WEST LONG BRANCH: The annual West Long Branch Car Show at the community center brought out a steady stream of fans who love to peer under the hood of 4-cylinder and 8-cylinder "cream puffs' of yesteryear- as far back as grandparents can remember and grandchildren can ask questions about.
One classics car explorer, a septuagenarian herself, recalled the joys of those all-metal vehicle days when she enjoyed a ride down a narrow road through the not-too-distant countryside, with a picnic lunch basket in the back seat, and the fellow she later married at the wheel. He is recently gone, but her fond memories returned for a few moments.
"Those were the days, "she told her daughter who was touring the exhibit and enjoying the smile mother was lavishing on the shiny-fendered vehicle with running boards, a vestige of a different era.
Children were enjoying the day as well, climbing into the front seat of a Studebaker Lark where three could fit the wide front seat, a perfect expanse for a photo opportuning.
There was more than cars, including food for fun, a few 50-50 drawing on the hour and games for youngsters. The air was warm, with bright sun most of the afternoon.
The final step in the day's enjoyment was the awards:
"Viewers Choices" of a 1963 VW Dune Buggy owned by Peter Caruso; a'38 Corvette by John Giavaina; and a '55 Studebaker belonging to Dennis Jones
Mayor's Award went to a '36 Plymouth owned by Jim and Andy Cattelona
Community Center Trustees Award, a ;72 Cadillac Eldorado, Phillip G. Bauknight
McDonalds / Savastano Sponsors Award to Donald Joseph for a '55 Chevy Belaire
Thanks went to car aficionado Larry Mihlon who emceed the event (and its annual event production) and to the volunteer judges, booth managers and food suppliers who all contributed to a most successful affair.