Whether their cars wore vivid coats of paint or muted ones, the owners I met at the Bellmore Friday Night Car Show last week were colorful and happy to talk, especially about the treasures they drove there.
Standing next to his sleek black Chevy SS, “Mr. Blowtorch” was handing out small free stickers – each with a beautifully illustrated car scene and “Friday Night • Car Show • Bellmore” on it.
I took two or three stickers as he shared anecdotes, and showed photos on his cell phone, about his former career as a theatrical stage metal worker (NYC’s Local One – IATSE).
So “Mr. Blowtorch” was the nickname he got at work, which spanned decades and continents, and included making the large flat metal world map, showing several rotated views of Earth, for the set of CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite!
See the USA in Your 1957 Chevrolet
A big fan of the Chevy Tri-Years, 1955-57 (and shiny red things), I headed straight to a red 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air as soon as I spotted it.
It turned out I arrived just in time to capture a shot of that, since – though the rockets weren’t leaving the car – the car was about to move to an apparently more desirable spot that had just opened up across the lane.
FRANKIE D’AMORE, of Levittown, had “BAC2D80S” license plates on his white with red interior 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible. Small green, white and red “Italia” boxing gloves dangling from the rear view mirror gave an extra personal touch.
It was well past sunset when I left shortly before 9 PM that late summer night.
Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores members, wearing yellow reflective safety vests, were collecting entrance fees from drivers of the classic, antique and customized cars, who had over an hour of cruise night to enjoy.
For me, like the rest of the hundreds of visitors who walked in, Bellmore Friday Night Car Show was free.
Last Friday, my friend Bob and I walked out of International Delight Cafe where we had dinner, and plunged into the tide of cars, motorcycles and fellow walkers heading to the Bellmore Friday Night Car Show at the Bellmore LIRR Station parking lot.
UPDATE: see 2018 Schedule for Friday Night Car Shows at end of post
What first drew my attention to Martocci’s classic Oldsmobile were the colorful plastic cheeseburger, ketchup and mustard bottles on the food tray suspended from the passenger window partly rolled down – but it just as easily could have been the colorful plastic bugs strewn on the car’s exterior and top of the cheeseburger.
Woodys, with their golden warm panels, are innately handsome vehicles, and Radomski customized his with flare.
The wooden roof luggage rack carries three surfboards with natural wood finish. He told how a man so loved this look during an earlier car show that he asked if Radomski would bring the wagon to the man’s beach party.
Radomski covered the Wunderbug hood in colorful floral fabric of earthy red yellow and greens. And I was fascinated by the trumpeting angel hood ornament he handmade from three silver forks, a 10-penny nail and a washer!
And, yes, the Woody Wagon got to go to the beach party :)
Going & Coming
Around 8:30 pm, we left to head back to IDC for some homemade gelato, and passed the ever-alert volunteers from the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores and the Nassau Auxiliary police guiding the steady stream of cars into the parking lot.
We each had the fun challenge of choosing one of the 80 or so flavors of gelato. For me, chatting with new and old friends while eating a scoop of chocolate chip gelato on a gluten-free waffle was a great way to end that summer night in Bellmore.