By ADRIANA ALFARO
Glossy bold paint, buttery leather seats and fuzzy dice perfectly furnished Larry Rutherford’s 1957 Bel Air Wagon. For 25 years, Rutherford has driven his car daily. It was only until 2012 when he began to modify the car.
Rutherford, who sat comfortably in a folding chair beside his larkspur blue car, showcased his “Boardwalk Top 10” plaque from the 2017 Wildwood Motor Event, along with a matching larkspur blue Bel Air cooler, mini-fridge, and electric guitar.
For decades, Sea Isle City has drawn thousands of vehicle enthusiasts and history buffs with a grand display of antique cars and trucks along the oceanfront Promenade.
Several visitors put up tents and seats to enjoy the day’s festivities, ready to answer any questions about their classic American or European automobile.
The display of vintage cars Sunday made your typical Promenade stroll exceptional. You might have briefly believed that you were transported back to the 1970s. All that was missing was a root beer float in hand.
The event was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second day of the annual Fall Family Festival. Fortunately, the weather forecast called for perfect conditions for the event, which would take place rain or shine.
Many of these automobiles have intriguing backstories, as do their owners.
Rosario Zappala recalls selling his 1979 MGB and repurchasing it after three years.
“I’ve had it for four years now. I recently had it painted and put it back in the show,” Zappala shared. “We were so excited that I even purchased a 1979 MGB Midget for my wife.”
The outside of the British roadster is dressed in a stunning pewter silver metallic over a black premium leather interior. The convertible top makes it perfect for cruising around town on a hot summer’s day.
This is the couple’s third time attending the car show. They have also attended the Skimmer Festival this past June and last year’s Fall Family Festival.
Further down the Promenade, Charles Lind of Woodbine showcased his 1947 Ford sedan, which he acquired from its original owner. It had been in a garage since 1947, until he purchased it.
The slick blue car was complemented with chrome accents and a black leather interior.
“I’ve re-done everything on it; it’s a hot rod now,” Lind said.
He and his wife have attended Sea Isle’s car show far too many times to count.
Those who attend the car show love meeting other auto enthusiasts and discussing the history of their vehicles.
Joseph Satkosky, a Sea Isle resident, has been a consistent attendee of the event since 1986. This year, he arrived with his 1985 Eldorado Biarritz, which he has owned for almost 30 years.
Although Satkosky sees the same cars year after year, it’s the opportunity to meet new people and engage in meaningful conversations that keeps him coming back.
“We start talking about cars and then go on to other topics.” Satkosky said. “It’s just a nice day to talk to people; that’s what I like most.”
At 1 p.m. a spectacular display of automobiles paraded through town, concluding the Fall Family Festival of 2022.
For more information about upcoming events, go to visitsicnj.com.