Gleaming tribute to cars when chrome was king of the road
It was a bit like reeling back in time, conjuring memories of a long-lost movie drive-in as more than 50 vintage cars -- many dating to the 1950s and '60s -- gleamed under the Saturday evening sun at the Brickwalk Promenade's rear parking lot.
Here, a pastel-pink Ford Thunderbird and there a powder-blue Corvette Sting Ray. A lobster figurine propped up in the passenger seat provided a comical accent to a Doge Dart GT. A green-and-white 1956 Oldsmobile Holiday 88 4-door hardtop dazzled.
Providing a musical backdrop to car show at the Post Road complex was Christine Occhino and her pop/jazz band, Last Chance, performing near the Trek Bicycle Store. The event was one in a monthly series designed to attract people to the Brickwalk, which is home to businesses like Liquid Lunch, the Pious Bird and Molto restaurant.
For Fairfielder Bob Sabre, though, who had no fewer than 10 cars on display, it was an opportunity to bring smiles to people's faces and evoke memories of an era when chrome was king of the road.
"A 1955 Chevy Belair was my first car," Sabre recalled, "which I had when I was 16. I went to Bullard-Havens technical school in Bridgeport at the time. Cars had always been a passion." Sabre owned an ARCO gas station on Black Rock Turnpike for 14 years, from 1970 to 1984, before getting into development of residential homes through his business, Beachside Estates.
"I maintained my love for cars always," he said. "They are a thrill to own, but are an even bigger thrill when you see how people react to them. I love to show and participate in a dozen shows a year. I have 15 cars in my collection. They're a labor of love, with a lot of cleaning to do on them all the time."
Fairfielder Allison Gruder found a temporary home behind the wheel of Sabre's 2010 Chevy Corvette ZR1, which has a top speed of 208 mph. "I have a 2009 Mustang convertible," she said. "Classic cars are fun."