NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> From cool classics to revved up hot rods, Historic Newtown Borough sizzled with a century’s worth of automotive history on Sunday.
From Centre Avenue to Jefferson Street, classic and antique vehicles, along with some of the latest super cars to come off the assembly line, were on display for everyone to see and enjoy.
The show is an annual summer tradition, staged in July by the Newtown Business Association to showcase Newtown as a great place to live, work, shop and play.
While the triple digit heat had an impact on attendance and on the number of vehicles that showed up, show chairman Gerry Couch was upbeat as he made his way down a very hot State Street after judging a number of classes.
“It’s a beautiful sunny day in Newtown with an extra emphasis on sunny,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of great cars come out. We didn’t get as many as we were expecting because of the heat unfortunately, but we have a good mix of cars. And our top cars are really impressive.”
As the hot July sun beat down on the pavement below, Couch said the turnout understandably is not what it would normally be. Typically the street is jammed with people. “But people still like to come out and see the cars. And there are some impressive ones to see this year.”
As temperatures reached the century mark, car enthusiasts and others sauntered down the street, inspecting engines, stealing peaks at the consoles and marveling at the workmanship of more than a century’s worth of automotive history.
Many were grateful for the cold bottles of water being sold in front of the Temperance House or the relief found inside air-conditioned stores and restaurants or in the shady spots long the street.
While the weather kept many indoors, for those who did brave the triple digit heat, the show did not disappoint, attracting some pretty impressive rides, including the showstopper - a 1934 Packard owned by Steve Thorne, which won best of show.
“That’s a terrific automobile. It’s a beautiful car,” said Couch. “There’s also a little ‘32 coupe down there that’s really nice.”
As if by design, Couch said the modified class, or the "hot" rods, were this year’s biggest class. “We also have a good representation of Corvettes here,” he said.
This year’s marque car - the Lincoln - included a nice mix of rides, but far fewer than what was expected due to the heat, said Couch.
At the opposite end of the spectrum was a 2019 ZR1 Chevrolet Corvette - “the most insane Corvette ever made” - capable of going from one to 60 mph on a dime and reaching a top speed of 212 mph.
The orange and black supercar was getting a lot of attention on State Street near Centre Avenue.
At the other end of the street, across from the historic Newtown Theatre, Newtown resident Skip Scarborough was braving the heat while showing off his 1966 289 Ford Mustang.
He purchased the 289 from Newtowner Dick Bye and has since had it restored. This was the first time he was showing his vehicle publicly.
“Unfortunately I picked a hot one,” he said. “It’s an experience, but I’m enjoying it,” said Scarborough.
“I love this show,” he added. “It always has a lot of cars - a big variety of cars,” he said. “It’s a window into the past and it shows the younger generations the workmanship, the mechanics and quality that went into these early cars.”
The annual Newtown Business Association’s Antique & Classic Auto Show has been a long running tradition since the mid 1970s when Dave Krewson (former NBA President) and fellow car buffs in the Association held the first auto show. Having no nucleus of cars to exhibit, they paid “The Trenton Horseless Carriage Club” to bring their cars to State Street on a Saturday in June and gave them each a $5 chit for lunch.
Best of Show - 1934 Packard owned by Steve Thorne.
Special Marque Lincoln - First Place, Carl Villone, 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition; Second Place, Gene Epstein, 1961 Lincoln Continental.
Best European Car - 1974 Jaguar XKE OTS, owned by Steve Wouch
Best American Car - 1956 Chevrolet 210 two-door sedan, owned by Bill and Linda Simms.
Best Asian - 1993 Subaru Samber owned by Joseph Smith.
Trucks - First Place, 1955 Chevy Pickup owned by Carl Katis; Second Place, 1959 Chevy Apache owned by James Tomlinson.
1930-1949 - First Place, 1930 Ford Model A two door Tudor owned by John Scheaffer; Second Place, 1930 Ford coupe owned by Jim Melson.
1940-1949 - First Place, 1940 Graham Hollywood owned by Roger Sternfeld.
1950-1959 - First Place, 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood owned by Standley Noll; Second Place, 1956 Chevy Bel Air convertible owned by Steve Mebs.
1960-1969 - First Place, 1965 Pontiac GTO owned by David Hawkins; Second Place, 1968 Chevy Camaro owned by Donald DeSmedt.
1970-1979 - First Place, 1974 Pontiac Trans Am owned by John Gibson; Second Place, 1976 Ford Granada owned by David and Maryann Stroud.
1980-1994 - First Place, 1993 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 convertible owned by Bob Boden; Second Place, 1983 Oldsmobile - Hurst Olds 15th Anniversary - owned by Patrick Lawson.
Corvettes - First Place, 1962 Chevy Corvette owned by George Altmeyer; Second Place, 1961 Chevy Corvette owned by Robert Lear.
Modified/Custom Cars - First Place, 1932 Ford 3-window coupe owned by Richard Weisbrod; Second Place, 1946 Ford Tudor owned by Frank and Nancy Steigerwalt.
Special Interest - First Place, 2013 Ferrari Spider 458 owned by Alan Krochtenger; Second Place, 1966 Ford Shelby Cobra owned by Jack Lefferts.
Foreign Cars - First Place, 1970 Mercedes Benz 300 SEL owned by Dominic Mari; Second Place, 1969 Mercedes Benz 280 SE coup owned by Bruce Rosenbaum.