By MADDY VITALE
There was a whole lot of muscle on the Promenade in Sea Isle City Sunday afternoon – well, the kind that has a lot of horsepower – Mustangs to Impalas and all cars in between.
The 20th annual Gerard A. Desiderio Antique Auto Show gave car buffs, and even some newbies to the hobby, a wide array of classics to enjoy.
Pete Cicione, of Gibbstown, N.J., stood next to his 1970 Impala, proudly posing for a photo. The color of his gem was “Autumn Gold.”
The car has been in Cicione’s family for as long as he can remember. In fact, it was his mother’s car.
And at 86 years old, Connie Cicione still drives her former wheels every now and then.
“She drove it a couple of weeks ago. She still says it goes fast,” Pete Cicione said with a smile. “She’s careful, though.”
The 350-horsepower muscle car with its clean lines can easily hit 110 mph, Cicione noted.
And the car passed down a generation is no “garage queen” either, he noted.
“My wife and I drive it to car shows. We took it to Cape May and Ocean City recently,” he said.
For 25 years the car did sit, though. After Cicione raised his family, he decided to devote a bit of time to restoring the Impala.
“It has the original engine and 8 track player, but it has been partially restored and has a new paint job,” he pointed out.
One of the coolest things about the car is it will inevitably be passed down to one of Cicione’s sons. The car has become a treasured family keepsake.
The original sticker price highlighted the changes in the economy in 53 years. New, it was $4,304. That included extras such as power steering and air conditioning, big options back in the day. Safety measures included seatbelts and shoulder belts.
“It makes the car’s drivability better for today,” he said of the options. “I feel safe on the road driving it.”
A few cars down from Cicione’s muscle car was a gleaming red and white 1957 T-Bird convertible, which was a real crowd pleaser.
Owners Nick and Lisa Careyote, of Ocean View, even featured a fake burger and fries on a plate hooked to the window, as in the vintage — specifically, 1950s — days of drive-in restaurants.
“We make it fun for the kids,” Nick said.
And unlike some vintage car owners, the Careyotes were happy to let people sit in their restored beauty.
“We let kids sit in it all the time,” Lisa said.
Joe Smith, 29, of Philadelphia, stopped to admire the flashy car.
“It’s beautiful. I would drive it. It is nice and sleek. The red stands out. A Thunderbird is a real classic,” Smith said.
From muscle to flashy styling to sports cars, there was something for all car lovers to ogle.
Bob Mills chatted with fellow auto buffs who checked out his British sports car, a 1962 MG in “Racing Green.”
Mills, of Seaville, was joined by his Irish setter Sheamus, who occupied the passenger seat of the MG.
“I’ve had the MG for about seven years. I take it to all of the local shows,” Mills said, adding that it is one of several classic cars he has in his collection.
He also has a 1955 Packard Clipper and a 1950 Studebaker Land Cruiser.
And the retired ship captain’s latest project is restoring his father’s 1946 Indian Chief motorcycle with a sidecar.
“Maybe Sheamus could ride in the sidecar,” Mills said with a laugh.
To check out more activities in Sea Isle City go to, www.VISITSICNJ.com.