After a stormy Saturday night, the sun was bright and warm for the sixteenth annual Sawyer Motors Car Show, which drew 600 to 700 hot rods, production models, customized cars and motorcycles, according to organizer Bob Siracusano, owner of Sawyer Motors in Saugerties.
In addition to organizing and promoting the show, Siracusano donated some $40,000 to half a dozen charities and individuals in need, as well as soliciting donations from the audience through the “sale” of large pillows.
One of the more unusual machines was a three-wheel vehicle that could be considered either a super-powered motorcycle or a three-wheeled car. Owner John DuPika of Staatsburg explained that the vehicle was powered by a 1948 Ford flathead V8 motor with some Harley Davidson parts, but mostly “stuff I acquired from everywhere – mostly catalogues, after-market parts.” The machine was listed for purposes of the show as a 1948 Ford Trike.
Some owners entered more than one vehicle. Timmy Snow had three vehicles in the show, though his name did not appear on any of them. He stripped down a 1924 Dodge Brothers touring car, owned by Ryan Arnold; a 1969 Pontiac, restored in 1985 and again in 2012, owned by Allison Shultis; and a skeletal 2004 Sandrail.
Carl Boxtie’s 1940 Ford travels to car shows and other events. Boxtie and Joy Diamond reenact the lives of the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. The car seemed perfect as a vehicle for the couple, currently engaged. Boxtie praised the restorer, who had to clear away years worth of red clay that had encrusted the vehicle, but under the clay the car was in beautiful shape. The car was powered by a flathead V8 engine, the engine that was in it when it came off the assembly line. “We have the original clothing [style] of Bonnie and Clyde, but it was too hot to wear it today,” Boxtie said.
While the cars may have drawn most of the 15,000 people Siracusano estimated were in attendance, a good crowd came to see the awarding of prizes and the donations Siracusano makes to local charities. This year’s recipients were:
• Saugerties Animal Shelter: Adele Zinderman is the daughter of the late shelter founder Marie Post and the founder of the Saugerties Animal Welfare Fund. The shelter is in need of a new building, and is seeking funding for it. Sawyer Motors Foundation donated $2000 to the fund. The facility is seeking a $500,000 state grant for animal shelters.
• Youth Leadership Development: Kristin Backhaus, representing the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce, said the group had recently started a youth leadership program to develop leadership skills in students in Kingston and Saugerties High Schools and Ulster Boces. The Sawyer Motors Foundation donated $2500 to the program.
• Saugerties Boys and Girls Club: Sawyer Motors helps raise money for this service to the town’s youth through an annual auction. Dan Whalen, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ulster County, said, “We are a community organization, and we want to be par to everything that goes on in this community.” The club helps young people reach their potential and become role models in their communities, he said. Siracusano said he and his organization are big supporters of the club, and presented Whalen with a check for $3000.
• American Legion baseball team: Coach Jerry Malgieri said the club’s objectives were to teach the kids about baseball and also to teach them a little bit about life. “We are one of the revered programs around the state, which is a good thing,” he said. The team, which is sponsored by American Legion Post 72, the Lamouree-Hackett Post, received $3000.
• The Saugerties Police Department: The canine unit received $3000. Sergeant Jeremy Roshkoski introduced Canine Max. There is a second dog in training. Canine Max specializes in sniffing out drugs.
• Hope Rocks: The organization sponsors a grassroots Hope Festival, which features visual artists, filmmakers, performers and activities “to lighten the darkness of addiction and depression,” explained Logan Callahan, an active member and musician. This year’s Hope Rocks festival is set for August 17 and 18 at Cantine Memorial Field. Siracusano donated $5000 to the organization.
• The Jones family: Madison Jones is suffering from cancer, and Sawyer Motors is donating $5000 towards the cost of her treatment. As the donation was announced, Bob Siracusano’s brother Larry offered an additional $5000, and his daughter Macy added yet another $5000. Macy’s family – father, Todd; mother, Christi and Madison – were on hand to receive the donation.
The annual car show is one of the highlights of Siracusano’s generosity to the community. He also sponsors the annual Holiday in the Village celebration and an annual auction – plus other community-minded activities.