LOWER PROVIDENCE — Too soon to think about Christmas shopping?
It's not too soon at all if you're planning on heading to the Marine Veterans 13th Annual Car and Motorcycle show benefiting Toys for Tots on Sunday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Chadwick's Restaurant & Bar in Audubon.
As they have for the last dozen years, organizers are asking for unwrapped toy donations for boys and girls in lieu of registration fees.
The toys will help the United States Marine Corps play Santa to hundreds of kids for its Toys For Tots program.
"A lof of guys will wait to see what the weather is like that Sunday and if it's nice they'll run over to Walmart or Target and pick up a toy," noted Larry Baldassano, who's been running the show with Bill Sweeney since the beginning.
Donations of $15 or $20 are also welcome in lieu of a toy, Baldassano said.
Spectators can once again count on getting an eyeful of Baldassano’s trusty ’86 Chevy Monte Carlo SS, Sweeney’s ’73 Ford Mustang Mach 1 among the crowd favorites soaking up as much love as possible from devoted gearheads in these waning days of car show weather.
Rain date for the show is Nov. 2.
Sponsors include Classic Auto Mall of Morgantown, Matthew Dorr, Tosco Pizza & Italian Restaurant, Lepley C onstruction and Haley Oil.
Sadly, the show lost one of its own in June, with the passing of Jim Pallante, Sr. of Collegeville.
"Jim brought his 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible to every show," Baldassano recalled. "He was a really nice guy and we'll miss him."
A pair of antique fire trucks, including a 1955 open cab model will be on display among the restored classics, factory-stock and creatively modified vehicles , Baldassano noted.
As always, Judge John Mazzochetti will give every vehicle a thorough once-over before making his decisions.
“Any make or model vehicle is welcome, and we’ll have trophies, door prizes, food, drink, entertainment, and brunch in the restaurant," Baldassano added.
Every car that rolls onto the Chadwick's lot comes with its own unique story, he said.
"All these cars come with a little bit of history. Julio found his Mustang in Utah and had it shipped here. He met the guy in Visitation’s parking lot and drove it home. Unlike mine, which I put on a trailer and towed it home from Pottsville. I was a little leery about driving it because it had been sitting for 10 years. Bill was driving around one day and saw this Mach I covered in mulch. He went and knocked on the door and inquired about it. The father said it was his son’s car that he was planning to restore but never did and if Bill wanted it he could have it. Bill took it home and worked on it for three or four years to restore it."
With car show season winding down fast, Baldassano is proud that his annual chromefest has become one of the most anticipated car shows in the area.
"Starting with Labor Day weekend there are car shows every weekend. From what I hear, we're one of the top car shows now, with the Bux-Mont in Harleysville, Collegeville, West Norriton and the Maenner-Chor Club."
Chadwick’s Restaurant & Bar is located at 2750 Egypt Road. Audubon.”