History lesson-Back In Time Asbury Park 60″s Car Show

History lesson-Back In Time Asbury Park 60″s Car Show

Asbury Park’s Hall was two floors Main and Mezzanine

It was at a time when the Author Tony Monopoli started his career with the B&T Automotive “Speed Shop” it opened its doors in Palisades Park NJ, in 1964. The 1960’s was a decade that a variety of cars emerged

Tony built the 1940 Mercury Coupe in high school, it had scoops in the hood, Nerf bars, custom interior, Grecian Gold paint, 52 Mercury Flat Head with 2 twos and a few other custom features; it was a cross over to the 1960’s. Very Cool!

My cool ride got old when a long came a change in what was “KOOL” and in. The 40’s and 50’s was the era of Hot Rods & Customs and suddenly things changed to factory muscle (Mustangs, Camaros, GTO’s and host of powerful cars that could be bought at a dealer and were able to be driven).

The 1960’s street scene also changed to a more acceptable type of racing at the drag strip. NJ had its share of Drag Strips that were the alternative to street racing which was illegal and extremely frowned upon. The drag strips popped up everywhere. There were a variety from as short as 1/16 of a mile (Old Bridge Stadium and it was a banked track) 1/8 of a mile and then there was (Flemington Fair Speedway) i remember it being hilly and there were (1/4) mile track. Island drag-way good luck stopping, Garlits didn’t do so good and hit the train tracks *Atco was onetime sanction by NASCAR and E Town (Raceway Park) was an NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) sanctioned track. I attended the very first day of E Town and unfortunately got to see the last day too.

The car show scene paralleled racing (Summer Time Race Cars, Winter time Car Shows.  Car Shows were also sanctioned by Associations like ISCA (International Show Car Association) which is still a big guy in the field today. The nudge that got me to dig into my Asbury Park photos and bring you some evolutionary history came from two very talented guys that are part of New Jerseys Finest (Builders Restorers, Fabricators and Preservers of Specialty Vehicle History) the Ida’s are a father and son team with their IDA Automotive shop located in Englishtown New Jersey. The AVM Automotive Appraisals Team made up of Mario and Tony Monopoli took similar paths. Bob Ida and Tony Monopoli both started a lifelong career in drag racing. Both built Hot Rods at an early age, both sons have taken our business to a higher level. They all continue to put New Jersey on the Map in the National scheme of things. Their quarry on FaceBook about the Asbury Park Car Convention Hall was why I say Preservers of our New Jersey Specialty Vehicle History.

The Asbury Car Show was sanctioned by the ISCA series of car shows that came with rule books, trained Judges and required membership. I hope my photos jar your memories as the IDA father and Son team awakened me.

Photo depicts the B&T Automotive Display on the Asbury park Hall maned by Brother Barry Monopoli (RIP 2020). Note: B&T sign was prior to adding the Speed Equipment to our company’s name and Logo.

Products displayed included items offered by B&T which weren’t found in other speed shops on the East Coast. Hot Rod’s were transforming into (Street Rods) blue signs declared B&T specialized in Street Rod and Chrome plating. Race and Street cars were transforming into show cars. The B&T shop evolved into one that provided speed chrome plating and mail-order with our own catalogs that were branded as “B&T Street Rod City and B&T Chrome Makes It”

Pictured is My Model A Ford which featured some of the under car B&T chrome products that were custom plated and available in store and catalog. The 1932 Ford adjacent to the A was built and owned by a friend and customer Gary Dicso.

The 1939 Ford dubbed Old Flame was owned by Andy Gross who was a friend and customer (RIP). It had a Butten and Tufted interior (Custom Car DNA). Diamond upholstery has never gone out of style. Look at all your late model Exotics!

The “Sunkist” T Roadster pictured here was built and owned by friend and customer Randy Bianchi, He changed the look of T Buckets forever, with Sunkist’s signature flip up roof.

The Sunkist also started another trend with its sit down in the weeds seating, Randy incorporated that into several of his builds. The Sunkist is a Magazine magnet that was featured in articles from then till now. It is currently owned and restored by Randy Bianchi Jr. He is also a future force
in the Specialty Hot Rod Industry with his talent. The 1932 Coupe Next to It was owned by Steven Sissmen (Nick Named Stills) The car was later transformed into Tom Gallitanos (Flamed Tuff 32) another Magazine Magnet with it’s over all look and it Shadowed Flames.

Both the Corvette and the Traditional T Bucket with the panel paint of the era were owned by Robert Carpenter of Wayne NJ. Bob was a Dealer at the time and is part of the Northern NJ cruise nights who frequently posts on FaceBook. Bob said in one FaceBook post “I should have kept them”.

The El Camino pictured was an ISCA seasoned show cars we called the owner by his nick name “Switches” for the inordinate number of switches in the car.

The Fifties Mercury appeared to be another ISCA Show Car Complete with Scallops and Pontiac Grille Treatment.

This Pontiac was also a ISCA show car. There is a lesson here “Always take a picture of the sign with the car to identify owner car and its credits.”

Patriotic Corvette Says it All Proud to be an American, We Still see these paint schemes today!

The Model A Sedan with a Metal Flake Paint job was also a seasoned ISCA show car. Many of the Cars that were there were driven to Asbury included mine. My A was even driven to the NY City Coliseum Car Show in mid-winter with icy roads.

The Asbury Park Hall or we knew it as the Convention Center Was Restored and is a New Jersey Treasure for all and a memory that should be passed on. 

Photos © AVM Collection

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