By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
COEYMANS HOLLOW — If cool cars and rumbling engines are your thing, Hot Rods in the Hollow was the place to be last weekend.
The 10th annual classic and antique car show had about 30 vehicles on display, from 1930s Model As to ‘60s muscle cars and late model vehicles of all sorts. Each one was polished and had its hood propped open for car aficionados to get a look at the engine and inner workings.
Hot Rods in the Hollow is held each year at Trinity United Methodist Church on Route 143. Paul Blendell, who worked on cars for 50 years, coordinates the show each year.
“We started 10 years ago,” Blendell said. “We did it as a good-will thing to hopefully get some people to come to the church. It’s a neighborhood thing — there are a lot of cruisers around this area. The show has been flourishing more and more every year.”
Car fans drifted from vehicle to vehicle, checking out the different styles.
Tim Rogers showed off his 1960s muscle car, which he lovingly restored with a friend over the course of about three years.
“This is a 1966 GTO, a real muscle car,” Rogers said. “It’s got all new stuff — we took the whole car apart and rebuilt it. That’s what you have to do with these things. If you want to own one of these cars, you have to work on it.”
Rogers started “cruising” at classic and antique car shows about eight years ago, and loves showing off his red muscle car with its Coke Bottle style — named for its resemblance to what glass Coca-Cola bottles used to look like.
“These cars are very Americana,” Rogers said. “It’s got all the cool factors — everything on it was state-of-the-art for the time. This is a car you would have seen at a drag strip back in the ‘60s.”
Tom Sweeney had one of the oldest cars in the show — a bright yellow 1939 Studebaker.
“I saw it for sale in Florida a dozen years ago and decided I couldn’t do without it,” Sweeney said. “I have some older trucks and a high-performance Shelby GT350. I’m into toys.”
For Timothy Keir, car shows are the place where he can display his green 1940 Ford sedan, which he rarely drives.
“I bought it from a yard sale in Delmar,” Keir said. “All my life I liked cars like this. I grew up with them.”
Car aficionados Sara Pruiksma and her husband Mike Rizzo are getting their two children started early on a love for classic cars — their toddler son and two-month-old daughter. And it’s not even their first visit to a cruiser car show.
“This is their second car show this year,” Pruiksma said. “My husband used to have a ’99 Firebird and that was a lot of fun, so we like to rekindle our love for cars, especially here at a local event. I really like the simplicity of the old cars.”
For Rizzo, having the car show in the local area makes it extra special.
“It’s nice to know these cars are in the community,” he said. “I think it’s really cool — you don’t see a lot of them driving around. You recognize some but it’s nice to see all of them here in one place. It’s a nice intimate car show.”
In addition to hot cars and cool ‘50s music, Hot Rods in the Hollow also had a serious side, collecting food and monetary donations for the church’s food pantry. Todd Deyo ran the music and collected donations, and hoped the annual show continues to grow.
“This builds morale and I hope it brings more people into church on Sundays,” Deyo said.