Annual Saugerties car show benefits post-prom party

Darren and Morgan Nagy stand next to their vintage vehicles at the annual Winter Dust Off Car Show. (photos by Robert Ford)

For those that like their speed violent and unrepentant, Carroll Shelby built the Cobra. It will also take a ‘Vette owner’s lunch money.

It’s been referred to as the platypus of vehicles, neither fish nor fowl. It’s a vehicle whose makers never really knew what segment of the car-buying public they wanted to attract. Is it a car or is it a pick-up truck?

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Daniel Sachar, a senior at Saugerties High School, shrugs off the barbs and queries about the 1979 blue El Camino he’s standing next to at the annual Winter Dust Off Car Show. Sachar, along with more than 130 other car, motorcycle, and pick-up truck enthusiasts, turned out for the tenth annual event this past weekend held in the high-school parking lot.

“It’s a really cool car,” says Sachar. In order to prepare his vehicle for the annual show, he had to rebuild its starter, which fell apart just days before the event.

Some of the older car restorers who brought their vehicles to the show shook their heads in sympathy. Sachar was now a member of their fraternity, which has taken a vow of poverty because of the cost of the parts to repair their babies.

Sue Sachar, who co-chairs the annual event, sighs when asked about her son’s car. Despite Daniel’s obsession, she said, she still loves him.

Sue Sachar said she was glad the annual event has made it for decade. Each year the number of vehicles and the number of those that love them has increased, she said.

Last year there were 115 vehicles, and this year more than 130 turned out.

The car show was begun by Rose and Kevin Mauro. Money from the event goes to the post-prom party for the seniors, Sachar explained.

Each year, the party is held at Wood ‘n Wheel, where the graduating seniors can skate, play games, eat, and just hang out for the night in a drug- and alcohol-free environment. The post-prom party has been taking place for 22 years.

Funding for the post-prom party was low ten years ago, so the Mauros suggested a car show as a way to raise the necessary money to keep the party going.

The Mauros ran the car show the first two years. Kathy and Tony Polizzi took it over and ran it the next three. Kathy Bonelli ran it in 2013. Missy Greco and Sue Sachar in  2014 and 2015. Sachar and April Young have been running it the last two years.

DJ Brian Rittie has been donating services for all the years of the car show, Sachar said. She also acknowledged the help of high-school custodian Keith Richards and members of the Parent, Teachers, Students Association who help.

Saugerties High School senior Daniel Sachar and his 1979 El Camino.

She also thanked Bob Siracusano of Sawyer Motors, who runs a car show of his own, this year on July 9 in the village. Siracusano and the Glasco Fire Department are the high school car show’s main sponsors. Dozens of other individuals and businesses also donate to the annual event, Sachar said.

This year vehicles came from all over the tri-state area, and from five different car clubs. Fifteen trophies provided by Don Roe Trophies of Saugerties are given out to entrants, two to Saugerties High School as Spirit Awards. Last year, one of those Spirit Awards went to Darren Nagy, who’s a senior at the high school this year.

The late Rudy Nagy was an avid vehicle restorer and left a 1966 Chevelle and a 1948 Ford F100 pick-up truck to his grandson Darren and granddaughter Morgan, a tenth grader. The two students cherish them.

Sachar said the annual car show was a success because of students like her son and the Nagys, along with the hundreds of other owners. Once the show ended Saturday afternoon, Sue Sachar and April Young, along with the dozens of other volunteers, started making plans for next year’s event.

The only sure thing at a car show is that someone will bring something really unique, such as this tricked out hearse with the obligatory casket.

Bored with quarter mile drag stripes, these two will light your fire on a road course. The Lotus, left, and Ford, right, were built to leave you smiling after a dash around the track at Lime Rock Park