KINGS POINT, N.Y., May 20, 2015 – Last Sunday, close to one thousand spectators attended the first auto show ever to be held on the grounds of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). The event, which was hosted by the regimental Auto Club, included about 100 classic, historic and modified vehicles. Club Advisor, CAPT Peter Kahl, Professor of Marine Engineering and Shipyard Management, said, “I am extremely proud of the way the car club officers and members carried out this event. The leadership traits that we are officially trying to generate in our students were all evident today; tenacity, selflessness, loyalty, vision, communication, technical skill, and resilience."
First Class Midshipman, Paul Styx, President of the Auto Club agreed. “It was exciting to see everyone working so hard to make this show a success. We didn’t have any problem getting club members enthusiastic about helping out, and they did everything I asked of them,” said Styx. “A large number of staff members took valuable time out of their schedules to help us out as well. It was a huge undertaking and we, as a team, made it happen.”
Guests toured the Academy grounds, museum and historic buildings, but the highlight of the day was seeing Walter Chrysler’s 1937 Custom Imperial LeBaron Town Car, outside Chrysler’s former home, Wiley Hall. Other featured vehicles included a 1964 ½ Mustang “shorty” two seat factory prototype (first time shown to the general public), a 1909 ALCO (American Locomotive Company) Vanderbilt Cup winner, and a 1966 Ford GT350H rare white version.
Second Class Midshipman, Daniel Giacco summarized his experience as a member of the club, “this car show gave the regiment of midshipmen something to get behind and take pride in, while also connecting with the community through a common appreciation and love for the cars of yesterday and today. Car enthusiast or not, today everyone left with a better appreciation for American automotive engineering and for the mission of the United States Merchant Marine Academy.”
Spectators enjoyed the day, as well. Mr. John Stratakis said, “my son, Christopher, and I enjoyed visiting the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the car show. We hope it will become an annual event.”