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The Old And New Roll Out For Villa Capri’s Signature Car Show

June 18, 2018 GMT

SCRANTON — Ron Moore has more fun driving his 1928 Ford speedster to the car show than he does showing it off when he gets there.

The bright yellow hot rod, which he bought and began refurbishing eight years ago, drew gawkers Sunday at the 24th annual Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club Father’s Day Car Show at Nay Aug Park.

Moore, 70, of Scranton, sat in the shade behind his car watching people study his handiwork and take pictures with it.

“Let’s put it this way, it’s a hot rod from the ’20s,” he said. “It might have started life as a sedan or a truck or a roadster, but you could purchase these bodies back in the day and turn your sedan into a hot rod.”

Motorheads nearly 100 years ago raced them. He chuckles when he says his tops out around 50 mph.

The annual car show brought thousands to Nay Aug Park, and as it has for the last few years, filled up with around 600 contestants representing a century of automotive engineering.

Proceeds from the show aid local and national charities that benefit children.

Villa Capri Secretary Dave Thomas’ forehead glistened with sweat as he hurried into the club’s portable command post near the gazebo and back out again toting a sack of bows.

As the day neared its end, he was awarding category winners, and hiked up the short hill to where Michael DiMatteo displayed his 2016 Hyundai Genesis coupe.

Thomas affixed a bow on the windshield dubbing DiMatteo the winner in the tuner category for cars modified to improve performance and appearance.

A great tuner car starts with someone’s passion, Thomas explained. Their creativity and drive show in the end product, he said.

DiMatteo, 21, of Archbald, sat next to his father, Tony DiMatteo, who was showing off his own candy apple red 1966 Ford Mustang, one he bought in 1989 that still sparkles with the lacquer paint job he put on almost 30 years ago.

“Straight six, no frills, automatic transmission. It’s a basic Mustang,” Tony DiMatteo said. “I didn’t care about speed. I just wanted a Mustang.”

Michael DiMatteo said tinkering with his dad was part of growing up, but he never cared for shows until he tweaked his own car.

“I did one thing to it, and I kind of couldn’t stop,” he said.

Now shows are his business.

He started NEPA Car Nights LLC, a company that hosts them, and hopes to one day open a shop to customize them, he said.

A car show brings together casual observers and impassioned enthusiasts alike, Thomas said.

“Nobody’s left out,” he said.

He also sees shows as a way to connect with Scranton’s burgeoning Spanish-speaking population, who may be separated by differences in culture and language, but find common ground in the language of horsepower and pinstripes.

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