, Derry, New Hampshire

May 30, 2013

Rotary Club puts classic wheels on display

Rotary car show draws owners and fans

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — The chrome was shining and the motors running.

Cameron Frizzell, 7, of Londonderry had a pretty good idea of which were his favorites.

“The gray one, the Mustang,” he said pointing to a shiny model lined up in the parking lot at the Londonderry clock tower.

It was the 22nd annual Londonderry Rotary Club car show, held Monday under sunny skies. Car fans came from all over the state, Massachusetts, even Maine to show off their roadsters, antique trucks, motorcycles and other classics.

The show had been postponed to Monday due to Sunday’s dismal forecast. This was only the second time in show history the rain date was used.

The turnout was a good one.

“People have been cooped up all week,” Rotarian Faye Sell said. “They want to get out and enjoy the day.”

About 150 vehicles had registered for the annual show, one of the Rotary’s biggest fundraisers of the year.

Cameron grabbed a cheeseburger from the food stand and went on to explore the shiny vehicles.

“I love these cars, they are so cool and fascinating,” he said. “I just wish I could go inside.”

Some cars had their hoods propped open so spectators could get a good look at the engine. Many were for sale that day. Some sported vanity plates, including “4R30TH” and “SNUZULUZ.”

Not all cars were officially antiques. Tom Popolaski proudly showed off his 2013 jet black Camaro SL1 to anyone who was interested. Every few minutes, he would give his shiny car a quick dust with a cloth.

“Most people ignore me because it’s a brand new car,” he said. “And it only has 500 miles on it.”

Bringing his car to a show is part of the fun of ownership and the chance to show off a prize.

“It’s also the music,” Popolaski said. “I’m glad I was born when I was, you get to appreciate the cars.”

It’s also a family affair as his wife, Jeanne, son Thomas, 9, and daughter Jessica, 10, came along for the show.

“He picked me up the first time (after we met) in a 1973 TransAm,” Jeanne recalled. “At that time, I also had a 1966 Mustang.”

Rotarian Bill Basler said the show often brings back fond memories of a first car, a parents’ car or one that someone always dreamed of owning.

“They get to remember back when they were younger,” he said.

Lois Porter brought a 1956 Ford Thunderbird from Franklin. She and her husband, Bill, spent about 20 years on the car’s restoration to get it as close to the original detail as possible.

“We didn’t know anything about cars,” she said. “Bill saw this and said he wasn’t going to buy it, then he came home with it one day on a flatbed.”

Porter said she loves to attend car shows and cruise nights, and meet others with similar interests in the classics.

“Our kids are all grown and out of the house,” she said. “I like to get out and meet new people.”

Trophies were given at the conclusion of Monday’s show for top winners in various classic categories. Proceeds from the car show support the Rotary club’s many community projects and missions on the local, national and international levels.