Classic cars finally roar back into town for the Syracuse Nationals

Local News

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV)- The New York State Fairgrounds sign says it all, “Welcome Back, Syracuse Nationals”.

At 5:30 a.m. Friday, about 6,000 classic cars and trucks roared onto the fairgrounds for the largest car show in the Northeast. All the owners excited to return to “their” spot.

Robert Albright of Stow, Massachusetts said, “We get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, this is our place. This is where the Massachusetts guys come. We’ve been coming here for 20 years. We say it’s our place now.”

Many are particular about where they park. Whether it be Chevy Court, the Exposition Center, or the Toyota Coliseum, there are plenty of places to choose from. President of Syracuse Nationals/Right Coast Inc., Rob O’Connor refers to the State Fairgrounds as their own little town this time of year.

Kevin Mcclure of Waterford, New York said, “This is a big venue here. So people get a lot of cars in here and a lot of people and it’s pleasant up here and it’s not that far from where we are, just a couple of hours.”

Car owners this year came from 34 different states. They’re friendly and not shy about sharing their passion and their knowledge about the classics. Just ask them.

Albright describes his car, “1940. Ford. Standard coupe. The standard coupe was not the luxe so it was a little cheaper car. It cost $740 brand new in 1940.”

O’Connor says, “That’s one thing that car guys like to do is talk about their cars. You go up to any car here and you talk to any owner and they’ll tell you all about their car, how they did it, what they did special to it. Absolutely, you can learn a lot here for sure.”

Terry Lawton of Pennellville, New York recalls, “The unique thing is we won this car. It was the giveaway car in 2008 built by Tucci Motors and it’s really a nice car built from the ground up and we have a lot of fun with it.”

You have to have a registered car at the event in order to win a car like Lawton’s. Now, he brings his prize along with his first car, a 1939 Ford Roadster.

Other than feasting your eyes on all the classics, there’s a few new featured events to scope out too.

O’Connor said, “We have nitro row it’s called. So we have a bunch of nostalgia drag cars that will fire up and make a lot of noise periodically throughout the day. We also have remote control drag races. We also have the designers dozen awards and the signature showcase cars inside of the expo building.”

It’s an experience you have to see for yourself. The event continues Saturday 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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