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Oyster Bay's Cruise Nights celebrates 10 years

John Rago from Levittown explains what is under

John Rago from Levittown explains what is under the hood of his 1939 Cadillac limo to Joe Boccio from Bethpage at the town of Oyster Bay car cruise night on Audrey Lane, Oyster Bay, June 09, 2015. Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Alex Pavincic stands in front of a bright-yellow Corvette as his girlfriend, Melissa Groark, 22, of Huntington, takes his photo.

"This one's my favorite right here," says Pavincic, 22, of Howell, New Jersey, pointing to the car with chrome inside its popped-open hood.

In fact, there's a lot of picture taking up and down the streets in Oyster Bay on this Tuesday night for the community's big weekly summer event, now in its 10th year. Automobiles ranging from historic models from the 1920s to brand-new souped-up muscle cars are making the scene, lining up side by side.

THE SCENE

Since the streets are closed, pedestrians walk in the road with their kids and dogs, oohing and aahing at the cars, some of which have hoods popped to show off the chromed engines.

The Corvette's owner, Grey Cherveny, 55, of Bay Shore, sits with his fiancee, Jennifer Kane, 45, in beach chairs on the sidewalk, watching people admire his car. He calls the weekly event a "great night out."

"People are super sweet," he says. "The kids are having fun, and you see the pets."

Among the picture takers is 11-year-old Henry Doerge, in town for dinner with his family. He's snapping a shot of a red Corvette. The cruise night was a bonus.

"We just stumbled on it," says his dad, Chad Doerge, of Glen Cove, with two other children in tow; Penny, 8, and Frankie, 5.

Each Tuesday evening, a different band plays. On this night, it's Big Daddy Deluxe, whose rockabilly sound mirrors the vibe of the cars. Pretzels and homemade lemonade are sold under an awning, but there are plenty of food choices, since many of the restaurants, pizza parlors, delis and ice cream shops are open to serve the crowd.

THE CARS

Don "Viggie" Figliozzi, 70, of Glen Cove, has his 1961 Buick LeSabre out tonight, which he completely restored himself with the help of friends. Painted in a vibrant color of tropical turquoise, a 1957 Chevy color, it's a standout among the crowd of classics. The car, which he has had about 20 years, had been his high school principal's.

"He lived on the same street that I grew up on," says Figliozzi.

Another rare sight: the British-manufactured 1976 MGB GT V8 with a sun top, which is sitting close to the bandstand on Audrey Avenue. Owner David Briggs, 53, of Huntington, says it is one of only about 350 cars of that type made that year. "I have a bunch of British cars," he says. "It's a disease."

Kenneth Usry, 63, of Westbury, comes to the cruise night pretty regularly with his black 2006 Pontiac GTO, a collectible because the maker stopped production in the 1970s and then ramped up again for three years in the mid-2000s.

A 1969 blue Mustang convertible, another GTO (with an engine that sounds like the loud rumbling of a motorboat), and a hardtop convertible 1955 Chevy Bel Air showcase the diversity of cars parked along the streets.

BROWSING AT SUNSET

As the evening winds down, the sun sets in an almost Stonehenge-like way between the buildings on Audrey Avenue. Oyster Bay resident Jaime Panetta, 37, is there with her sons, Jake, 9, and James, 5, plus her husband, Jason.

"We come every single Tuesday," she says. "We love the music, the cars, the atmosphere. ... We get pizza and ice cream. Every time. It's our tradition."

CRUISE NIGHTS

WHEN | WHERE 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Audrey and Spring Streets, Oyster Bay

INFO 516-922-6464, visitoysterbay.com

ADMISSION Free ($5 show cars)

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