Like the classic rock playing on the speakers, the Baldwin Car Show and Swap Meet hosted by Hose Company One of the Baldwin Fire Department was a hit on Sunday. That morning around 7 a.m. classic car owners with cars of all decades pulled in to start displaying their entry pieces.
Two hours later a crowd started to build, but unfortunately not as big as usual, since the event date October 3rd was spilt with multiple other cars shows in the area, like the one happening at TOBAY Beach put on by Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and the board.
Even with the attention divided among the car community, multiple groups were present. The Southside Boys, Graham-Paige Club, Goodguys and more were represented. Obscure, rare, stock and souped-up car alike were on display, but please don’t touch the glass.
A 1930 Graham-Paige brought back from South Dakota was parked near the front in the last row. The owner Ray Lignowski found the obscure car as a shell in 1998 and bought it for $500 beginning its extensive restoration as an act of love. During the process, Lignowski realized that it is the same make and model of his grandparent’s first car and found pictures of them in the car in Brooklyn from 1933.
Lignowski talked of the pioneering features and add-ons available at the time, “Most death then was from glass and now they had laminated safety glass.” He also added that the car had “Lockheed designed hydraulic brakes when most cars then were using cable brakes.”
John Brokos, a frequent rider at car shows, also attracted a lot of attention with his 1958 Chevy Biscayne Sports Coupe. He said, “With thirty second to go I clacked into the computer, and I bid $12,000…I bid first and got it for $11,000 this guy would not give it up, eBay and myself both threatened to take him to court.”
Brokos has been coming to events since Hose Company One started their events seven years ago, he said, “In seven years I’ve won seven trophies, a few in best of show.”
Hose Company One, however, is no stranger to rare and valuable vehicles. In 1921, they obtained one of the fastest REO “Speedwagon” Hose Trucks in New York. Thirty years later the Baldwin Fire District purchased a 1000-gallon Ahrens Fox Pumper which has served not only the Baldwin community but Long Beach, Oceanside, and Freeport as well.
The legendary West Hempstead Westerners, “The Fordillac” 1950 C Truck was also there as a memorial car to Henry G. Brohm Jr. The car was in service from 1951 to 1964 and won NY State Champions in 1951. The fire department also had a lot to celebrate in general, this being their 125 years in service to the community.
One member of the department, who couldn’t put out an official statement, said the consensus was, “Everyone seemed to have a really good time. I think that a lot of people were nice and happy to come out on a nice day and get out on the weekend.”