First, before we begin, in observance of Labor Day, let us just say thanks for the jobs that have helped so many who buy classic cars, restore classic cars and create the marketplace to attend a weekend of fun, cars and not one thought about the craziness of the world around us.
Ok. Here we go…where? Mahwah, New Jersey. Mah what? No, Mahwah. It’s a secluded place in northern New Jersey set amongst beautiful mountains, forest and a Sheraton Hotel and Sharp Industries business campus. It’s the easiest drive on Route 287 just two miles short of the New York state line.
When you get there, you’ll never want to leave. The name of the Car Show is “Dead Man’s Curve.” Trust me, it’s just a name. Go in ready to smile, smile and smile.
Dead Man’s Curve (“DMC”) car show is advertised as a “Wild Hot Rod Weekend” and believe me; they delivered!
I am going to list everything I liked because you HAVE TO put this event on your calendar of things to do next year. We took a gazillion pictures and plan to post them soon, but here’s the narrative.
I drove up the highway and I saw their signage. It was clear and it guided me safely and quickly to my destination. Second, the parking was ample, and best of all, it was FREE! I parked in a huge field, everyone followed a reasonable pattern and we all found a safe place to leave our second largest investment in our lives; our car.
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The walk to the Admission Gate was well marked and there were plenty of people who pointed you in the right direction. When I got to the ticket administrators they were pleasant, patient and available to chat about the show with you. The fee was an astonishingly affordable $15 and parents were given a break on the fee for their kids. To DMC’s credit, these promoters seem to understand that we grey hairs are their current classic car market but it is the youngsters who represent the industry’s future. Perhaps these kids will have that eye opening moment in life like so many of us had. For example, I was 12 years old when I saw my first split window Corvette in 1963. And I was hooked. Our kids today need to have a similar revelation moment, too, because, before your know it, we hope that they will soon be the ones chosen to carry the torch of car collecting. And it was heartwarming to watch one of the show’s representatives warmly welcome some children in; A brilliant decision.
The restrooms for us outdoors-men were actually in the lobby of the hotel. Attendants were there keeping the place organized, well-equipped and clean. Nicely done, folks.
The car show involved more than one thousand cars of many different ages, styling and customization. Drooling by viewers was a common scene. However, there could have been another reason for that. You see, there were lovely ladies dressed in saddle shoes, ankle socks, pleated dresses that exuded the 1950s like a twilight zone flashback. It was delightful. As you might guess, they were the subject of so many photographers posing at beautifully restored cars; another nice touch DMC.
My first stop with our photographer, Jeanine, was the show’s “Tribute to George Barris, King of Kustomizers.” All the cars in the hotel’s ballroom were Barris original cars (which was marketed as sort of a “KAVALCADE OF KUSTOMS”). Just to name a few, we saw the Bat Mobile, Bat Motorcycle, the customized car from the Beverly Hillbillies which was introduced to the Clampett family in one episode; we saw the “Outhouse” car which was very clever; the TV band The Monkees car; his 1964 Turbosonic, jet-propelled drag car and there was more to see. This room alone was a treat.
George Barris' Munster Coach
George Barris' Monkees Car
George Barris' Bat Mobile
George Barris' Out House
George Barris' 1964 Turbosonic drag car is jet-propelled
From there we exited the back of the hotel to the sound of the Beach Boys serenading the crowd while muscle cars slowly drove by giving everyone present a ground shaking, engine revved, hello. It was intoxicating.
We visited many cars and interviewed some of the many proud owners for publication in future editions of this forum. We had done 12 interviews in four hours. Each owner was a delight to meet and their beautiful cars spoke to their love for America’s automotive history.
There was a nice food court with tables and plenty of shade to rest your weary bones. After four hours we had only seen 40% of the car show. The food was great, reasonably priced, and came in many varieties, i.e., sausage to hamburgers.
The parade of cars around the grounds never stopped and we were never disappointed by what we saw and heard. Even though burn-outs where a no-no, cranking em up for the crowd was just as exciting and enjoyable. Gotta love that smell...
DMC is a group of professional, classic car, hot rod car owners who know how to show the public a good time. Here’s more of what was there:
Over three days there was 25 Bands playing all genres of music; “Surf City” was the first day’s theme; the hotel hosted cocktails and lunch and dinner; classic cars were there from 1972 and older; there was the tribute to George Barris inside the hotel, there were just enough vendors; a swap area, i.e., called Vendor Village; a Food Truck festival was to be held on Sunday; “Hot Rod Harry’s” Boulevard Chop Shop demonstrated its automotive skills, there was an exceptional collection of bicycles that predated 1972; the “cackle fest- See’em, Hear’em and Feel’em means that the viewers will cover their ears when all the funny cars and top fuel dragsters were started just outside the hotel’s veranda; there were indoor and outdoor hot rod movies shown all day and at night; you could have met celebrities such as, from Chips (Erik Estrada), The Munsters (Butch “Eddie Munster” Patrick), cable TV car show personalities; and then there was too much more to list. But I think you got the idea.
DMC has been promoting car shows since 1978. The originators are still the main hosts to the event with the dedicated help of their colleagues.
Exhausted…and smiling… I walked back to my car at the close of Saturday, 5 p.m. I drove to the exit, I passed the exit, and the traffic cop said it was clear…”I don’t drive for a living.” However, I do know how to have a lot of fun being around people who do. DMC was a special event attended by thousands who truly understood the draw.” Next year…be there. Check their website for more info: www.deadmanscurveusa.com.
JP, Ed’s Swap Meet.com: a place to sell your classic car, auto parts, advertise your car related business, event and/or restoration shop.
By the way, send me your quality classic, hot rod, customized car photos, (one of each, the front, back, profile, engine and interior dash/seats). Add your phone number and I’ll call you and we’ll write your story about you and your car. We’ll post it along with your pictures.
Uh, what’s the story going to be about? When did you fall in love with cars, how did it happen, tell a funny story about your experience with such cars, and why you love them so much.
Tell me who helped you restore your car, the business name, the guy(s), what parts you’re glad you chose. We want to help restoration garages, experts and part people sell their wares. You’re that tool. Send me an email at JP@edsswapmeet.com
Thanks for checking in.
Best regards, JP
(About JP: He is the author of the book, Terrorism Defeated: God’s Plan to Win the War on Terror which was released in 2008. He loves the classic car community and has made a commitment to partner with his brother to bring you a website that is a worldwide swap meet you can visit every day on your computer to find classic car parts, cars to buy or sell, or the opportunity to link your automotive needs to one of the website's advertisers and/or experts.)
Classic cruiziers were ample throughout the event
Deuce Bags Car Club "Master of Spirits Wizard " Mike made sure everyone who dared had a chance to sip some of his infamous tasty blends or not...
Bird is the word here, Looks like a very rare survivor Superbird! Richard Petty gave it his signature of approval.