OWASCO — Amidst a sea of custom-colored automobiles, some of them antiques, meandered hundreds of spectators — many of them fathers out enjoying their special day at the 19th Annual Prison City Ramblers Father’s Day Car Show, held Sunday at Emerson Park.
The Prison City Ramblers, a local car club, puts on the show annually, along with a host of other shows and cruise nights during the summer. Admission is free for spectators; charity organizations, food and a flea market are all parts of the experience.
Rich Netti, vice president of the Ramblers, said more than 600 vehicles rolled in throughout the day.
“I don’t think there’s anybody out there that doesn’t like to see old cars,” he said. “It’s free. It doesn’t cost them anything. The food here is really reasonable, it’s on the lake — beautiful Owasco Lake ... it’s all here.”
Besides being an event associated with Father’s Day, the show benefits local causes. Each year, the Ramblers choose different charities to which they will donate some of the proceeds from registration fees. This year, the Association of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Finger Lakes SPCA of Central New York, Chapel House, Freedom Recreational Services and Calvary Food Pantry will benefit from the show, Netti said.
In addition to registration fees, those showing cars were asked to bring along some canned food items to donate to local food pantries.
There was also a “Be the Match” bone marrow drive to memorialize Auburn native Nicholas J. DeSocio, who passed away in April after a battle with leukemia.
In exchange for helping the community, families were able to see some of the most impressive cars from the surrounding areas up close and personal. All along the rows of cars, fans young and old could be seen peeking under hoods and into windows to check out the shining engines and lavishly decorated interiors.
Bill Faulkner, of Sennett, visited the show with grandsons Tyler Faulkner, Mitchell Feocco and Timmy Feocco, as well as son-in-law Tim Feocco and daughter Brandi Feocco.
“We come every year,” he said. “It’s a tradition and we love cars.”
The family has fun seeing the sheer variety of cars at the show.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Bill Faulkner said. “We get a chance to walk around and look at cars. We make a list of cars we want to buy if we ever win the lotto.”
Those who brought cars to show were eyeing the trophies lined up next to the announcer’s booth. A panel of 10 Ramblers members spent the day choosing their 50 favorite autos, as well as 18 other vehicles to receive special prizes, such as the Best Ford, Best Interior and Best Street Rod awards.
This year, Robert Warner, of Marcellus, won Best in Show for his 1955 Buick convertible.
Ramblers president Ed Pinckney explained how this show is different from others and much more appealing to those showing their cars.
“It’s the size of the trophies,” he said. “The big trophies we give out every year.”
The absence of classes in the show also makes it more fun for people, Pinckney added. In most shows, all cars in one class would need to park together to be judged. In this show, there are no classes and you can park where you would like.
“People can park with their friends and family and make a family event of it,” he said.
Pinckney reminisced briefly about a car he had as a young man, saying that fathers enjoy reliving their younger days by looking at the cars that were around when they were young.
“When they come to the show, that’s what they’re looking for,” he said. “Cars they had when they were kids.”
Staff writer Kelly Voll can be reached at 282-2239 or firstname.lastname@example.org