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Newsday Field of Wheels Exhibition & Show features hundreds of classic cars

Vehicles line up at the Newsday Field of

Vehicles line up at the Newsday Field of Wheels Exhibition & Show, a classic car event held at the newspaper's grounds in Melville on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Credit: Ed Betz

For Fritzi Rohl, it was automotive love at first sight: A gleaming 1935 Ford pickup, lovingly restored, with dark blue paint and red wire wheels.

The Babylon woman spotted her dream car at a Riverhead car show last year and even made a cash offer, but the owner wasn't willing to sell.

Saturday, Rohl, 57, spotted the very same pickup at the Newsday Field of Wheels Exhibition & Show.

"Someday I will have that truck," she vowed.

More than 10,000 people attended the fifth annual show held on the newspaper's grounds in Melville. About 500 cars competed for awards.

Classic car buffs bestowed "Best in Show" honors to Ralph Scancarelli, for his off-white 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster, with its rakish grill and lavish chrome accents a similar to one once driven by Clark Gable.

"Everybody loves the car. It makes them smile. It brings back memories," said Scancarelli, 58, an interior designer who lives in Northport.  "They follow me for 10 minutes, taking videos."

The show also featured some modern gems, like Steve Piscitelloas 2014 Corvette Stingray.

Piscitello, 57, a mortgage company director from Hauppauge, said he fell in love with the sports car as a student at UCLA and bought his first 'Vette in 1978. He's owned seven since.

"I love the way they ride, the way they handle, the way they look," he said.
John La Penna, 49, a truck driver who also lives in Hauppauge, said he's drawn to classic cars because of their unique style and craftsmanship.

"Every one looked like it had a face," he said. "The bigger the grill, the more it smiled. They all had personality."

Roger Lang, 84, of Farmingdale, spent four years restoring his 1935 pickup, making the project a daily ritual.

"I was retired and I was getting bored," the retired Pan Am mechanic said.

Rohl's boyfriend, Paul Margraf, 54, of Babylon, has his own beloved burden: restoring a 1955 Chevrolet pickup.

Growing up in Port Jefferson Station, he became infatuated with a '55 Chevy sedan owned by a neighbor.

"It just caught my eye," he said. "Then when 'American Graffiti' came out, it just cemented everything."

Other winners:

Best Paint -- Al Brill, East Meadow; 1974 Chevy Monte Carlo

Best Engine -- Ray Benson, Bay Shore; 1930 Ford Model A

Best Interior -- Richard Pastecchi, Hicksville; 1956 Ford F 100

Best Radical -- Rich Staib, Copiague; 1932 Ford Tudor

Best Original -- Fred Tanner, East Northport; 1930 Ford Model A

People's Choice Motorcycle -- Phil Troiani, Amityville; 2005 Honda Goldwing

Best Foreign -- William Behrbom, Dix Hills; 2005 Maserati Quattroporte

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