Online Newsletter


Vol. 2                            April 2004                         No. 4



    Spring has finally sprung!!   


Can I get an “Amen” people!!


It’s about time! This has been one long, cold winter and I am glad to see it go! Just a few weeks ago after a lovely, tantalizing sixty degree day in mid March, we were unceremoniously inundated with four days of wet snow! My Golden Retriever loved it, but I didn’t. I wanted sunny warm weather, not a revisit of February’s white stuff. Well, I believe, hope, and pray, that we are past all that now, and that April will bring the much needed and longed for start of glorious weather!


Since our last Newsletter, there have been some changes to Long Island Classic We have launched the free Message Boards and the free Wanted ads sections. We encourage you to take advantage of them. The feedback has been positive as people are commenting that they are welcome additions to the site and “can help all of us find what we need or get answers to questions we have about problems with our cars.”


In addition to that, we launch a new feature column this month called “Rich’s Tech Tips”. It is written by Rich Fiore. Rich is a madman who will steer you over a cliff with a blindfold on….HA! Just kidding!  Actually Rich is quite a well versed guy in automotive repair and troubleshooting. His columns will address some basic and not-so-basic automotive tech issues.


A quick note about cruise nights;

Following is a list of nights and locations that are already set and working for cruise gatherings. Some are new and some are established. If and when new ones are added we will update you on that. Check the EVENTS section of the website for full details. Please try and remember one thing everybody…it is by someone’s good will that we have these locations, so let’s not  abuse ‘em or we’ll lose ‘em! {See October 2003 Newsletter. }


TUESDAYS:       McDonald's. 98-01 Metropolitan Ave. Forest Hills, NY.

WEDNESDAYS: Long John Silver's/A&W. Union Blvd, South of Sunrise Hwy. West Islip, NY.

SATURDAYS:    Sonomax Station. 278 Greenpoint Ave. Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY.



Here are some special deals and offers from some of our advertisers! With Spring arriving and everyone getting “the bug”, we thought it would be a good time to re-acquaint you with what these folks offer when you mention Long Island Classic

All of these businesses below advertise on Long Island Classic in the underlined section of the website.


Let’s start with TRANSPORTATION.

    When you buy that new car or sell one of yours, Phil at ABRO MOTORSPORTS is offering special rates for those who mention Long Island Classic! He has all new equipment, fully enclosed, insured, and door to door service by the owner himself!

Call him for a free quote today!


How about PARTS for your springtime freshening up?

    Call or go to PARTS AUTHORITY. They have everything automotive and locations throughout the area! They are giving 10% off to all who mention Long Island Classic Get your repair, maintenance, and performance parts all in one place!

    How about some NOS, reconditioned, or used parts for your Chevrolet vehicle? Don at EAST COAST RESTORATIONS and RESTO TRIM is offering 10% off now through the end of May when you mention Long Island Classic Minimum $100 purchase. He can give you the parts you need, or refurbish yours to showroom new condition! Don also does beautiful work on vehicles. Stock, modified, or custom, he does it all! Just don’t wait…this offer ends soon!

    If you need Mopar parts, HERBEE DODGE is giving 5% off when you mention Long Island Classic Whether you need resto, performance, or daily driver parts, call or visit them. They are a great bunch in the parts department! Ask for Bob or Ronnie.

    It’s SHOW TIME! Whether it’s for the “big event” or just to keep your ride nice and sparkly, Rich at BDR ENTERPRISES is giving free shipping on Formula 113 Wax for the 12 ounce bottle and also for the 22 ounce bottle of Bead-X Detail Spray. This is the now famous “stuff” that the local guys are using at all the car shows and cruise nights! Don’t forget to wear your sunglasses!

    More GM stuff you say? Well DAVE’S GM PARTS is also offering 10% off for all who mention Long Island Classic

He has three (3) warehouses full of parts! Dave also owns and operates BANNER ROD & CUSTOM. I have seen his work and man his cars are scary fast! He performs surgery on all types of cars, whether you want repairs, fabrications, customizing, restorations, engine or chassis building, paint and body, dyno-tuning, and more!! Again mention Long Island Classic for 10% off any work! That can be a monstrous savings for restorations and custom work!



    Try AL & SELWYN. Paul is a serious pro at classic car and performance mechanical work. He takes great care with your vehicle and has a true interest in the art. He offers great prices and service to begin with, but mention Long Island Classic for a nice discount. He even offers door-door flatbed service!

    You don’t have to be nuts to be CAMARO CRAZY. But you must be nuts if you don’t visit Anthony and Ken for your Camaro and other muscle car needs! These guys do repairs, restorations, and custom building of all kinds of cars. They are offering 10% off on all labor costs for any kind of work when you mention Long Island Classic Sweet deal!

    BARNWELL HOUSE of TIRES offers a nice 10% discount to folks who mention Long Island Classic They do all kinds of front end, suspension, and mechanical work in a very neat and modern facility. They also can “hook you up” with a new set of stickies for your vehicle at a great price!

    Paul Rawden who sells and restores vintage license plates is now also offering a duplication service. If you have one good plate and the other one is damaged or even lost, Paul can duplicate the good one for you so you have a full set again! How about that?!

    Warm weather means top down cruising! Just in time, Jim at PHOENIX AUTO INTERIORS is offering 10% off on convertible top repairs and replacements! Just mention Long Island Classic and he’ll have your car ready for the road in style! 

    And what’s better than driving with the top down and the radio on?! Nothing if you ask me! The problem is most of us don’t have a good working radio and speakers. Robert at ELLIOT’S CAR RADIO can fix your “box” and speakers and have you driving and singing along with the music. (Hopefully that’s a good thing.) He is offering free shipping on your radio purchases and/or repairs for the month of April. Just make sure you tell him Long Island Classic sent you!

    While you’re parked or driving, THE REFELECTED IMAGE can ensure that you properly see where you are going and what’s around you! They are offering 10% off on all mirror restoration, customizing, and re-silvering! What that means is simple: if your rear or side view mirrors are cloudy or gray, they can make them brand new again! They also create stock and wild custom etchings and graphics for any kind of ride!

    AAMCO Transmissions in Massapequa and Garden City Park are offering a generous 10% off of tranny repairs or servicing! When you think what rebuilds cost, this will be a substantial savings! Ask for Ken, he’s the owner, and be sure to mention Long Island Classic for the discount!


Want some collectible or show stopping AUTOMOBILIA?

    Alan at CARZIGNS is offering free shipping on all custom made signs for your pride and joy! These are the highest quality show signs out there and he offers a design service that no one else does! Put your orders in now for the show season!


How about these great deals!! Just don’t wait folks, some of these offers are for a limited time only!


Brought to you by Long Island Classic





SpRiNg ClEaNiNg


Long Island Classic is having an April spring cleaning special for all of your “inventory”, “stuff”, or dare I say “junk” as your wife might call it. You can list all of your parts for FREE during the month of April! Anything in your basement, garage, shed, attic, etc that you want to get rid of.  Now is the time! Make a few extra $$ and lighten your load. Sell your parts with no commissions, listing fees, or costs of any kind! Just go to the PARTS section and follow directions. All ads that are placed during April will stay on the site for free until you tell us it’s sold and to remove the ad!!

Just make sure you list them soon!






We would like to mention more car clubs that have listed on the site recently. As the hobby continues to grow and bring in both older and younger enthusiasts, there is no shortage of clubs and organizations to fulfill anyone’s tastes. Some of these clubs have been around for many years, while others are relatively new start-ups. Check them out in our CLUBS section!

Also, remember to check our EVENTS section for show, cruise, and event listings! As of this writing over 160 events are already listed for the upcoming car season!

If your club and events are not listed on Long Island Classic get them listed soon! People are making their plans on where to go and what shows to attend. Don’t be left out or late to the party!


Antique Chrysler Club of Long Island - Region of Walter P. Chrysler Club. Open to all Chrysler products. They have monthly meetings and various shows and events. New members welcome!


Big Apple Region Car Club - Region of CHVA. Here is a real all-around club; they are open to all makes and models. American and foreign! They have many different shows and events. Formed in 1979.


Cadillac LaSalle Club/Long Island Dreamboats. A non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Cadillacs and LaSalles. They also have many varied functions and events. Open to all years and models of Cadillacs and LaSalles.


Centurion Cruisers. Formed in 1996, Club purpose is to organize, maintain and promote a friendly group of car enthusiast's among members of the Law Enforcement Profession. All types of vehicle enthusiasts are invited to join.


Diehard Cruisers. Another great Antique, Classic, and Custom Car Club open to all makes, models, and years! These guys are based in Brooklyn, NY and are welcoming to new members!


East Coast Car Association Inc. & Toys For Tots. Now here is a real service oriented group that also has fun; they are a community minded club that raises money through events for charity. Non-dues car club association!


Exceeding Limits Truck Club. An organization that is open to all makes and models of trucks. American and foreign rides!!

Stock, modified, custom, and radical. They are a new and growing club in the area that welcomes new members.


Fabulous 50's&60's Nostalgia Car Club. Club open to all makes and models of classic 1950's and 1960's cars. In addition they are very active in shows, cruises, and events.


L.I. Ford - Mercury Club. A club with over 100 members, they are also very active in events. They meet every month and are dedicated to the preservation of older cars.


L.I. Street Rod Association. They are open to street rods and other cars 1948 and older. All makes and models. Over 100 members and growing. New members welcome! They also have several club sponsored shows a year.


LI Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society.  An antique truck club, open to all makes and models prior to 1979. They have over 120 members and meet every month.


Long Island Buick Club. This club was formed in the early 1970’s. They are open to all Buicks. New members welcome!


Long Island Camaro Club. A growing and active club, they meet monthly and are open to all years and models of Camaros. Stock, modified, race, and custom. All are welcome!


Long Island Chapter Pontiac Oakland Club International. Open to all Pontiac and Oakland cars. All years and models. They have shows, cruise events, and more.


Long Island Thunderbirds. We are open to all Thunderbirds from 1955 to the present as well as other Ford vehicles. Over 75 members and growing! New members are welcome! THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!!  (Sorry….I had to say that! P.G.)


Road Panthers of Glen Cove. The oldest club on the east coast, they were formed in 1952! WOW! They are open to new members and participate in many charitable and automotive events.


Rumblers Car Club. Another Brooklyn based club, they are open to hot rods, rat rods, and customs of all American makes and models pre-1964. New members welcome.


Super Cruisers Nostalgia Car Club. Family oriented club that participates in shows, cruises, charity events, and more! New members welcome!


Long Island Cars (No relation to us.) is an independent Car Show Organization that puts on some of the finest shows in the area. They have twelve large shows and swap meets that are open to all years, makes, and models of cars, trucks, and specialty vehicles. Shows are held in four different locations across Long Island from March through November.






We are happy to have two of our columnists contribute again; Lou Refano and Marty Himes.


Lou regales us (pun intended) about the history of the Buick Regal. Lou is a well informed and knowledgeable “Buick Buff” who also has a talent for writing well. He combines the two into another interesting foray into Buick history.


Marty writes a nice story about Gentleman Jim Hendrickson. This fellow sounds like someone we can all take a lesson from.


We are also pleased to present the first column of “Rich’s Tech Tips”. It is a well timed feature pertaining to car batteries and their proper care, maintenance, and winterization. Listen close to what Rich has to say. The battery you save may be your own!


In the “My Car Story” feature, Tom DeMaria tells us about the long and diverse history of his ’69 AMC Hurst Scrambler. Quite a vehicle to say the least. This car must really boogie!



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         IN MEMORIAM:  BUICK REGAL 1973-2004





by Louis Refano


One day in the spring of '73, I was on my way home from school as usual. I was 11 years old but already my head was dancing with visions of cars old and new. Appreciation of the motorcar was then, and still is, my most enjoyable hobby. But this particular day was not to be so usual. You see, there was a special surprise for me at home (and it was a GOOD one).


As I bounded off the school bus and walked down my street, I soon spotted it in front of my house...a brand new, light tan, 1973 Buick Century Luxus Colonnade Hardtop Coupe, with a dark brown vinyl top. Behind the wheel was my Grandpa. He had waited for me to come home from school and he knew I would be excited. Was I thrilled when I opened the door and slid into the brown vinyl passenger seat as his first official passenger!

My Grandpa loved his cars, and they were always Buicks...and this was his very first new one; he usually bought demonstrators or slightly used ones. He gave his '62 Invicta coupe to my sister, and this Century was his new baby. And it was beautiful. Long, flowing front fenders, suggesting the classic fender lines of the 1942-48 Buicks. The opera windows, which people smirk at now but on these Buicks they seemed to work. The unusual but stylish rear window that projected out to a V-shape at the center. The softly sloping rear deck.  In '73 this coupe was a breakthrough design which looked like no other car, and it exhibited Buick class and understatement without being boring. The Skylark it replaced was sportier but not nearly as sophisticated a design. 


My Grandpa's was not the Regal, it was the Century Luxus, but it did share its coupe body and standard wheel covers with the top-of-the-line Century Regal, as it was called in '73-'74. From '75 on the Luxus was dropped, and the Century Regal was simply known as the Regal. This car, and its future incarnations, remained on my "hot list" for years. It was always the first Buick I was curious about when the new models rolled out.


The '73-'75s were large intermediates that worked well on their long bodies; I always recall a new '75 that I saw in a Buick showroom in Garden City, "Verde Mist" (deep green metallic) with a white landau top.

The '76-'77 models were trimmed up, shortened front and rear, and had nice vertical parking lights in the rear fender caps, though interestingly they were not directional signals. Those were found in the typical Buick horizontal taillight bar, right below the truck lid, surrounding the license plate.


The '78 was downsized again, but more radically. I was a bit disappointed in the truncated, boxy profile that didn't have the smooth flowing quality of the earlier ones. I predicted that it wouldn't sell...I was wrong. They still sold pretty well (remember, in '78 Toyota and Honda were still "niche" cars, not mainstream yet).


This style lasted till '80. Then in the fall of '80, while I was pumping gas at a Hess station, in came a champagne colored, redesigned '81, with matching landau top and Buick 5-star mags, and it was breathtaking.  I was in love all over again. Squared off, but longer, sharper and more unified. And it never looked better than when it was in a solid color, with those classic mags. The Limited was the plusher model with a Landau top, wire wheel covers and velour upholstery...nice for the older crowd. The T-Type with its turbo was sporty and cool...looked great in silver with its blacked-out grill. And of course the Grand National, a bold, edgy classic in basic black.

Car enthusiasts loved those GNs so much, they were running up to new car trailers with fistfuls of cash!  



In '88, the Regal took a radical turn; it traded in its sharp creases and massive chrome "snowplow" grille for an organic, jellybean shape, with "beer-tap" door handles in the B-post. That year they said The Great American Road belonged to Buick, but it was actually the beginning of the end. 


In '91 they added a Regal sedan, with windows too tall in an odd bubble-shaped roof, in an overall look that seemed committed to death. 


In '95, they took away the chrome bumpers for body-colored ones.


Finally in '98, the final insult; no more coupe, and a sedan body identical to the Century, with different rims and optional supercharger. When I E-mailed the Buick folks back in 2000, I asked "Why no coupe?" in so many words. They replied that they had no current plans to reintroduce one, which truly annoyed me. The Regal coupe, which sold over 200,000 copies every year from 1980-86, had just been put into dry dock, and left Buick without a contender in the sport coupe market...even the Riviera was put into mothballs after '99. So much for trying to appeal to younger consumers.


Which leads us to today; Just a few days ago, a new Buick was introduced called LaCrosse, for 2005, which replaces both Century and Regal. After years of anticipation I saw it on the Edmunds website, then on Buick's. The preliminary sketches had great promise, a slightly sporty look, interesting creases, even the famous Buick portholes! And GM delayed bringing it out one year, telling us they would make sure they got it right! The final product? A thinly disguised new Grand Prix which could be mistaken for five other cars. No portholes, no edgy styling. I was quite disappointed. The classy Buick look was gone, even the Regal name was gone. Ever wonder why American car buyers are staying away from GM in droves? This LaCrosse may be a new Buick, it just ain't "Buick enough". It certainly doesn't have the charisma and character that charmed my Grandpa and me over 30 years ago.



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       " The Care and Feeding of Your  Repro Battery.”


  By Rich Fiore                                                         


  Yes most of us like to get our engine compartments down to the point where it looks like it just rolled out of the factory. We go out and buy the reproduction battery which finishes things off nicely. Usually to the tune of about $ 135 dollars .... yikes !!!. But some of us neurotic types have to have it just right. So comes the issues of maintaining, and if need be, bringing the battery back to life along with getting your warranty honored.  


  First things first. This time of year (late fall to early spring) your battery should really be pulled and brought in to a warm climate but never on a cement floor (It drains batteries). If you are not able  to do this it should be left in its battery tray with the negative cable disconnected. The water level should always be above the plates and if low, use only distilled water. In both cases connect a battery maintainer and not a trickle charger. The difference being a maintainer will shut off when 12 volts are achieved as opposed to constantly charging the battery as the trickle charger does. That can cause an overcharge and a potentially damaging situation.


 The reason to leave the battery in a fully charged state is to preclude internal damage when left in a partially or completely discharged state. When a battery is left in a discharged condition ( low specific gravity ) over a period of time, or battery plates are exposed to air, the lead materials will crystallize causing sulfation. It will not hold a charge and cannot usually be brought back.  If your battery is sluggish check the specific gravity. If all readings are low, the best you can do is put a light charge ( 2 - 4  amps ) on the battery, and monitor the charger gauge and again check the specific gravity  every 4 hours. If the battery is ok and ready to be reinstalled it’s a good idea to give it a bath in a solution of baking soda and water, or use some of the commercial battery cleaners found in a spray can. Never get any inside the battery. It is also a good idea to set the battery on a battery pad to help eliminate the battery acid from eating up your battery tray along with giving it a little cushion when you lift the front wheels! [ Big smile !! ]


  Another item to use on installation would be the chemically treated washers before installing the terminals.  ( No big point deduction at the local shows ).  Of course it’s obvious the terminals must be clean and tight along with the battery hold down keeping that bad  boy from moving.


  Now comes the issue of needing warranty work: If you have a dead cell or two, or it just won’t come back to life, it has to go back to the manufacturer. Take your hydrometer readings prior to calling. The first order of business is to let them know of your findings. Next inform them that you do keep it on a Maintainer and do drive the car every 2 weeks  .... correct ?  ( Hint, Hint ). They will usually give you a warranty number and you will ship it to them.  They will open it up and determine what the problem is. Keep in mind one of the companies on the east coast will try and hit you for the return shipping back to your door. My advice is to fight them on this one. It was their battery that went bad and you had to ship it to them and already pay shipping charges once for a defective product!  Why should you pay the twenty some odd dollars again? I know people that have fought them on this and the company agreed to it.


The bottom line is take care of your repro battery and it should take care of you.     


Quick and Dirty: Have you checked the rubber fuel lines that come out of your gas tank?






       My Car Story                 Tommy DeMaria: 1969 AMC Hurst Scrambler  


                                                                                   “Little Terror”


   The year was 1969 and my brother Phil was looking for a new car. He went to price a Firebird, but loaded up it was over $4,000. Being about 18 years old, it was too high to pay off. I showed him an article on a Hurst sc/Rambler for $2,998 well equipped. This car had Mag wheels, a 390 V8 with Ram Air Induction, 4 barrel Carter AFB carburetor, 4 speed T-10 transmission, and 3.54:1 posi-rear. It also came with reclining bucket seats, a heavy duty radiator and flex fan, and a suspension that was tuned with staggered shocks! It was painted white with the red sides and blue decal stripes on the hood, roof, and trunk. It also had a functional hood scoop. This was called “Color Scheme A”.




They produced the first 500 sc/Ramblers this way and they sold out. But then the dealers complained that they were too loud looking, so the next batch produced were all white with no decals except for the word “AIR” on the scoop. They also put a long blue decal and a red border on the rocker panels. This was called “Color Scheme B”. 688 of these were produced. The last 324 made were back to “Color Scheme A”.


My brother drove the car for 3 ˝ years on the street and got tired of it, being afraid it might be stolen if he went somewhere like the movies, etc. So we became partners in the car and he went out and bought a Chevy Nova. I raced the sc/Rambler for about 6 years. First we had to better the stock time of 14.2 seconds in the quarter mile at 97 miles per hour. Zero to sixty was about 6.3 seconds.

We changed the cam and lifters to an Isky .456 lift solid cam, put in factory 4.44 gears and we ran low 12s! (12.08). Then we decided to bore the engine .030 over and changed the manifold over to a dealer option cross ram with two four barrel carbs. We also installed a set of 5.14 gears and 10 ˝ inch slicks. The car ran 11.31 to 11.36 all day!  


By the time National Speedway was closing (the last day to be precise), we had a pro motor in the car. It was a 360 honed to 372 cubes with 11.5 Jahns pistons, 2” aluminum Howard rods, and a fresh custom camshaft cut by General Kinetics with .725 lift intake and .695 lift exhaust valves. We installed a Tunnel Ram setup with two Holley 600 Double Pumpers. In feeling the car out during the first few “no load” runs, it ran 11.18 seconds at 121 mph in the quarter. That was launching and shifting at 7,000 rpm.  On the sixth run I launched at 7,500 rpm and shifted at the same. The car turned a 10.86 at 126 mph! I backed that time up with another run on 10 ˝” slicks. Then I had some minor trouble with the engine and called it a day.


We still have that pro motor on and engine stand with the heads removed. (18 years now) It gets oiled and rotated every 30 days. We still own the car (with original modified motor back in it) and it only has 22,000 original miles! So if you see us at any shows or cruise events, say hi. And remember that Rambler song from the 60’s (old timers!) Beep Beep “How do I get this car out of second gear?!”


“Little Terror” is owned by Tom and Phil DeMaria of Oceanside, New York.





Archive    Here is where you can access previous editions of the Long Island Classic Cars Online Newsletter.


                                                                               October 2003

                                                                           November 2003

                                                                            December 2003

                                                                                January 2004

                                                                              February 2004

                                                                                 March 2004





That wraps up another issue of the Long Island Classic Newsletter.


This one was surely an undertaking. Our longest one yet. Between the icons, graphics, articles, layouts, promotional coordination, etc, it took three weeks to put together! As always, I hoped you enjoyed it!


My thanks to the guest writers for giving us some interesting features.

Your feedback relating to our articles and scope is always welcome. Let us know what you think.


Also, please feel free to contribute with any articles or stories you may have to tell.

We invite all of you out there to submit a “My Car Story” feature. All years, makes, models, stocks, and customs are welcome.

We like variety!


April starts off the car show and cruise months, so when you see us out there, stop over and say hello!



We wish all of you a Happy Passover    and a Joyous Easter!   


And we pray for all of our troops.



Pete Giordano

Long Island Classic