Knight of Columbus Car Show 2020
Overcast skies and pleasant temperatures welcomed automotive aficionados to the third annual Knights of Columbus Car Show, held Saturday at San Marco Catholic Church. Over 70 vehicles were on display and attendees also enjoyed the Celtic Spirit dancers and some delicious food.
Organizer John De Rosa, who also organizes the Kiwanis car shows on the island, was celebrating his 20th show overall, having led the Kiwanis show for the past 17 years.
George Connell walked away with the People’s Choice Award for his 1967 21-window VW Micro Bus. Other awards were given for Best of Pre-1950, Post-1950, Best Convertible, Best Hot Rod, Best Foreign, Best Mustang and Best Corvette.
“You’ll notice we left a space between cars for social distancing,” De Rosa pointed out. “We have gloves, hand cleaner and masks at each gate. We thought it would be a good time to run the event since most people have basically been in the house for the past six months.
“We’ve had a great crowd, a lot of cars. All the money we collect will go to various charities through the church. We have 70 cars—they’ll keep coming all morning. The Knights are cooking hot dogs and bratwurst. There’s water and soda. We have a 50/50. We have a People’s Choice award. They get a ballot when they come in and they go around and rate the cars. The winner gets the biggest trophy—the People’s Choice award.
Dominic Sergi was showing his 1948 Army Jeep. World War II veteran Bob Sergeant enjoyed seeing the vintage jeep.
“There’s not too many of us around anymore,” Sergeant said. “I’ll be 96 on my next birthday.”
“I have veterans come up and check it out all the time,” said Dominic Sergi, about his 1948 Army Jeep. “Sergi was drafted during the Vietnam War, but the war ended while he was in boot camp. “It’s a perfect Marco Car. I don’t push it over 35.”
Anthony Chiesa was eager to share Island Automotive’s latest project—a 1934 Ford Phaeton they are rebuilding for a customer.
“The Phaeton is a four-door convertible,” Chiesa explained. “No roll–up windows—all side curtains. A pretty rare car. In 1934, they only built about 1500 Phaetons. We’ve done a five-speed conversion on it. Everything on the car has been rebuilt. The customer wanted to keep the original flathead V-8. The rear end’s all rebuilt. The body’s all redone; new floorboards. Originally these had all mechanical brakes—this one’s been converted to power hydraulic brakes. A lot of engineering goes into all of that. The body should be painted in about two weeks.”
Jeff Bertelson has replaced a piece of his college years with his Mustang Mach One 351 Cleveland.
“I bought my first one in 1973,” Bertelson reminisced. “I went to my dad and said, ‘Dad, I’m going to take a year off college.’ He wanted to kill me, but he forgave me. I traveled around the United States in a 1970 Mach One. I traveled 43,800 in nine months as I circled the United States, border to border. Now that I’m retired, I found this in a consignment center in North Carolina. I got it just the way you see it as far as the paint job and the body. The motor and all the mechanics on the car have been completely redone to the standards of today. A lot more driver=friendly. The motor’s been rebuilt; all the interior parts have been replaced with original parts. We searched the internet to find them. The chrome trim is new; the exhaust system is completely new. The steering is completely new. So it drives a lot better than an original 1970 car, but it looks like the original.”
George Connell’s 21-window VW bus was the hit of the show.
“I bought it from a fella up in North Carolina,” said George Connell of his 1967 21-window Micro Bus. “I’d been looking for one for quite a while. So I went up there and we made a deal. I had him ship it down here. It was already restored. I asked him, ‘Why did you sell it to me?’ He said, ‘I’m 64, I don’t fit.’ So that’s how I got it, and it’s been on Marco Island ever since. It is going to go up to Michigan in May. It’s been chosen as the poster child for a German car show they’re having up there. They’re honoring the VW bus—it’s been 70 years since they first came out, and this is the bus they’ve chosen for the show. I had a guy come down here and he must have taken 200 pictures of it.”
- Best Pre–1950: 1947 Chevrolet Panel Truck – Craig Radelman
- Best Post–1950: Two Winners in This Category
- 1968 Oldsmobile – Harry Siemsan
- 1967 Pontiac GTO – Tom/Gerri Crowley
- Best Convertible: 2002 Lexus – Janice Greco
- Best Hot Rod: 1970 Volkswagen - Jim Richards
- Best Foreign: 1948 MG – Kevin Callahan
- Best Mustang: 2008 Mustang – Tom Kramer
- Best Corvette: 1959 Corvette – Rich Cauvin
- People’s Choice Award: 1967 Volkswagen – George Connell