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Classic cars roll back into Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady

Classic cars roll back into Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady

Entertainment destination hosts second annual Rollin' on the River Car Show on Memorial Day
Classic cars roll back into Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady
Attendees take a peek under the hood of one of the more than 300 cars on display Monday.
Photographer: Marc Schultz / Gazette Photographer

Ann Boyens remembers her days in a Studebaker.

"My roommate and I were flight attendants and we owned one together - a pink Studebaker," said Boyens, 86, who lives in Glenville. "We shared it."

Hundreds of people shared memories of classic cars on Monday, cruising into Rivers Casino & Resort's second annual "Rollin' on the River Car Show."

Boyens remembered her auto partnership as she looked over a black, 1954 Studebaker Commander. The company produced cars from 1902 through the mid-1960s. During the Commander era, Champion and President were other Studebaker model names.

There were plenty of other cars to inspect at Rivers, many in bold colors, many with hoods up and muscular engines on display.

Rick Voris, who organized the show for Mohawk River Productions, said more than 300 cars were parked on the pavement.

"It's a day when you get to see amazing vehicles and it's a family-friendly event," said Voris, who added that $5 from each $15 entry fee will be donated to the  Animal Protective Foundation in Glenville.

Cool, spotless cars were everywhere:

  • A 1972 Dodge Polaris was painted black and white and emblazoned with California Highway Patrol on the side doors. The police car even came with an authentic, old-style police siren.
  • Al Haenez of Ballston Spa brought his 1952 Hudson Wasp to the party, light green paint on the main body and yellow paint on top. Al had stashed a matching Hudson beer cooler in the trunk: "Nothing stings like a Wasp" was inscribed on the metal.
  • A Plymouth Barracuda with a frog green paint job wore a license plate that acknowledged the color: "Kermit71" was also a shout to the famous Muppet puppet character on "Sesame Street."
  • Bob and Cathy Martino brought their cobalt blue 1947 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette to Rivers. The license plate "Bobcat47" seemed like a nod to the Martinos' first names.

Joe Pardo of Averill Park cruised his white 1966 Plymouth Satellite to the show to enjoy the day and the other cars on display.

"A lot of people say it's an old man's car," Pardo said of his machine. "I say it's a one of a kind, there isn't another Satellite in the parking lot."

Dominic and Shane Ricciardi of Colonie drove their fire engine red Riviera to the river. Their Buick first hit the road in 1963.

"We can go all day," Dominic said. "I love it, so smooth and so much get-up - 350 horsepower. And people will yell, 'Hey Riviera!' It's a riot."

Some visitors were just curious. "You see cars you haven't seen before," said Dan Connell of Malta. Others liked the unusual paint jobs, like the ones that put a 1973 Dodge Challenger in deep purple and a 1972 Buick Skylark in bright gold.

"It's a beautiful day and it's something to do," said Dina Franze of Schenectady. "The old cars bring back memories."

Ava Merritt, Franze's granddaughter, is already a car fan at age five.

"What do you say when you go up to the drivers?" Franze asked the little girl.

"I say, 'Light 'em up,'" Ava answered.

Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]


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