A collaboration of cardom

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Maybe Uncle Ralphie had a ’68 Camaro you drooled over.

Or it was cool Aunt Jennifer’s ’83 Datsun 280Z. Wow! Did that make neighbors stare!

And how about that 1957 red Thunderbird Cousin Dan had?

The stars will align on Sunday, June 26, where some of these babies, or those like them, will be displayed on Bellport Village’s Main Street via the Bellport Fire Department’s Classic Car Show, starting at 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It’s a free event. Come on down!

“We’ll have around 200 cars,” explained Bellport FD Engine Co. president Dan Polner, who organized the popular show. “We’ve got more space for parking cars on Main Street and Bellport Lane this year from the village.”

It’s the Bellport Fire Department’s third car show; some of the volunteers will even bring their own hallowed cars, like Robert Paulson with his ’72 Corvette. “A number of neighboring departments with volunteers are bringing their cars including Brookhaven, Patchogue, Medford, and Hagerman fire departments,” Polner said. “Also, Brookhaven councilman Mike Loguercio and some other officials.”

Planning began at the end of January, with the Long Island Car Club and Still Cruisin’ Car Club as co-sponsors.

“There’s a pretty significant classic car culture out here on Long Island,” Polner explained. “A lot of veterans own them. And it gives people a chance to see what’s in their garage.”

Years ago, men (and some women) would pull up their car’s hood and hunch over the engines, or lay flat underneath the chassis, mostly on weekends, working on a carburetor or some other cranky part. Radios played in the background and life’s issues, baseball scores, or the dilemma of trying to figure out the errant mechanical culprit, were thought about or discussed with a friend or relative.

Cars will be parked diagonally for maximum display and those memories will all come out. Owners are only too happy to talk about their pride and joy, where they got it, when, etc.

“Or they know where to get parts,” pointed out Bellport FD chief Dave Didio.

“It serves two purposes,” Polner said of the event. “To give back to the community and it brings in an influx of people who don’t normally shop here or visit.” Two musical groups will play: Killing Time, a hard-core punk band, and the Sweet Suzi Band, a modern rock, blues and soul band.

While the car show is free to the public, it is a fundraiser.

There are entry fees to display the cars: $15 pre-registration and $20 for day of the show. And 50/50 raffles.

“We’re also selling T-shirts,” Polner said, pointing out an example—his. (Items will be sold at the firehouse and four corners. Rolling Smoke barbecue food truck will be there.) “This is a 1954 Buick on the T-shirts and flyer,” he said. “LuAnn Thompson designed the front of the car, which is owned by Marge Bosco; it represents her husband’s car.” Bosco’s car was Best in Show last year.

“The hook is, the car that wins Best in Show gets on next year’s T-shirt and flyer.”

Five categories—Best in Show, Best Pickup Truck, Best Muscle Car, Best Resto-Mod, and Best Foreign Car—are up for trophies. Polner gave a shout-out to sponsor Dan Haynes of MVP Auto. (That’s his 1957 Ford Thunderbird to the right in the photo.)

“Dan provides significant financial support to help with the fundraiser, including the T-shirts,” said Polner. “He loves this event.”

Thirty BFD volunteers will be pitching in that day. The streets on South Country Road from Station Road to Bellport Lane and Brown’s Lane will be closed starting at 6 a.m.

The village’s vintage look is a big draw for the car owners, Polner said. “It’s very rare they get to show their cars with the background that matches the age of their vehicles.”

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