The New Jersey Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America held its annual car show as it always does, on the first Sunday in May, which this year was the 7th.
Last year, the show was moved to the Mennen Arena in Morristown NJ, so 2017 was only the club’s second time here, after being held in Florham Park for the last 5 or 6 decades.
Last year’s inaugural event at the new location is remembered for only one thing: the cold rain, which kept all but a hardcore 30 or so cars from showing up. With weather the one variable outside the club’s control, we all presumed that the odds would work in our favor and we would be blessed with a perfect spring day.
While nowhere near the washout of 2016, this year still required participants and spectators alike to deal with cloudy and somewhat cool temperatures for this time of year. At least the promised rain held off until about an hour before the show was done. In spite of the threats, turnout was decent, with some unofficial estimates putting the vehicle count at close to 200 cars. Spectators turned out in decent numbers too.
I was proud to have my Alfa Romeo, fresh from the AACA museum, on display, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was one of three Alfas at the show, joined by a rare Euro-spec Nuova Giulia sedan, and a one-owner Milano. The Italian car feast was rounded out by a Lancia Fulvia coupe.
British cars included an Austin-Healey, a stunning MGB-GT, and two Lotuses (Loti?), an Elan and a Europa (yes, all Lotus model names begin with the letter E).
AACA rules allow cars to be shown once they reach 25 years of age. So on a rolling basis, each new calendar year means that there is a new “class” of eligible cars. For 2017, 1992 and older cars can be shown, so it was a pleasure to see this beautiful ’92 Mercedes Benz 500SL on the showfield.
Of course, American makes dominate the display, including the so-called orphan manufacturers (those whose marques no longer exist). Below are some examples of these, including Pierce Arrow, LaSalle, Crosley, DeSoto, and Pontiac (still strikes this writer as odd to see Pontiac’s name with the others).
One does not need to be a member of AACA to enter a car into the show. One of the draws for members and non-members alike is the chance to win something, as this show is one of the few in the area which is judged (to AACA standards). The NJ Region recently switched from trophies (aka dust-collectors) to tool and duffle bags, to make for more practical prizes. It’s the generosity of the sponsors who help make it possible to have awards.
Here’s hoping for better weather in 2018!
All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.
7 thoughts on “The 2017 NJ AACA car show”
As always your coverage of an event like this is aways well done, albeit, not the whole show.
I’m very glad to see you included a picture of THE classic 60′ Vette, which I’m sure was the overall show winner.
Thanks for the comment. That silver C1 was, I believe, the only Corvette at the show. I don’t know if it won anything in its class, but keep in mind that all cars are judged to AACA standards.
It must have been nice to see a Fulvia Coupe out in the world instead of a BaT auction listing. Pretty car! That lovely Elan would look even better with a monotone paint job. The Europa looks to be nicely preserved or restored with the JPS black paint/gold trim right down to the F1 Manufacturers Championship plaque on the B pillar. A fine group of early T-Birds there too. That robin’s egg blue ’57 just screams 1950s! The good looking silver paint work flatters the ‘Vette, the nicest thing I can say about that unfortunate blob of plastic.
Hi Bob, thanks for the insightful comments. Yes, the Fulvia is lovely. The man who owns it is a friend from the AACA club. He also owns at least 2 other Lancias, including the Appia sedan which was shown at the 2016 show (there’s a photo of it within the post about that show).
My photo of the Europa does not do it justice. The car was spotless and the black paint without blemish. Certainly one of the nicest Europas I’ve ever seen. It was light too!
RE: the Corvette, even the guys who own C1 cars admit that they are not the best-driving things out there. I’m sure Mr. Maggio will appreciate your take.
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