Friday, July 8, 2016 was Collector Car Appreciation Day in the U.S., the seventh year in a row that such a date was recognized. The date was designated as per a U.S. Senate resolution which was passed with the support of various auto hobby lobbying groups, most notably SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association).
As part of this celebration, the New Jersey Region of the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) co-sponsored a car show held in the parking lot of the TD Bank Ballpark, the home stadium in Bridgewater NJ for the Somerset Patriots baseball team. This show was held on Sunday, July 10, 2016.
Turnout among NJ AACA members was impressive, with 20 cars from the club on display. The Street Dreams Car Club had also been invited to participate. Their cars and trucks leaned toward newer and /or modified, but not exclusively so. In total, there were close to 50 vehicles in the show. Ballpark employees roped and coned off a section of the lot, allowing us to park together, and game spectators meandered the aisles, enjoying the vehicular variety.
The parking lot show started at 3pm, and the ball game was scheduled to begin at 5pm. Around 4 o’clock, word went out that we all should start our cars and get into a queue near the back of the lot. A large gate swung open, and every show car was allowed to drive one parade lap completely around the field’s warning track. This Alfa Romeo owner had his wife, step-son, and two granddaughters in the car (FIVE occupants, a world record), and we thoroughly enjoyed the chance to see the ballpark from the vantage point of a vintage automobile.
At the conclusion of the parade lap, we all returned to the parking lot, and most of us entered the stadium to enjoy a little baseball. This was the first time that the NJ AACA helped conduct such an event, and I understand that the club has already decided to make this an annual occurrence.
All photographs copyright © 2016 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.