SARATOGA AUTO AUCTION RAISES MORE THAN $150,000 FOR DISTRACTED DRIVING SAFETY AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Inaugural auction supports Saratoga Automobile Museum’s regional community efforts

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Oct. 31, 2017) – The first annual Saratoga Auto Auction, organized by the Saratoga Automobile Museum, raised more than $150,000 to support the museum’s distracted driving, education, and exhibit programs.

Led by auction director Jeff Whiteside, the auction took place on Sept. 22 and 23 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). The event was attended by thousands who either bid or witnessed more than 200 cars, trucks, boats, and motorcycles being auctioned.

“The proceeds raised at the auction will help make our roads safer,” said Jim Letts, executive director, Saratoga Automobile Museum. “Our distracted driving safety program reaches more than 10,000 high school students across the Capital Region each year. This program is more crucial than ever, as young drivers are tempted with the allure of the screen while their eyes should be focused on the road at all times.”

A total of $156,000 was collected by the museum for the auction, as a percentage of each vehicle auctioned and sold is earmarked for the museum. A select number of vehicles were donated as part of the auction, in which 100 percent of those proceeds were given to the museum.

“A first-year auto auction is a tremendous undertaking and its success could not have been realized without the incredible partners and sponsors that the museum was able to attract,” said Kevin Biebel, board chairman, Saratoga Automobile Museum. “Bravo and kudos to Jeff Whiteside for putting together this world-class auction together. This auction, next year and in succeeding years, will become the major autumn destination event for the Spa City.”

The auction featured appearances by television celebrities Steve Hale (History Channel’s American Restoration) and Paul Teutul Jr. (Discovery’s American Chopper). Additionally, the auction was complemented with a regional food truck show that featured food and cuisine made by local entrepreneurs across Upstate New York.

The 2018 auction is set for Sept. 21 and 22 at SPAC. Details will be announced, information about consigning vehicles, sponsorships, and more will be made available via saratogaautoauction.org.

The Saratoga Auto Auction was presented by through support from Mohawk Honda, Ianniello Anderson, P.C., DePaula Auto Group, Keeler Automotive Group, New Country Porsche of Clifton Park, Putnam Leasing, Saratoga National Bank, Sierra Nevada, Towne, Ryan & Partners, Racemark, Saratoga Spring Water, Intercity Lines, Inc., Bouchey Financial, JJ Best and media partners Townsquare Media.

“WHEELS AT WORK” EXHIBIT TO OPEN FRIDAY

“WHEELS AT WORK” EXHIBIT TO OPEN FRIDAY

Saratoga Springs, NY The Saratoga Automobile museum’s highly anticipated “Wheels at Work” exhibit will formally open Friday, November 10th at 6 pm. The two-hour program will include brief interviews with the owners of a number of the unique vehicles along with a reception including beer, wine and passed h’orderves.

The new exhibit, housed in SAM’s main Golub Gallery, looks at work vehicles of all types. Starting with a horse-drawn Grand Union tea wagon, the exhibit features such iconic vehicles as a Model ‘A” U.S. Mail truck, a Jeep with multiple attachments that once belonged to the producer of the Milton Berle TV show, a Checker cab from New York City and a completely outfitted 1957 International Civil Defense truck.

Two other trucks drawing rave reviews are a 1940 GMC tow truck restored by History Channel personality Steve Hale and the Grasso’s Italian Ices truck that has been a part of summer in Saratoga for decades. But the emotional epicenter of the exhibit is a Jeep Cherokee that was flattened in the September 11, 2001 attack on New York’s Twin Towers. On loan from the New York State Museum’s vast collection, the Jeep represents the day’s vast suffering. While the driver, Lt. David Lim, survived, his canine partner was killed in the tragic collapse.

Tickets for the exhibit opening are $10 for museum members and $20 for non-members and can be reserved by contacting Heidi Shull at the Saratoga Automobile Museum during business hours. The number is 518-587-1935.

FOUR ELECTED TO NEW YORK STATE STOCK CAR ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME

For Immediate Release

Contact: John Keegan at keeganj66@yahoo.com or 607-965-8994

Clifton Park, NY Pioneering car owner Allie Swears, superstar driver Jimmy Horton, longtime driver and chassis builder Dave Kneisel and fabricator/mechanic Dick Hicks will be the 2018 inductees for the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame.

Swears started out driving his own #36 at dirt tracks near his Glens Falls, NY home but came to prominence as an owner and builder of mounts for such notable drivers as Bob Bruno, Paul Marshall, Kenny Shoemaker, Dutch Reed, Roger Gauthier, Nelson Moore and Dick Nephew. A mechanic for Whiteman Chevrolet in Glens Falls by day, Swears built winning cars for Fonda, Victoria, West Haven, VT and a number of Canadian speedways by night.

Swears’ most notable achievement was winning the 1962 NASCAR National Sportsman championship with Nephew, who shared the honor with fellow New Yorker Bill Wimble after a year-long, four and five night a week battle. But he is also known as the builder of the South Glens Falls Dragway, which he opened in 1962. Along with local racers, the strip hosted such national luminaries as Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney and Art Arfons, adding to the Swears legend of achievement.

The ageless Horton, still a threat to win today at age 60 after decades of competition, may live in New Jersey but his New York record is outstanding. Modified champion at the Orange County Fairgrounds in ’76, ’96 and again in 2017, Horton also won the ’85 Lebanon Valley 200, a pair of Syracuse qualifiers and the ’95 Race of Champions at the Valley.

He won both Fonda’s Mohawk Valley 200 and Orange County’s Eastern States 200 twice, along with the ’92 DIRT Asphalt Challenge at Oswego, but his crowning achievement was winning the big block finale of Super DIRT Week on the Syracuse mile in 1987 and again in 1994.

2017 marked Horton’s 43rd start at Super DIRT Week, making him the all-time leader in that category despite a number of seasons devoted to ARCA and NASCAR competition.

Kneisel is another out-of-stater who left his mark on Empire State racing. The Clarks Summit, PA resident started his career in 1950 at the 1/5 mile asphalt Bone’s Stadium near Pottstown but soon became known for his prowess on dirt, both as a driver and as a fabricator of cars for such superstars as Jack Johnson and Bob McCreadie, who won Syracuse in ’79 and ‘86, respectively, in chassis from Kneisel’s Speed and Sport shop.

In 1971, Kneisel claimed track titles at both the Weedsport and Twin Valley Speedways and in ’74 scored another double, this time at Canandaigua and Brewerton. He also shone at the Five Mile Point Speedway, where he won the Heath Memorial in ’71, ’73 and ’74 and was a six-time champion between 1953 and ’73.

Hicks’ involvement in racing goes back to his youth in central New York, where he helped his cousin, regional star Larry Nye. A move to the Capital District saw Hicks land across the street from Pete Corey’s shop and he was soon involved with Corey and Eddie Pieniezak and then, later on, Pete Jr. Over the years, he would also work with Lee Nutting, Craig Criscone and the Hauser Brothers team when Hall of Famer CD Coville was their driver.

A 12-year association with Dextor Dorr was Hicks’ biggest career move. It was there that he perfected his fabrication skills, building complete cars alongside Dorr, as well rebuilding transmissions and rear ends. With Dorr’s passing in 1989, Hicks purchased his shop equipment and established the business he still operates today.

“I don’t build cars anymore but I clip bent chassis, build front axles, bumpers and rub rails and rebuild driveline components, so I stay busy,” says Hicks, now retired from his longtime “real job” as an executive with Callanan Industries. “I have a soft spot for the little guys and I try to help them out both financially and with setups. And I’ve been a crew guy with Brett Hearn for years. When I started helping him, he had 642 wins and now he’s over 900, so it’s been a while!”

The 2018 NYSSCA induction ceremony will be held at the site of the association’s permanent display, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, at 11 am on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Following that ceremony, attention will turn that evening’s NYSSCA awards banquet at the Albany Polish Club, with cocktails set for 4 pm and introduction of the Hall of Fame inductees to follow at 5:15.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located on the Avenue of the Pines in the Saratoga Spa State Park, just off Exit 13 of the Adirondack Northway, while the Polish Club is on Washington Ave. Extension near Exit 24 of the New York Thruway. Banquet reservations can be made through Cheryl Catman at 518-479-0607.

OUTSTANDING PROGRAM GETS EVEN BETTER

Contact: Ron Hedger @ 518-885-7481 or rjhmedia@juno.com

Saratoga Springs, NY The lineup for the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s annual Lost Speedways program got even better this week with the addition of noted sports car owner Rob Dyson, who will journey from his Poughkeepsie, NY home to discuss the IMSA championship winning LMP675 Prototype he recently donated to the museum.

Always the biggest event of the year at SAM, Lost Speedways is once again set for its traditional “Saturday after Thanksgiving” date, November 25th, with an all-star lineup of speakers looking back at a wide variety of topics.

Dyson will be joined by Ken Parrotte, who will recall the 1967 racing season, a landmark year both locally and nationally, while former NASCAR head chassis inspector and post-race teardown supervisor Randy Hedger will tell tales of his encounters with various crewchiefs, creative cheaters and the parts he confiscated from them. He will also recall some unusual experiences while driving the Sprint Cup pace car.

The venerable New York State Fairgrounds mile in Syracuse, recently bulldozed in the name of “progress,” will be the focus of the final two presentations. SAM Racing in NY gallery curator Ron Hedger will take a look back at Labor Day racing on the mile in the 50’s and early 60’s, then interview famed car owner Randy Ross and longtime Syracuse competitor Dickie Larkin about their experiences at Super DIRT Week.

As always, the action will kick off with a display of shared memorabilia at 11 am, followed by the formal presentations at 12:15 pm. Normal museum admission charges will prevail, with museum members admitted free of charge.

More information about the Saratoga Automobile Museum, located two miles off Exit 13N of I-87, the Adirondack Northway, is available online at www.saratogaautomuseum.org.

LINEUP SET FOR LOST SPEEDWAYS 2017 AT SARATOGA AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM

lost-speedways.png

Saturday November 25

This event is FREE with paid admission

Contact: Ron Hedger at 518-885-7481 or rjhmedia@juno.com

Saratoga Springs, NY The lineup of speakers and interviewees for the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s annual Lost Speedways program, a look back at speedways and racing heroes of the past, has been finalized for 2017.

Scheduled for its traditional “Saturday after Thanksgiving” date, the November 25th program will kick off with the annual memorabilia display at 11 am with the formal program set for 12:15 pm.

“We’ll open with Ken Perrotte looking back 50 years at the amazing 1967 racing season,” said event organizer Ron Hedger, curator of SAM’s Racing in New York gallery. “He’ll recall the exploits of NASCAR Sportsman champion Pete Hamilton, Parnelli Jones, Dennis Hulme, Curtis Turner, Smokey Yunick, Dutch Hoag, AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti, among others. Then we’ll move to a more modern topic, NASCAR Tech, with recently retired rules maker and Sprint Cup garage supervisor Randy Hedger, who will tell insider stories and take questions about NASCAR technical issues, past and present.

“Following intermission, I’ll take a look back at the Labor Day State Fair races at Syracuse in the 1950’s and 60’s. Then we’ll do our annual interview session with DIRTweek winning car owner Randy Ross and longtime Syracuse competitor Dickie Larkin. This has proven to be the longest and most popular segment in recent years.”

As always, the program is free for museum members, while others will pay the standard museum admission fee. Lunch will again be available, as it proved to be a very popular addition last year.

More information on the Saratoga Automobile Museum and its many programs can be found online at www.saratogaautomuseum.org.

AUCTION EXHIBIT TO PREVIEW EXCITING EVENT AT SPAC

For Immediate Release Contact:  Lindsey Collins @ 518-587-1935

Saratoga Springs, NY  When the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s unique exhibit “The Gavel: Cars of the Saratoga Auto Auction” opens to the public on Saturday, April 1, 2017, the public will get an insider look at the workings of the classic and collector automobile auctions that have become so popular with television viewers.

The Museum’s current exhibit, the extremely popular “Rolling Bones: The Exhibit of G.O.W.,” will close on March 26th.  Once the world renowned Rolling Bones rods have been returned to their proud owners, a variety of automobiles set to go on the auction block at the first annual Saratoga Automobile Auction, set for September 22-23, 2017 on the stage of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, will grace the Museum’s Golub Gallery.

Car auctions are lively events, energized by the chant of the auctioneer and the enthusiastic bidding process, and the new exhibit will explain both the buying and the selling process.

“Thanks to cable television and the Internet, Americans tune in, research and bid on vehicles and automobilia from the comfort of their homes,” offered SAM Educational Director Lindsey Collins.  “Whether you are hunting the polished Ferrari, the dilapidated barn find, or the everyday commuter car, car auctions offer something for everyone. The Gavel takes a look at American car auctions - the history, process, popularity and potential of automobile collecting.” 

The Gavel exhibit will open to the public at 10 am on Saturday, April 1, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday, April 28, 2017 and run until September, culminating in the Saratoga Auto Auction. Details about the Saratoga Auto Auction can be found at www.saratogaautoauction.org

Vehicles on display in the exhibit will range from a 1931 Ford Model A Woody to a very rare 1957 Chrysler 300C standard shift, a 1957 Ford Thunderbird and a 1957 Continental Mark II. Imports will be represented as well, with, among others, a 2003 Maserati Spyder convertible and a 2013 Lotus Exige Factory Cup on display.  These cars, along with hundreds of others, are all headed for the auction block in September.

Saratoga Automobile Museum Awarded Stewart’s Holiday Match and State Farm Grant

For Immediate Release

Contact: Director of Education and Archives, Lindsey Collins at 518-587-1935

Saratoga Springs, NY

The Saratoga Automobile Museum has been awarded a generous amount from the Stewart’s Holiday Match and State Farm to support the Museum’s Distracted Driving Initiative.

Since the program was initiated in August 2015, deputies from the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, area educators and countless museum visitors have used the state of the art simulators to learn how a few seconds of distraction can lead to tragedy and result in injury to yourself and others. In 2016, a trailer allowed us to take our Distracted Driving Initiative on the road to area high schools and businesses impacting over 9,000 individuals. The funds from these grants will be used to expand our impact to over 12,000 drivers in 2017.

More information on the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s Distracted Driving Initiative and other museum programs and activities can be found online at www.saratogaautomuseum.org.

PETER VINCENT Photography: EXCITING NEW EXHIBIT

PETER VINCENT Photography:  EXCITING NEW EXHIBIT

Vincent’s beginnings in photography were in Fine Art and Popular culture but he soon developed a passion for automotive and other wheeled subcultures.

“The Rolling Bones cars take an artistic, and yet very authentic and real dimension,” says Vincent. “Their cars work, period. And I’ve driven across country with them more than once. They are moving art.”

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SAM Welcomes New Executive Director

SAM Welcomes New Executive Director

“It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Jim Letts as our new Executive Director,” said Anthony Ianniello, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum. “While serving as the CEO of the Saratoga Regional YMCA for the past 12 years, Jim has had amazing success, growing the Y's membership from 6900 to 26,900 while raising many millions of dollars through capital campaigns to support and expand the Y’s facilities and activities.

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YOUTH JUDGING PROGRAM A BIG PART OF MAY AUTO SHOW

YOUTH JUDGING PROGRAM A BIG PART OF MAY AUTO SHOW

The youth judging programs are just part of an ever growing event that traditionally marks the opening of the Capital District auto show season. Held on the huge green space in the center of the Saratoga Spa State Park, the show has two major components.

The front portion of the field will hold the traditional “cruise in” style show, with entry open to all. The adjacent reflecting pond area of the show field will hold entries in this year’s featured marque classes: Model T Fords, Model A Fords, Pre-1972 Muscle Cars and Pre-1949 Street Rods.

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