17 Mar

Classic Cars and Memorabilia Museum opens in Oyster Bay, NY


Oyster Bay, NY – “It’s a combination of a gas station, Disneyland and a man cave,” owner and Oyster Bay resident David Jacobson says. “Long Island has a tremendous car culture. I thought Oyster Bay was a natural fit.” Enter the showcase and you are faced with a collection of 17 cars displayed behind velvet ropes, and more than 1,000 automotive signs hanging all over.

“I like old stuff,” says Jacobson, 51. “We wanted everything to be as authentic as possible. It represents a different time.” Cars range from a 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 — the first 12-cylinder mid-engine Ferrari ever made — to a 1965 Volkswagen bus to a 1953 Chevrolet 5 window pickup truck. There’s even a 1958 BMW Isetta, which Jacobson found in Oregon.

“The Isetta is loud and obnoxious,” Jacobson says. “It feels like a motorcycle with a shell around it.” There’s a 1932 black Ford Roadster, completely restored. “This is one of the most fun cars you will ever ride in,” Jacobson says, grinning. The cars — most are owned by Jacobson, but a few are on loan from fellow collectors — will be rotated every four to six weeks to keep the display fresh. As the owner of GrooveCar auto buying service, he knows something about the allure of a good ride.

“Cars identify people. They can tell a lot about the personality of someone,” Jacobson says. “I’m a Porsche guy.” Among his personal collection: a 1960 signal red Porsche 356, a 1973 Porsche Carrera RS (which he deems “the Mona Lisa of Porsches”) plus a very rare 1995 Porsche Carrera RS, one of only five in the country. (Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has one as well.)


While some may come purely to check out the wheels, there’s a service area where you can get your vehicle hand washed for $29.99 or a full detailing from $250 to $1,000. Annual club membership ($150-$500) allows access to a lounge area and the first floor, where more cars are on display and a working slot car racetrack is available for members only. The museum also is hosting catered events for up to 100 people, from adult birthday parties to corporate events to fundraisers.

Mark Tulley, 65, of Carle Place serves as the regional director of the National Corvette Restorers Society, which will hold its annual general membership meeting in the space next month. For the event, Jacobson will have a host of Corvettes on display, ranging from 1953 to 1982. “There’s nothing like this on Long Island,” says Tulley. “It’s like an adult toy store.”

Dominick Randazzo, 45, of Bayville has been watching construction take place over the past two years and stops in for a peek on a recent Saturday afternoon. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s quite nice,” says Randazzo, who drove a 1969 Dodge Coronet RT while growing up. “It’s a lot to take in.”

Jason Roske, 35, of North Bellmore is amazed by the atmosphere of the showroom. “The work they put into this place is crazy,” says Roske, a self-described muscle car guy. “This is what we grew up on. What little kid doesn’t play with Matchbox cars? Now these are the life-size versions.”


WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 85 Pine Hollow Rd., Oyster Bay
INFO 516-802-5297, collectorcarshowcase.com
ADMISSION $7 ($10 adult and child age 8-15)


Source: New York Newsday

09 Mar

1st U.S. Auto Show Opened in New York City 115 Years Ago


New York, NY – Of the 4,200 new automobiles sold in the United States at the turn of the century, gasoline powered less than 1,000. On November 3, 1900, America’s first national automobile show opened in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

An innovative assortment of electric, steam, and “internal explosion” engines powered these horseless carriages. New manufactures like Olds Motor Works of Lansing, Michigan, built models of each kind to compete in the developing market.

The manufacturers presented 160 different vehicles at the first national automobile show. Future leaders of the nation’s greatest transportation industry gave driving and maneuverability demonstrations on a 20-foot-wide track that surrounded the exhibits. A wooden 200-foot ramp tested hill-climbing power.

Automobiles powered by internal combustion engines at the 1900 National Automobile Show were primitive. The most popular models proved to be electric, steam, and gasoline…in that order.

About 48,000 show visitors paid 50¢ each to see the latest automotive technology. Hundreds of “Hansom” cabs built by the Electric Vehicle Company worked well, but heavy lead-acid batteries, muddy roads, and lack of electrical infrastructure confined these early electrics to metropolitan areas. Thomas Edison spent years working on battery power for automobiles, but abandoned the effort.


This ad for the Winton motor carriage – often identified as the first American automobile ad, according to the Henry Ford Museum – appeared in a 1898 issue of Scientific American magazine.

Consumers favored “steamers” over their gasoline-powered competitors. Steam-powered automobiles traced their roots back to 1768, when a French military engineer, Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot, built a self-propelled steam tricycle to move artillery.

By 1900, manufacturers like Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Locomobile (from the words locomotive and automobile), Stanley Motor Carriage Co., Tarrytown, N.Y., and others boasted of their products’ safety and touted the virtues of simple steam power over “complex and sinister” internal combustion engines.

Locomobile produced 750 steamers in 1900, second in sales only to Columbia & Electric Vehicle Co. of Hartford, Conn., but consumers complained of the time required to heat boilers and the necessarily frequent stops for water. Progress in the development of internal combustion engines soon outpaced steam technology.


At the turn of the century, about 8,000 vehicles shared mostly unpaved roads with horses and wagons. Automobiles powered by internal combustion engines at the 1900 National Automobile Show were primitive, noisy and cantankerous. Most were based on Nikolas Otto’s 1876 four-stroke design and ran on a variety of “light spirits” such as stove gas, kerosene, naphtha, lamp oil, benzene, mineral spirits, alcohol, and gasoline.

One early critic complained that the internal combustion engine was, “Noxious, noisy, unreliable, and elephantine. It vibrates so violently as to loosen one’s dentures. The automobile industry will surely burgeon in America, but this motor will not be a factor.”

The critic was wrong. Gasoline, once an unwanted byproduct of kerosene refining, cost only about 15 cents a gallon in 1900 and produced dramatic increases in engine horsepower. Despite the absence of “filling stations,” gasoline was readily available in a market where electric lights were making kerosene obsolete.

The refining industry needed a product to replace kerosene and gasoline was it. In 1901, Olds Motor Works sold 425 models of a gasoline-powered “Curved Dash Runabout” for $650 each. Four years later, when the model was discontinued, almost 19,000 had been sold. America’s consumer preference for gasoline-powered internal combustion engines was thoroughly established.

Source: The American Oil & Gas Historical Society