Car lovers unite for antique auto show at Farm Museum

Antique car lovers marvel at different vehicles showcased at last weekend's auto show at the Queens County Farm Museum. Photo by Phil Corso
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Larry Micera and his son of the same name stood beside his model 1961 Thunderbird car with pride. With each passing hobbyist, another conversation ensued.

“This is what brings me out here,” Micera, of Mineola, L.I., said, motioning to a field of vendors and more than 100 antique vehicles on display at the Queens County Farm Museum. “You make a lot of friends and we’re all in love with the same thing.”

Car lovers united last weekend when the Greater New York Region Antique Automobile Club of America sponsored one of the many season-opening auto shows in conjunction with the Queens County Farm Museum.

For $5, drivers parked in rows to showcase their most prized sets of wheels. It was one of the cheaper shows in the area, according to GNYR Vice President Paul Parnes.

“We’ve been doing this for so many years that it’s become a tradition,” Parnes said. “It’s not about the cost. It’s a family affair.”

More than 100 drivers came through the antique auto show Sunday to celebrate the 34th year of the event, showcasing a variety of cars, foreign and domestic, dating back to the 1920s.

GNYR President Mike Sussman smiled and waved at drivers as they wheeled onto the display field, making it known that he was an antique vehicle maniac.

“I’ve got motor oil in my veins,” Sussman said.

He marveled at the specifics of each passing car and giving lessons on different specs.

“We’re looking at America’s history on wheels,” Sussman said. “We’re also here to learn about how to make cars better.”

Spectators and drivers patrolled the field of antique vehicles, checking under the hoods and inside for a closer look at the various Studebakers, Cadillacs, Fords, Chevys and other historical cars.

Mike Radomski sat next to what he said used to be a 1967 Beetle, grinning at the transformation he had executed.

As an electrician by trade from Valley Stream, L.I., Radomski took it upon himself to use recycled materials to reinvent his model car with items such as pieces of window trim, subflooring from a kitchen and recycled pieces of a box spring mattress.

“I’m handy, so I’m always doing something with my hands,” Radomski said. “These things are cheap to make, fun to play with and super reliable. I love them.”

Sussman said the gathering has become a fraternity of antique vehicle owners, but membership has dwindled as model cars have become more nostalgic. He said he has not seen too many young people as interested in the hobby.

But Micera said he was doing his part in passing down the tradition. After attending so many similar antique auto shows over the years, Micera said his son Larry recently bought his own collector’s car and was happy to showcase for the first time as father and son.

“The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree with us,” Micera said.

Sussman said the antique auto show season culminates every year in June with the annual Spring Meet. This year’s 46th annual event is scheduled for June 3 at Old Westbury Gardens, in Old Westbury, L.I., and should feature as many as 600 cars.

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

Posted 8:08 pm, May 2, 2012
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