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Massapequans Show Off Hot Wheels

The Town of Oyster Bay’s Classic Car Cruise Nights returns for yet another exciting summer season, and hot rod lovers from Massapequa and beyond are turning out from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday nights to strut their automotive stuff.

Cruise Nights, which have been going strong for over 10 years, run though August 20 and take place in the parking lot of the Massapequa Long Island Rail Road station. Admission for car owners who wish to show off their wheels is simply two cans of any food item; The Town of Oyster Bay has partnered with local charity Island Harvest to use the event to help feed the needy.

Cruise Nights offers car enthusiasts an opportunity to hang out, talk, and, most importantly, display the objects of their love for the public to enjoy--modern and classic vehicles of all shapes, sizes, and horsepower.

Mike Fazio of North Massapequa was on hand with his 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe, impressing passers-by with its power and sharp looks.

“It’s got the special Z-51 performance handing package, and it’s rated at 436 horsepower,” he said. “I just love the car...this is my fourth Corvette in my lifetime. My first one that I had was back in early 70’s. I’m in a local club called Long Island Corvette Owner’s Association, and it’s probably the biggest Corvette club on Long Island. We actually prefer doing this Massapequa show over many others because it’s more relaxed and the spots are bigger.”

James Pugliese of Massapequa rolled onto the Cruise Nights parking lot in his limited-edition 2010 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Hall of Fame Edition Camaro. A huge fan of the late, legendary NASCAR racer, Pugliese knew he had to have one when they were announced by Earnhardt’s own Chevrolet dealership in North Carolina.

“This is one of ten cars that was made in 2010 by Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet...they were made in honor of Dale’s induction into the Hall of Fame,” he said. “I called the dealership up, made the deal, give them my trade-in, and six weeks later the car was delivered to my house...I love it because it’s a Dale Earnhardt and it’s a tribute to him.”

Massapequa Park resident Joe Baeyens is the owner of a true classic—a mint-condition 1934 Ford Cabriolet convertible with a rear rumble seat—which he has lovingly maintained for 50 years.

“I went to look at a car I saw in the paper, and the guy also had the Cabriolet just sitting in his yard...walked around it twice, and then I bought it for $350,” he said. “It had everything all there, but it all needed to be re-done. I’ve re-done it a few times, the last time was in 2003. I put a lot of money into it then, I repainted it, new interior, new front end, all of that. I’ll never part with it.”

Massapequan Dennis Shimborski also had a bonafide classic in his possession that drew more than its fair share of impressed onlookers- a 1923 Ford T-Bucket, which he said doesn’t leave his garage it there’s even a hint of rain in the air.

“I found it five years ago...since then I’ve put in a new engine and radiator, new tires, and did some interior work,” he said. “I’ve always wanted one ever since I was a kid, and when I went thought my mid-life crisis five years ago, my wife was nice enough to allow me to get it. It took a while to get used to driving my dream car, but it’s a good feeling.”