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Classic cars and quirky goods on display at 30th annual Long Island Cars Car Show and Swap Meet

George Lewis of Brentwood stands next to his

George Lewis of Brentwood stands next to his 1941 Willys Speedway Coup at the Long Island Cars Car Show and Swap Meet at Belmont Race Track. (April 21, 2013) Credit: Ursula Moore

Bob Lennon bought a huge Shell gas station sign for $40 at the Long Island Cars Show and Swap Meet on Sunday. He couldn’t believe his luck.

“I already have Gulf and Chevrolet signs at home,” said the 47-year-old Baldwin resident. “I like to collect gas station memorabilia.”

August LoMonaco, 70, was excited about the stage light he purchased at the swap.

“I am not sure what I will do with it but it’s only $5,” said the Kings Park resident.

The 30th annual Long Island Cars Car Show and Swap Meet featured 800 custom, collectible and vintage cars from the 1930s to the present. The swap meet, held on nearby grounds at Belmont Race Track in Elmont, offered vendors selling automobile parts, accessories, literature, toy cars, hats and miscellaneous items. About 5,000 people attended.

Event coordinator Frank Coppola said the car show and swap meet were organized to take the place of environmentally unfriendly junk yards, which are less prevalent than they once were, making it harder for car enthusiasts to find car parts.

“This way, you can come here and easily find parts for your car,” he said. “Today is about bringing your family here and walking around and looking at cars and finding something good at the swap meet. Today is about having fun.”

Ronnie Veltri, of New Rochelle,  proudly stood next to his prized possession -- a yellow 1966 Chevelle Malibu Convertible adorned with a makeshift tray attached to the driver’s side door carrying a milkshake, Pepsi bottle and hot dog.

“I miss going to drive-in restaurants when they would put your tray of food on the side of your window,” said the 64-year-old. “Those were fun times for me.”

Terry Cameron, of Rosedale brought his 1970 Camaro. He said he attends the event for the camaraderie.

“I have been coming here for four years,” he said. “I like talking to other guys about cars.”

Keith Koprowski, 19, of Lynbrook, also expressed a love for the vehicle he was showing off: Rather than a classic car, he brought his 120-horsepower go cart. Taking advantage of his smaller vehicle, Koprowski was driving it around rather than showing it.

“I have had this go cart since I was ten years old, I added a motorcycle motor to it,” he said. “I love driving it around. I mainly drive it in parking lots. This go cart is a lot of fun."

With a pair of binoculars and the Doors' “L.A. Woman” album in his hands, Larry Esposito, of Oceanside, said coming to the annual event is a win-win situation.

“You have nice cars and the swap meet,” he said. “I only paid $10 for the album and $30 for the binoculars. It’s great.”

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