By MADDY VITALE
From the 1930s when elegance ruled, to the chrome and fins of the ’50s, to the muscle cars with straight lines and a lot of horsepower of the 1960s and ’70s, there was a lot to admire during the Vintage Car Show in Sea Isle City on Sunday.
Car owner Bob Hale, of Sewell, N.J., waited until his children were grown before he dug into a restoration project.
And after six years, the hard work paid off, he said, as he sat next to his high-gloss red showpiece, a 1963 Plymouth Sport Fury, displayed on the Promenade.
“It’s about 90 percent restored,” Hale explained. “There are still a few more things to do. It’s my first restoration. I had to wait until the kids were grown so that I could afford it.”
And the attention Hale gets from people is another exciting payoff for the arduous work to bring the car back to its original condition.
“A lot of people give me the thumbs-up when they see me on the road,” Hale noted. “I take it out every day.”
Hale said that while his classic car is always garage kept, “She is no garage queen.”
Families took in the spectacular weather and the classic cars that ranged from unique to just plain cool. There was a 1966 Pontiac GTO, a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird and a host of others that delighted the onlookers.
The vintage car show wrapped up Sea Isle’s two-day Fall Family Festival celebration, an event that attracted thousands of visitors to town.
PJ and Shawna Yaeger, of Lafayette Hill, Pa., brought their children, Colette, 2, and Kyle, 5, to the show while visiting family in Sea Isle.
“We come down a lot, as often as we can, to see family,” PJ said. “We love it here.”
Shawna remarked that the children were enjoying the vintage car show.
Kyle wondered about some of the cars.
“Why are the hoods up?” he asked his parents.
PJ and Shawna smiled and then the family took a peek under the hood of Hale’s car.
Terry Mason, who has a vacation home in Sea Isle, spent the day babysitting his grandchildren, Bennett, 5, and 10-year-old Vivian, of Kennett Square, Pa.
They rode their bicycles onto the Promenade to see the cars.
“Unbelievable,” Mason said, as he looked at a sticker on a 1932 Chevy Confederate that listed the price of the car back in the day at $445. “It is just amazing.”
The car gleamed from a high-gloss polish on the chrome. The paint job was pristine.
“The car is beautiful,” Mason noted.
But the 70-year-old Mason had his eye on a car that took him back to the days when he was in his 20s. It was a 1964 Chevy Chevelle.
“I had a ’67 Chevelle. I loved that car,” Mason recalled.
He still owns some old vehicles, including a 1972 Datsun and a 1987 Mercedes.
“Maybe I will put the Datsun in the show next year,” Mason said.