Auto show at Saugerties High School celebrates 9th year

The license plate on this 1971 Goat (GTO) says it all. (photo by Robert Gordon)

The license plate on this 1971 Goat (GTO) says it all. (photo by Robert Gordon)

Some were chopped and channeled, others were moon-wheeled. Some had candy-coated paint jobs, while others were their original colors. Some were restored by teens, husbands and wives, and some haven’t been touched since the day they rolled off the assembly line.

Some were built for the track and others the road, and a few weren’t even close to how their original builders envisioned them.


But the one thing all the cars and motorcycles had was that they were all old and they were all someone’s baby.

For many who rolled out their rides for the annual Winter Dust Off Auto Show at Saugerties High School, it was a chance to show off hundreds of hours of lovingly restored engines and sheet metal. For others, it was a chance to show off what thousands of dollars can get you, and for still others it was a way to relive their youth.

Now in its ninth year, the car show run by the Parents, Teachers, Students Association raises money that goes towards fun, sober after-prom celebrations.

Sue Schar, who co-hosts the annual event with April Young, said this year’s show was the biggest yet, with 115 vehicles and three motorcycles.

And while many of the participants are from the Saugerties area, a number of vehicle owners bring their rides from up and down the Hudson Valley.

Bill and Veronica Voerg brought her pea soup green 1979 VW camper, which had a lot of practicality and a little bit of hippie van in it. Why a VW camper? Veronica responded inscrutably, “Why not?”

The van naturally came from the land of the hippie, Colorado, from where the Voergs had it transported. It’s their home away from home, and according to Veronica her everyday vehicle. “I’ve always wanted one,” she said.

Anthony Bibiano of Marlboro brought a motorcycle, a 2011 Suzuki. And while it isn’t old, it was cool. The bike was encased in fiberglass bones, and he calls it the Grim Reaper.

“I wanted something different,” he says of his ride. “I had this idea and took the bike to Pit Stop Motor Sports in New Jersey and they fabricated the fiber glass skeletons. And it looks great.”

Ulster County sheriff’s officer John Lalima brought his daughters and his 1993 Chevy 510. He said a friend had talked him into having an antique auto. He said the pickup truck is a work in progress. He became such a car enthusiast that he formed his own car club in Saugerties, Assorted Illusions.

On the less expensive side of antique auto ownership is Saugerties High School student Tyler Cunningham, who recently purchased his first car, a 1991 Chevy Caprice, not a car one would usually expect to see at an auto show. Cunningham beamed with pride when asked about his ride.

It has a 305 hp, V-8 tucked under the hood, and the seats are to die for. The original-equipment fanny holders are overstuffed, sofa-like, corduroy-covered seats that would rival the comfort of any high-end couch. And best of all, “The car cost $805, has only 87,000 miles, and I got it from an auto auction in Red Hook,” Cunningham said. “I wanted something I could enter in car shows, and this fit my budget and desire not to spend too much money.”

The owner of every car, truck, and motorcycle had at least one story to tell about their vehicle, and that’s best part of this annual event.