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Autorama on the Plaza
By Pamela Bomser Stern

For one glorious Saturday in June, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza was a dazzling stage for the Empire Autorama's second annual Lambda Car Club International Classic Car Show. The show was created and developed by the president of the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Michael Butler. Getting this event off the ground was no "walk in the park" for Michael. Nonetheless, he succeeded in recruiting sponsors, including American Express Financial Planners and Bridgestone/Firestone. In addition, he garnered imaginative assistance from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney relating to regulations prohibiting private cars in NYC's public parks. The end result was an "over the top" fun day of activity.

More than thirty-six lustrous, impeccably maintained, privately-owned vintage cars lined the graceful plaza and caught our interest. These stunning vehicles captivated even those of us who didn't know the difference between a Ford and a Chevy. For others, it was a joyful trip down nostalgia lane. Bridgestone/Firestone donated a set of tires and the Franklin Mint donated scale model cars, all of which were raffled off to some very fortunate winners. Michael Mitchell, a gifted artist and member of The Lambda Car Club, was on site to record the extravaganza with astute and beautiful illustrations. There were raffles, votes for the favorite car and something for everyone to enjoy.

And just when you thought it couldn't get better - it did. The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple premier symphonic marching band exploded onto the scene with a precision flag team, twirlers, and flag & banner carriers. They gave a stunning, high-energy performance of music and dance that one would expect only at Lincoln Center.

The events of the day reached their climax when the ballots were tallied for the winner of the favorite vintage cars. Sam Propper and Michael Santos' 1949 Cadillac, 62 Series Convertible was the victor, winning a first place vote, with Michael Butler's luxurious1963 Lincoln Continental coming in as a close second-place titleholder. Since in all our eyes each car and owner was a champion, we were left with one lingering vintage car question-how long until the next show?

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

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