Around the Island

‘Chopped, channeled, nosed and decked’

Some 75 cool cars put their best rubber forward Saturday, June 30 for the Shelter Island Historical Society annual car show at Fireman’s Field.

The cars ranged in age from Fred Ogar’s early 20th century Model T Fords to a 2005 Aston Martin. Probably the rarest and most sought after vehicle was a 1955 Mercedes 300 SL gullwing coupe. Next in rarity and high price was the Dino Ferrari (named by Enzo Ferrari after his son, Dino who died).

The owner of the gullwing beauty is Ed Boyd of Southold, who said he drove the car to college and then law school. He’s had it for a while. 

A 1958 Porsche Speedster looked showroom perfect. Owner Anthony Stillitano said he drove it over from Southampton and brought the side curtains because rain was predicted later in the day. The Speedster was a true roadster (real roadsters never had roll up windows) that collectors seek, like all older Porsches.

A 1929 Model A Ford owned by Charlie Tinnin of Cutchogue caught the eye because of its original picnic basket and what appeared to be the original brushed-on black paint.

A vintage Citroen.

Jim Pugh was happy to talk about his recently acquired 1948 Jeepster. He displayed a sign that listed all the modifications on the predecessor of today’s Jeeps that we seem to see everywhere. But they were not made by Chrysler then. They were built in Toledo, Ohio by Willys-Overland.

Gene Shepherd explained the feats his 1947 Mack Tow truck was able to accomplish. The massive vehicle is capable of lifting boulders and ripping out tree stumps.

John Germano of Mount Sinai proudly spoke about his MGB GT with British racing green paint and a black interior. He said he did all the woodwork restoration in the car.

A customized 1930s Ford.

William Rodgers’ Jaguar XK140 roadster was near perfect. It presented very well with original old English white paint color and maroon leather seats. Jaguar produced 3,000 XK 140 roadsters from 1954 to 1957 and at least four reside on Shelter Island.

There were a few early 1955 to 1957 Ford Thunderbirds at the show. These were designed to compete with the Corvette, but lacked the speed and handling to be a real threat. But they were loads of fun and were the inspiration for the Beach Boys’ song, “She’ll have fun, fun, fun til her daddy takes the T’Bird away.” There was a bright yellow one, a pink one and a black one. The black 1955 belongs to Steve Koller. He also has an L-29 Cord that he didn’t bring.

A Mercury-DeSoto-Caddy-Ford mongrel.

There was a car that was difficult to identify. From the front it appeared to be a 1951 Mercury that had been bull-nosed. But the rear had 1951 Ford taillights. It was learned that it was made from many different parts. The basic Ford had been chopped and channeled and nosed and decked. A DeSoto grille appeared in the Mercury hood. And it had Cadillac hubcaps.

Other cars that stood out were a bright orange customized Ford from the 1930s; an old Citroen; a 1931 Cadillac roadster; a kit Cobra; and a bright yellow Volkswagen “Thing.”

A 1931 Cadillac.