Sep 28 2012

Newsday: “Classic car coup: Rare autos on parade and on display in the park”

Newsday reported on the  3rd Annual Nassau County Cruise To The Show Parade, Car Show, & Music Fest to be held on Sunday. The Alco Black Beast will have the honor of being one of the cars leading the parade down Hempstead Turnpike beginning in Bethpage at 9:00 am.


Howard Kroplick

"Classic car coup: Rare autos on parade and on display in the park"

Originally published: September 26, 2012 1:51 PM
Updated: September 27, 2012 9:34 AM

Buffing the hood, shining the rims and revving the engine are just a few signature pastimes for classic car collectors. Car clubs from all over Long Island and the tri-state area are gearing up to bond over their love of rare automobiles at Nassau County's third annual "Cruise to the Show" Parade & Car Show on Sunday.

The day begins with a parade of classic cars down Hempstead Turnpike from Bethpage to Eisenhower Park. The event concludes with a free Eddie Money concert at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre.

What you'll see: Famous wheels

If you caught Eddie Murphy's "Vampire in Brooklyn," Jennifer Aniston's "The Bounty Hunter" or Russell Brand's "Arthur" remake, chances are, you've seen one of Frank Fauci's cars. The president/founder of the Mopar Power Club specializes in placing Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth cars in films, TV shows and magazines.

Fauci's prized possession, which he'll be displaying this year, is his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda featuring unusual custom touches like a parachute. "It's a little crazy," Fauci, 64, of North Massapequa admits. "I had it all redone, costing me thousands. I grew up with cars so they are part of me."

Speaking of nostalgia, Hollywood custom car designer George Barris will be on hand with his creations the Batmobile, the Munsters' Dragula and more.

 Corvettes aplenty

Since he was a teenager in the mid-'60s, Mike Tafuro, 61, of Farmingdale promised himself that he'd own a Corvette one day.

"It was a lifelong dream," says Tafuro, who drives a 2011 Corvette Grand Sport, which he'll bring to the show. "I always loved the look of a Corvette."

Today, Tafuro is the membership chairman of the Corvette Society, which boasts 240 members including Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, who drives a 1969 Corvette convertible.

"We have the biggest collection of older Corvettes," he says. "We have all the years covered."


Rare restored rides

After years of working construction, Theo Kojak, 57, of Baldwin, embraced his true love by opening his own car restoration and fabrication business, Bragging Rights, in Oceanside. As a member of the Southside Boys, he will showcase his 1940 Ford Thames at the show.

"Only 1,800 exist in North America, and we have one of them," he says.

At last year's "Cruise to the Show," Kojak was blown away by a '60s drag car with 4,000 horsepower. "I love listening to them start up," he says. "I could feel the thunder and the rumbling run through my whole body. I can't explain the excitement."

'Cruise to the Show' Parade & Car Show

WHEN | WHERE Parade starts at 9 a.m. Sunday in Bethpage, followed by show at 10 a.m. and concert at 3 p.m. at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. Rain or shine.

INFO 516-315-6397,

ADMISSION Free for Nassau residents ($10 per car nonresidents); $25 to register your car in the show


While you're there

EATING CONTESTS In addition to the cars, there will be a Hooters wing eating contest at 11:30 a.m. followed by a Mama Theresa's pizza eating contest at 2:15 p.m.

EDDIE MONEY Playing at a car show in Nassau County is like slipping on an old pair of shoes for Eddie Money. The Island Trees native has been a car guy since he was old enough to cruise up and down Hempstead Turnpike. He'll play a free staged concert at 3 p.m.

"I first heard my song, 'Baby Hold On,' on the radio while driving a 1969 Ford Fairlane on Long Island," says Money, who currently rides a 2006 Pontiac Solstice. "I was looking for a gas station to call my mother."


2010 Nassau County "Cruise to the Show" Event


Sep 30 2012 Bob Albertson 4:20 PM

Hi Howard,
I was on Steward Ave by the Railroad to see the Alco Black Beast.
The leader of the pack. I got to Steward Ave. just in time.

Sep 30 2012 earl gandel 10:04 PM

Hi, Howard,
Any possibility of a return engagement at Bridgehampton next Saturday Oct. 6?  There are still people here looking for a ride!  Thanks,  Earl Gandel

Sep 30 2012 Howard Kroplick 10:49 PM

Earl, the Alco Black Beast Team will be there!

Sep 30 2012 Howard Kroplick 11:04 PM

Guy L:

Thank you for sharing your 1909 Alco car today.  My 8 year old daughter and many other kids had a much nicer time because of it.

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