On a warm and breezy Friday evening, Valley Stream residents strolled down Rockaway Avenue with their families to check out the line-up of vintage cars straight from the 1930s through the early 2000s. “My grandfather had this car,” one resident noted. “This makes me want to trade in my Honda!” another exclaimed.
Oldies music blasted from the speakers at the DJ tent next to the 50/50 raffle whose funds would be donated to the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce. The event was one of many classic car shows hosted by the village and the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce held every Friday throughout the summer, weather permitting.
Several car owners brought folding chairs to sit out on the street, answering people’s questions about their car’s history and a life’s worth of personal car stories. “I’ve wanted a Corvette since I was a little boy, and that’s no joke,” said Dean Rossano, the owner of a 1980 Corvette. “I’m 63 and always wanted one since I was 12 and bought this last year. It’s really rewarding knowing that people are looking at something that I take care of.”
Whenever children would stop at Mike Abruzzo’s Chrysler Prowler, he would push a button from his lawn chair across the street that made the painted hood with eyes and teeth roar. “I do it for the kids,” Abruzzo explained. “The car has a look of yesteryear with the features of today, and I don’t have to get on my back and wrench it constantly.” In fact, the car is one of only 616 Prowlers in existence with an Inca Gold-colored paint coat. Abruzzo’s love for vintage cars started early in life as a young mechanic. He’s had his car for 11 years and has been a regular of the car show.
“The kids love looking at the cars, and I’ve never been before, but live right near the event and walked down and saw it happening and love looking at the cars,” said resident Balram Bechan. “I have a vintage Porsche myself. I wanted to come to the event with my car but I didn’t know it was already happening.”
A live singer also serenaded the crowd before performing an acapella National Anthem as a salute to the veterans past and present. Deputy Mayor John Tufarelli gave a brief speech and thanked everyone who came and donated to the Chamber of Commerce and Operation Wounded Warriors.