Car lovers rev their engines at auto show in Maspeth

Car lover Tony Agosto shows off his 1970 Opel GT at the Maspeth Car Show over the weekend. Photo by Phil Corso
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Joe Wroblewski, owner of Frank’s Deli and Sons, watched in the morning sunlight as cars moved into position at the Maspeth Car Show Sunday. As they drove into the parking lot at Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, he would remark on their make and model, putting his enthusiasm for cars on full display.

“People love their cars,” Wroblewski said, as the annual car show got into gear for another afternoon of polished vehicles alongside family fun, including clowns, magic shows, live music and more. “I have owned cars since I was 15 years old. I must have had 175 cars total in my life.”

For the 11th straight year, the car showcase revved its engines to both raise money for Maspeth Town Hall and to honor Maspeth Firefighter Lt. Kenneth Phelan of Engine 217, who died in the line of duty during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

As many as 100 car lovers flocked to Queens from all over the area, including Long Island, Brooklyn and even Connecticut, to show off their trophies on wheels. For $20 at the gate, drivers were able to put their cars on display in an event that Wroblewski said typically raised as much as $14,000 over the entire 11 years in existence.

Tony Agosto came from Brooklyn to stand proudly next to his 1970 Opel GT, quickly shooting off key specs about the car like its four-cylinder engine. As onlookers would pass, he would share with them the history of his journey in the hobby.

“I bought and restored this over the course of a year,” Agosto said. “Since then I have just been having fun with it. It’s a labor of love. It’s a passion you have.”

Most importantly, Agosto made it clear he was getting the most out of the shining red car.

“She handles beautifully,” he said.

Nearby, Maspeth Town Hall Executive Director Eileen Reilly worked with volunteers to facilitate an all-day raffle, which raised money for her nonprofit community center. Though she admitted she was not too much of a car buff herself, she said she enjoyed seeing all the passionate supporters flock to Maspeth year after year to participate.

“We are very appreciative of what they help us with out here,” Reilly said. “Every dollar means a lot to Town Hall.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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