Despite some rain Sunday morning, about 80 cars cruised into Washington Park for the Dunkirk Historical Society's first cruise-in.
The idea of board member Ryan Corbett, the cruise-in is an effort to bring the Washington Park area to life again, as well as to raise funds for the historical society.
Paul Krumm enjoys restoring cars and attending these events. He is a member of Lake Shore Street Cars which will have its cruise-in at Point Gratiot on July 8.
OBSERVER Photos by Diane R. Chodan
Top: Joan Planty and Jim White stand by a 1959 Ford Fairlane Galaxie Skyliner convertible. It features a retractable hard top. White said it is a rare car. The car was made from 1957-1959.
Above: Kayla Salerno does some cleaning inside her grandfather’s car. Bob Salerno of Fredonia owns this car as well as a street rod with a 1947 Ford body and modern Chevy engine. Recently, Bob and his son “Bob Also” drove 600 miles to a National Show in York, Pa.
Krumm was willing to explain about the different kinds of cars. Some are true antiques, meaning that the body and engines are true to the original model. Others are custom cars, which allows the change of body style. Still others are what Krumm termed "rat rods." These cars are built using different types of body parts.
About the rat rod, he said, "This is a good way for younger people who may not have a lot of money to get involved in the sport."
Those who brought cars enjoyed meeting with other car owners and discussing their cars. All were friendly and willing to answer questions.
There were a number Chevy Bel Airs. Ed and Eleanor Lemiszko sat by their 1957 four-door blue-and-white model. Eleanor said, "This was a four-door and meant to be a family car."
Jim White, founder and president of Jim White's Truck and Auto, explained that he owns a number of classic cars. "Any day that it doesn't rain, I drive them. I figure I might as well enjoy them."
Joan Planty said, "When we first started going out, he drove a different car on every date."
White brought a light blue and white two-tone 1959 Ford Fairlane Galaxie retractable convertible Skyliner to this show.
Unlike most convertibles, this is a hardtop convertible. White explained the car was made from 1957-1959 and called the car "rare."
Sam Mancuso, the owner of a purple and silver 1937 Ford Slant Back said he bought the vehicle as a Christmas present last year. "I have a three-year plan. I want to paint it next year, put in some pink highlights to make it mine. The third year, I would like to put in a different interior, using some leather."
David Blodgett was showing a 1959 Ford converted into a limousine. He said, "The car was Henry Ford II's uncle's car. It was one of 49 made."
Blodgett's dad worked for the Ford Motor Company in a number of different places, and used to watch for good used cars. This car is all original. Blodgett says he just takes it to shows.
Besides the classic cars, the Untouchables provided classic music for those attending. Hot dogs and Tony's Waffles were available, while the Historical Society sold some of its merchandise at a tent.
Tony Popielarz and Scott Wele were serving up chicken barbecue by Mike Porpiglia. Popielarz said, "Anything to help the historical society. They really deserve the support."
The Dunkirk Historical Society's building was open to the public for free during the afternoon. Inside, Denise Griggs, volunteering at the entrance said, "There is a nice list of people who have come in today. People have enjoyed remembering how beautiful things were. There are so many things here."
Downstairs, Bob Harris, retired from Lake Shore Printing, was explaining some of the exhibits housed there.
Diane Andrasik, president of the society, was busy in the park taking pictures of some of the details of the cars, including hood ornaments.
Andrasik said, "We are grateful to all who came with their wonderful cars. We want to thank Piede Brothers for the tents, and the vendors who came, Ryan Corbett who had the idea and organized it, the Parc Committee, and Michele Bautista who painted the windows on our building to make them look better, and anyone else who helped. We hope that the event will be even bigger next year."
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