Apr 08, 2008 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Classic and custom cars, trucks, and motorcycles filled the Verizon Center of Progress last weekend for the eighteenth annual International Auto Show Case, a traditional kick-off to the “crusin’ season” in Central New York.
The custom and classic car and trade show, produced by International Auto Show Case Inc., is well known by area enthusiasts as the unofficial beginning of the car show season and largest of it’s kind in the state.
Bob and Carmella Hoffman, owners of International Auto Show Case Inc., began producing the annual event 18 years ago, but the show has been held for 44 years, originally known as Motor-Rama.
Though the show is a staple in the region, Bob Hoffman said there is always a variety of cars that have not been seen before in central New York. Participants from across the county and the Canadian border have exhibited cars in past years.
John Carnowski of Brewerton was showing his 1957 Chevrolet BelAir, a car he has owned and worked on since he was 16. Like many other participants, he remembers visiting the show in the Motor-Rama days, and only shows his car at the IASC.
“This is the big one for me, Carnowski said. “As a young kid I always said to myself, ‘I’m going to have a car and have it in this show.”
Camillus resident Ed Kolceski, on the other hand, takes his cars all summer to different shows. Kolceski, whose father worked for General Motors, said he has been playing with cars since he was 16, and often takes his granddaughter along with him to shows.
“This is my granddaughter’s doing,” said Kolceski of the plastic hambuger and french fries scattered on a drive-in tray protruding from a window on his 1956 Bel Air. The tray and Trunk Monkey sitting in the passenger’s seat are original, Kolceski said.
Many other exhibitors added vintage memorabilia to their displays, like Harry Moore, also of Camillus. Behind the line of six rare and largely un-restored cares Moore had in the show was a display of vintage signs.
Moore’s car obsession began with his father, who always had Chrysler cars, he said, sparking his own interest in Chryslers. Moore decided to focus on rare vehicles; the six he entered into this year’s IASC were all at least 95% un-restored.
In contrast to many exhibitors, sisters Joan Winkelman and Pat Wells took on the challenge of rebuilding their 1923 Ford T-Bucket when their brother, “Wink,” passed away before he could finish restoring it.
The sisters have been showing “Wink’s Wish” for six years, and drive it to shows all throughout the summer. Now that it has a roof, however, the drives are more comfortable.
Wells remembers the day the pair decided the car needed a new roof – after getting caught in a downpour with only an oversized golf umbrella to shield them from the rain.
When Sparky, from Mattydale, took on the challenge of a show car, his mission was to create something people would have fun with.
His “Hillbilly Rockabilly Redneck Wagon” – a 1949 Willy’s Jeep, in another life – boasts over 50,000 signatures and souvenirs and memorabilia from as far as Norway.
Sparky thinks the most outrageous addition to the wagon is a figure he purchased in rural Georgia, and said his only standard for additions to the wagon is that there is nothing obscene.
Vehicles were judged Saturday morning and prizes were awarded Sunday afternoon. Best in Show grabbed the biggest monetary award, $1,000.
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