring’s journey started with a full day of classes at Morrisville State College and led to many delayed flights to get to the starting line. After the final flight cancellation, the decision was to drive his truck solo to the starting line in Portland, Maine from Syracuse, New York. The only issue being that his old Dodge truck, he adopted from his father, needed a wheel bearing. With college classes and motorcycle building on the priority list the old girl got pushed to the back burner. The red Dodge did all she could do until the wheel could no longer spin. He was some 45 miles from the starting line and had to be rescued and driven to the event… making the final check-in 30 minutes before the start. The bike held up great. The only new part needed on the bike was the fuel tank, which was plagued with cracking due to vibration. All-and-all it was a terrific adventure, which ended on a Sunday in Portland, Oregon. A dedicated student, Loring was in class that Monday morning and I am sure he will never forget the experience.
It is one thing to build an antique motorcycle such as the 1916 Henderson Type F, but to attempt an endurance event with it at such a young age is amazing. I am glad to report that Loring Hill not just successfully completed the event, but scored a perfect score of 3,441 points with no penalties! His final position ranking was 7th
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TRACKMA TRACY LYMAN
Words by BOB SBLENDORIO | Photos by DALTON DOBSON
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“I’ve had this racing thing in my blood my whole life." "I like to push myself in a lot of cases, which can be intimidating,” explained Tracy Lyman. This past year she embarked on the Trackmasters driver education program, which operates out of Watkins Glen International Speedway. The program offers high performance driver education, with an emphasis on driving safety. With encouragement from her husband, Jeff (owner of Jeffrey’s Auto Body in Syracuse), she participated three times in 2017. She explained that there
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was a lot more to it than she anticipated, even at the Novice Class of instruction. Even in that class there are participants that have done it many times, so “they are pretty good.” Initially, Tracy explained she was a bit intimidated, as there are not many first timers. She admits, the first time was hard in terms of the actual driving and the classroom instruction. It’s fairly technical, with many topics covered in both the car and academically. Each session is two days long, packed with driving, classroom instruction, and meetings. The meetings are held in the same room as the official race events at the speedway; “and that’s enough to overwhelm you…just the atmosphere in there.” Fortunately, there were a few other women also participating. They offered encouragement, which Tracy found to be super helpful in general. The instructors are professional and very knowledgeable.
It’s a very structured program, always emphasizing the safety aspect while driving on the track. Her first time out, she was being passed frequently, but that changed and by the second time participating she managed to keep pace with all the cars on the track. The instructors, who are in the passenger seat, communicate via microphones in the helmets and via hand signals.
PERSONAL Tracy, when she is not working or racing, enjoys her two kids, Jeffrey and Renee. Jeffrey is a recent college graduate who is in the process of launching a car parts delivery business in the CNY area. Stay tuned, this model for ordering and having parts delivered could be a game changer. Good luck to her son. Her daughter, Renee, is currently enrolled in graduate school completing a degree to become a
speech pathologist. Tracy unquestionably likes staying active. She has been playing softball for 40 years, either at shortstop or second base. Along with her husband Jeff, they have been playing volleyball for 27 years. Tracy has known Jeff since she was a teenager; he has always been a car enthusiast, especially when it comes to Corvettes. Jeff has advanced up to the top-tier in the Trackmasters program, known as the Open Class. At this level, which takes a long time to achieve, you get to drive solo around the speedway. For Tracy, participating in Trackmasters was a bucket list item she was anxious to do. The plan was to do it one time and check that one off the list and be done. As it is turning out—that’s not so easy—because of the burning desire for speed and the interest in improving her driving skills. She didn’t say it, but it seemed her ultimate goal is to be looking in the rear view mirror with her husband, Jeff, solidly behind and getting smaller as she keeps pushing down on the accelerator. Just maybe…
2015 - Z06 Corvette Engine
Engine has been modified, 720 hp
6-speed manual transmission
Z07 Performance Package (tire, aero, and suspension upgrades)
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/// C A R S H O W S
J/C Cruise-In Car Show Making history at the Unadilla Drive-In Words and photos by PETE MAIO
ack and Cathy Elderkin grew up in Walton, NY and married in 1966. Jack always had an interest in cars dating back to when his father ran stock cars. In the late ‘90s Jack began showing cars. In 2001 Jack and Cathy moved to Florida where they purchased a ’32 Ford Street Rod. While working and raising a family Jack still managed to go to car shows with his ‘32 winning numerous honors. After returning to New York in 2005, Jack, always the competitor, began competing at the national level with a ’55 Chevy Mid Custom, and won several honors at the Syracuse Nationals and the East Coast Nationals in Rhinebeck. With this history and passion for cars, Jack and Cathy started thinking about putting on their own show. Reflecting on their fond memories of going to the only drive-in in the area they approached the owners of the Unadilla Drive-in and gained permission from the Wilson family to hold a car show there. That was 10 years ago, and the rest as they say, is history.
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Jack and Cathy Elderkin, founders of the J/C Cruise-In Car Show
Among the trophies at the J/C Cruise-In Car Show is this veteran's trophy (below left), which was awarded to Jim Mortis for his '49 Chevy pickup truck.
The big screen at the Unadilla Drive-In adds to the nostalgia of the J/C Cruise-In Car Show.
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/// C A R S H O W S
The venue is absolutely beautiful. The cars lined up at the stations where speakers used to be, allowing plenty of room to open your doors and set up your tent or chairs; the big screen there in front adding to the nostalgia. It’s hard to believe the J/C CruiseIn Car Show at the Unadilla Drive-In is a “mom and pop” show. Cathy, Jack, and their son Tracy do all the work to make this event happen. The incredible
trophies they offer are larger than most “Best of Show” trophies at other shows thanks to the generosity of the many sponsors who support the show. In 2017, Cathy and Jack introduced the “Tina Marie Turner Memorial Trophy” in honor of their oldest daughter who they lost to breast cancer. In 2018, Jack wanted to do something special for the veterans who attend the show. His father served in WWII and his
brother served in Vietnam. Both were Purple Heart recipients. Jack designed the beautiful veteran’s trophy which is featured in this issue. Apex salutes Jack for offering a veteran’s trophy and it’s our hope that this idea will be adopted by other shows in our area. Apex is pleased that the J/C Cruise-In Car Show was one of the first car shows to be sanctioned by Apex Automotive Magazine.
Sanctioned by Apex Automotive Magazine The Apex Invitational at Fountain Elms held on July 1, 2018 was a resounding success. The decision to feature the Best of Show winners from judged shows was based on feedback from car enthusiasts who feel a point judging system affords car show entrants the fairest and most equitable way to compete. We agree. In support of this concept, Apex began identifying judged car shows. In the coming year we will begin Sanctioning judged car shows. In order to be an Apex Sanctioned show the organizers will have to provide the judging form they use, a list of their classes, and a few other details to Apex. If your show qualifies as an Apex Sanctioned show you will have a special listing in the car show section of the magazine. You will also be able to list your show as “Sanctioned by Apex Auto Magazine” so that potential entrants know it is a true point system judged show. Other benefits will apply including discounts for advertising, preferential show coverage, and having the Apex Booth at your show. We plan to begin this process on a limited basis for 2019. If you are interested in having your show sanctioned by Apex Auto Magazine in 2019, please contact our car show coordinator, Pete Maio at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (315) 336-8868.
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Russell Jacobs, owner of RJ CARS (below), and his son, Matthew (left).
RJ CARS Still Fresh From The Barn: 30 Years Later
“I started dragging old cars home when I was 14 years old, to my mom’s family farm, working on anything old with a motor.”
At age 16, Russell Jacobs’ car needed a paint job, so he wound up asking for work at the local auto body shop. He spent five years there learning the ropes and developing his passion in restoration. On his 21st birthday, Russell Jacobs Custom Auto Repair Shop, (later incorporated as RJ CARS) was born. “When I first started out, there were some nights I would work all night and into the next day.” Russell started working out of a building on the family’s farm until he moved to his current location in Arkport, NY. The shop has come a long way. One of the larger pieces of equipment purchased was a Nova Verta Spray Booth, an investment about which Russell says, “That was my dream, to build a shop that would allow us to put out high quality work”. The focus has always been to keep building on the quality of the work by investing in training, software and equipment, even if it was only for a single job. Specializing in factory-correct restorations, the shop also provides high quality body and paint work, mechanical repair, and collision repair. The projects can vary from a black ’68 Charger R/T, to a ’59
Gearing up for the 30th anniversary of the successful restoration business Russell Jacobs started in 1989, he looks back on his experiences and plans for the road ahead. Words by BARRY ALT | Photos by DARREN OHARA
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Cadillac, and anything else. Another major build in 2018 was a 1973 Volvo 1800ES rally car. Although Russell continues to work on many types of cars he says, “The MOPAR’s are the ones I have the most love for and the most knowledge of. Those are the cars that really caught my attention when I was young.” Current smaller service work includes a’68 Charger and a ’67 Camaro RS. An engine rebuild, engine bay driveline work, and bodywork are going into a 1938 LaSalle convertible for a collector. Once, they received a ’70 Cuda that was delivered with parts inside the body, trailer, and in a truck. It took a week to carefully inventory all the parts. “It’s really quite a responsibility to take care of a person’s car, but also all of their parts that they hand you. It’s a big commitment,” says Russell. RJ CARS has a diverse client base that come from far-away places, and many local clients from the Rochester and Corning areas. Clients located along the East Coast and beyond have sought out restoration services from this well-known business. Currently employed at the shop are two auto body craftsmen and another employee for mechanical assembly. Russell manages the projects and oversees the operation. Parts and Service Manager, Darren,
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B U S I N E S S P R O F I L E ///
RJ CARS is a family affair, with his son, Matthew, managing the mechanical and assembly work, while daughter McKenna is involved with other responsibilities throughout the business. also assists with IT, while Mandy manages the office. RJ CARS is a family affair, with his son, Matthew, managing the mechanical and assembly work, while daughter McKenna is involved with other responsibilities throughout the business. His wife and daughter also assist with events such as the Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle. For two years now, Russell has participated as an expert at the Restorer’s Round Table at Carlisle which allows the public to ask shop owners questions about restorations. Moving ahead after 30 years, the plan is to build on the quality that’s been established. Also, on the side, he finds time to help his son restore his ’70 Dodge Dart Swinger. On finding balance he says, “Ride the teeter totter like a surfboard.” He’s grateful for receiving lots of help from staff and family, and the council of his go-to people. He also finds time to enjoy riding his Harley and hunting. Russell never seems to lose sight of the next thing needing attention, whether it’s something to improve in the shop or hiring Motorhead Digital for their newly re-designed website making it mobile ready and allowing them to better feature projects staying current in fast-changing times. After 30 years, RJ CARS is proving to be up-to-speed and fresher than ever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: When Barry Alt first launched Motorhead Digital he knew there were automotive businesses ready for a higher level of performance in their digital marketing. As a serious car enthusiast, he also understood what these businesses had to offer.
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/// B U S I N E S S P R O F I L E
Driving for Change in the Digital
Words by NATASHA WRIGHT Photo by BARRY ALT When Barry Alt first launched Motorhead Digital he knew there were automotive businesses ready for a higher level of performance in their digital marketing. As a serious car enthusiast, he also understood what these businesses had to offer.
Barry spent his high school years attending an automotive trade school and dreaming of one day being an auto mechanic and says, “As much as I tried and as much as I loved the work, I was not as good of a mechanic or painter as I was a website designer and developer.” After having been in the website development industry for over 20 years and keeping up with the ever-changing digital landscape of the internet, it was time to start something new. Merging his experience with his passion for all things automotive, Barry built MotorheadDigital.com to drive the industry to new heights. Having helped performance shops and automotive suppliers get noticed by both local and long-distance clients, he’s already developed a specialty in the niche. The Motorhead Digital team has proven processes that help clients stay savvy and top mind, going way beyond websites. They do this by starting with interactive strategic planning specifically designed to learn about the client’s story, their goals, their ideal customers, and how to bridge the gap for successful customer journeys, user engagement, and repeat business. Motorhead Digital clients include car
restoration and collision specialist, RJ CARS. “The collaborative discovery process to learn about their business needs and clients was the most important step in building the website and strategy”, says Barry. Ranked 19th in the nation in Corvette sales, and New York’s premiere Corvette dealer, Van Bortel Corvette has also benefited from Barry’s experience. Other clients include the leader in emergency vehicle safety lighting, Star Headlight & Lantern Company, and automotive electrical specialists, North Star Auto Electric. When experts in the automotive industry need to focus on their businesses, they count on Motorhead Digital to focus on their online marketing. Who better to understand your customers than a
likely client and enthusiast? Barry’s constantly scouring the digital world for the latest and greatest. In his free time however, he enjoys tinkering on his 1969 427 Tri-Power Corvette or cruising with his wife, Kandi, in their 2013 427 60th Anniversary Corvette.
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Barryâ€™s constantly scouring the digital world for the latest and greatest. In his free time however, he enjoys tinkering on his 1969 427 Tri-Power Corvette or cruising with his wife, Kandi, in their 2013 427 60th Anniversary Corvette.
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/// t e c h H o w -t o
In the shop with Mr. A
Words and photos by RON ALEXANDER Associate Professor, Automotive Technology, Morrisville State College
Wait … is that mouse eating my car?
ow does the story go? Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a…. wait is that mouse eating my car??? Yes, as we enjoy our winter hibernation, your pride and joy project car, motorcycle, RV, boat or whatever is stored in the back reaches of the storage locker is being converted into a multi-family party house for “chippy” the squirrel and his growing family of wire nibblers. It is a battle that all of us in the snowy Northeast have been dealing with for years. Along with rust eating our projects, the next most frustrating thing is to discover in one winter’s storage your interior has been devastated by hungry vermin. The thought of what could be happening to the new wiring harness, leather seats, vinyl top, or anything found tasty inside the dark corners of your vehicle can make your skin crawl. Proper storage techniques can minimize this, but the only real cure is to push the entertainment center to the side, blowopen the front wall of the house for a 9’ overhead door, and pull that rig into the living room. If your spouse really loves you, I mean really loves you, it’s a go.
The fuzzy nuisance is just looking for a warm dark place to survive, close to a food source is also a goal for the little family. By thinking like a mouse you can make your project less hospitable to the winter vacationer. First things first; clean the car! Any leftover smells from the summer picnic basket could attract a starving family. A good shampoo and clean out can make all the difference. Just the smell of an old french fry under the seat can be all it takes to draw in the new family. Also, the vapors for the cleaning solution or carpet soap can turn off the appetite and cause them to find other digs. The time-tested use of mothballs or dryer sheets can do the same thing, giving off a strong pungent odor that seems to repel the little guys. My preference is dryer sheets because they do not repel me in the spring. But mothballs seem to have
the best effect when strategically placed around the base of the vehicle or the path used by the vermin. Placing a few in an old sock and hanging it near the bottom of the vehicle is not a bad technique. Remove all materials from the storage area such as cloth towels, packing quilts, soft clothes, and loose foam; anything that can be pulled into a car as bedding. Never store in the garage household garbage, dog food, or other items that will smell like food. Lighting is also a key, they want dark warm places to hide. Keep a light on, keep the hood open. I had one person tell me to put an LED light under your car making it as bright as you can. I had another tell me to jack up the car and place disposable tin pie plates between the frame and the jack stand to remove the path that the mouse can use to get to your car. Plug holes, in the building and the
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Tech article brought to you by Morrisville State College Automotive Program
vehicle. Metal screening, steel wool, or other non-chewable materials are best. Don’t forget air inlets and exhaust pipes. Heater boxes make a fine two family condo for our fuzzy friends, including the blower scroll as an exercise machine. Remove the car cover, seat covers, anything that reduces the quiet dark warm feeling of your car will help. The above will help, but if you want added protection some have resorted to complete car bags. Yes, a zip-lock bag that will encompass the entire car. Some even have air pumps that keep blowing air on your ride all winter long. The goal is to reduce the chances of infestations, the only real cure is to clean a space in the house….I won’t go there. Good luck!
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/// L o c a l c a r C l u b s
Words by BOB SBLENDORIO Photos provided by the club
The Mohican Model A Ford Club
eter Winnewisser, history of the Mohican Native the Mohican Model American tribe that lived A Ford Club Histothroughout Cooperstown rian, has been a member and the surrounding area. He of the club for the past 58 thought “Mohican” used in the years—since the beginning name of the club would serve in 1960. Wow! He was one of as a way to perpetuate the legthe four founding members, acy and history of the tribe. and now the only remaining Peter emphasized—really founder that is an active as a point of pride—the club’s member. He has been initial meetings and activiPETER witness to, and intimately ties were built around family WINNEWISSER (ABOVE) involved, in the success involvement. With men and and growth of the club over women involved in all the formore than half a century. mal structure and social activities, the The club organized at a meeting at club prospered. Over the years, there the home of Doug Pomeroy on July 4, have been two women who have served 1960, who lived in Fly Creek, which is as president and many who serve on the just outside of Cooperstown. Pomeroy Board of Directors. served as the club’s first president and Club membership is open to anyone suggested “Mohican” be used in the interested in antique cars (not just club name. He was familiar with the Model As), and as such the club has
about 100 families that are members. The AH-OOO-GAH, the club’s official newsletter, has a long history. “It was the glue that held us together,” Peter, the editor for 50 years explained. (In 2016 he decided to pass the torch as editor.) From a one-page newsletter to a multi-page award winning newsletter, it has come a long way. It’s the way members keep in touch with each other and reports the club news and events. There has been a club sponsored car show each year since the beginning, and from those humble beginnings it has grown into what has become a “regional institution” in Central New York. It’s held in Wampsville and is very popular among car enthusiasts, attracting nearly 1,000 antique cars. Also, it’s crowd-pleasing for folks that enjoy flea markets, with hundreds of vendors in attendance every year.
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The Mohican Model A Ford Club's annual sponsored car show and flea market is always held on the first Sunday after Labor Day in Wampsville, NY. The show is free to the public.
Always wanting to improve over the years, next year’s planned event is no exception. For the 2019 car show, which is always held on the first Sunday after Labor Day, there will be no more judging of cars. Instead, the club has decided to award more cash prizes; however, cars must be pre-registered to be eligible. For the club, it’s their signature event every year and the volunteer hours that are required exceed 2,000 hours…saying it’s labor intensive may be an understatement. The show is free to the public and seems to grow every year. In addition to their signature car show, the club hosts a multitude of activities throughout the year: day tours, picnics, seminars, parades, dinner meetings, business meetings, fall foliage tours, etc. The members like to stay busy!
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