Car dust-off comes to Merrick


On May 19, Merokeans and hundreds of other car enthusiasts dusted off their classic vehicles for the Long Island and New York City Oldsmobile Club’s 43rd annual Spring Dust-Off at the Four Towns Firemans Training Center in Merrick.

The annual show, which has been hosted at the Merrick venue for many years, was traditionally the first car show on Long Island after cars spent months in the garage during the winter. “We’re not always necessarily the first now,” Bob Jones, an Oceansider and vice president of the L.I. & NYC Oldsmobile Club, said, “but we’re one of the first and we’re the best.”

As the event’s name suggests, the show gives car owners the chance to dust off their cars and show them off for chances to win trophies awarded by a panel of judges. Merrick resident Ronald Holmes was hoping to add another honor to his impressive resume — he said he won 21 trophies last year with his 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88.

He had some stiff competition, though. North Merrick resident John Brokos brought out his 1958 Chevy Biscayne Sports Coupe, and East Meadower Carmine Petrasini showed off his 1966 Oldsmobile Delta 88.

Freeporter Charles Rowe had a 1975 Cadillac Sedan Deville, which he said was used on five occasions to drive two Von Trapp sisters — the children portrayed in “The Sound of Music.” The vehicle was dubbed “The Little Limo.”

Tom Walsh, a former Bellmore resident who recently moved to Massapequa and is president of the Oldsmobile Club, said there were two vehicles in particular that were new to him, and the show: two REOs, named after Ransom E. Olds, the founder of Oldsmobile.

Walsh said the vehicles are rare, and that Sunday was his first time seeing them at a car show. North Bellmore residents Joan and Jim Willock own the 1930 REO Mate. Oldsmobiles were produced from 1897 to 2004, and though they’re no longer in production thousands of people still dedicate themselves to the maintenance of them.