New Britain City Journal

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Car Show Gets Perfect Weather for Perfect Show


The 11th annual 2017 New Britain/TD Bank Downtown Car Show on Saturday could not have asked for a better day. The weather was warm and maybe the biggest crowd ever turned out to see vintage and antique cars line New Britain’s downtown.

“It’s a beautiful day. We have fantastic cars. Probably the best we ever had,” said Gerry Amodio, downtown district director who organizes the event. “We will be raising a lot of money for the New Britain Police Explorers this year.”

All proceeds from the event benefit the New Britain Police Explorers youth group.

Chrome was King as Antique Cars from the 20’s and 30’s, Classic Cars from the 40’s, Muscle Cars from the 50’s, Street Rods from the 60’s, Imports and the Extreme Tuners (small, late model, non-Detroit automobiles) of more recent vintage, today’s cars which will be the classics of tomorrow, took over downtown New Britain. There were 20 Trophies awarded, plus the Explorer’s Youth Trophy and the Mayor’s Trophy.

One of the booths involved the High Voltage Art project taking place at City electric boxes.

“We are doing the High Voltage Art Project. It is $5 for kids and $10 for adults. We paint your hands and put it anywhere on the box,” said Alex Fischbein. “All proceeds go back to the project to fund all artists to make New Britain that much more beautiful.”

Mayor Erin Stewart had her hands painted yellow as she imprinted them on the box on the corner of Main and West Main St.

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Usually it is a little chilly. To have it be 80 degrees and sunny is a beautiful thing,” said Mayor Stewart. “I am really proud of all the work the downtown district does. It takes a lot to organize an event of this magnitude. It is a great way to bring lots of attention to our new downtown and increase more visitors. I hope everyone here from out of town will come back.”

The Unity Lodge 148 CT Freemasons in New Britain was at the car show making food.

“All profits go to police explorers. We sell hamburgs, hot dogs and sausage patties,” said Freemason Paul Catanzaro. “It is a great event, a beautiful day, a lot of gorgeous cars, great people and great food.”

Car vendors said they enjoy coming to this event each year.

A 1986 Fleetwood Cadillac called Graveyard Cops was decorated in a Halloween theme.

“I do haunted cars every year,” said James Helladbrand. “I put stuff in it differently. I like doing it for the kids. I’ve been coming here for five years.”

“It is good times,” said Beverly and Ronald Cook of Berlin who owned a gold 1946 Standard Motorcar. “It’s a great show.”

This year’s Honorary Chair was Orson “Roy” Rothkopf of Imperial Trophy & City Luggage of Downtown New Britain. The Co-Chairs representing the Downtown District Board are Frank Shank (Owner of the New Britain Professional Building & realtor for Amodio Realty LLC) and John Glowka (Glowka Wealth Management). Matt Wilk represents the organizing car club, Constitution State Classics Car Club.

The show is made possible by the generous support of their sponsors, especially naming sponsor TD Bank and the Constitution State Classics Car Club. Other Sponsors include: Amato’s Toy and Hobby, Sir Speedy Printing of New Britain, Papa’s Dodge, Imperial Trophy and Luggage of New Britain, The New Britain Police Department, The City of New Britain and Mayor Erin Stewart.