Motorama drives hundreds of vehicles to downtown North Adams
Photo Gallery | 2016 Motorama
NORTH ADAMS — It was hot sun and hot cars, trucks, and motorcycles during Sundays 6th annual Motorama in the city's downtown.
Mayor Richard Alcombright said that he was thrilled with the turnout and number of vehicles participating. Event organizer Joseph Dean said that he believes over 500 vehicles were displayed on Main and Eagle streets, a portion of Ashland Street and most of the parking lot serving the downtown mall and Peebles.
"When Joe Dean brought this idea to me six years ago, he told me the only problem I would end up with is needing a bigger street," Alcombright said "this even has grown to be one of the biggest event we have downtown. It's just a piece of what we do all summer."
Dean said he was very pleased with the attendance and the vehicle volume.
"This year we are full," Dean said, referring to the vehicle display. "We are going to have to figure out what to do if it gets bigger. It will stay on Main Street. I wanted this as a Main Street event and it will stay on Main Street."
Events included an auction and a trophy presentation at the conclusion of the show. This marked the first year that the show capped a three-day event. A Friday and Saturday swap meet was organized by the Pop Cares organization and The city's Movieplex 8 and Mountain One Financial services hosted an outdoor showing of the movie "Grease" featuring a sing-along on Saturday night.
Car enthusiasts and families lined the streets and parking lot talking about the antique, classic and more modern but very flashy vehicles. Bella Lamore, 11, and Jacob Bugbee, 11, both of Stamford, Vt., were treated to a turn on an antique car rumble seat.
"I liked that rumble seat," Bella said. "I think all the blue cars are pretty."
"I like this because the cars look cool and they are different," Jacob said. "The speedometers look like video games."
Steven Lachowetz of South Hadley brought his 2015 Stingray Z51 track-ready car to the show.
"We've dressed it up a little bit with a little under hood airbrushing," he said. "This was a great day for a drive and I came over the Mohawk Trail (Route 2) which is a great road for a car like this."
Crawford's Service owner Andrew Newton saw a 1956 Corvette that generated a memory.
"I have a friend who had one of these cars back in the '60s and he had to sell it when he went to Vietnam," he said. "He's doing one over now, re-creating his old car. He even has the same plate that was from the 1960s."
Newton noted that when restoring cars or trucks, authenticity is vital.
"You want to keep it very periodical, like it was when they were new," he said.
Another crowd draw was a Chevy Camaro, which was the official pace car at the 53rd annual Indianapolis 500 race held May 30 1969.
Hoods were up and paint sparkled and flared in the afternoon sun all along the downtown. Most vehicles had an owner nearby to answer the many questions folks asked about the vehicles.
City Fire Director Stephen Meranti showed off the fire company's 1941 fire truck, purchased by the city new in that year for $10,000.
"This was a state-of-the-art truck in its day," Meranti said, and added that when the city purchased a fire engine in 2015, the cost was $425K.
The truck was refurbished in 2012 and is now used for parades and other special events, Meranti said.
Eilers Brothers Trucking of Readsboro, Vt., brought antique trucks to the show. Raymond Eilers said that the company and family have participated in all but the first event.
"We get a lot of encouragement from Joe Dean to do this," Eilers said.
Among the trucks was a 1955 Mack LTL that was restored in 2009 and a 1946 Mack pickup truck.
Downtown eateries that opened found their spaces packed. Eagle Street's Jack's Hot Dogs was full almost continuously with people ordering hot dogs, cheeseburgers, french fries and jalapeno and cream cheese poppers. Four staff members worked the counter and the grill consistently.
The Hub restaurant, 55 Main St., was open and offered numerous specialty drinks including a "Motorhead shot" made from Steel Rail Ale, whiskey and simple syrup.
"Oh, boy it was great today," said bartender Andy Racine. "Business was great, and the people who came in were awesome. people were from all over, from down South and from Canada. It was a great day. We killed it."
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