Spring Fling seemed to offer something for everyone Saturday, and local car enthusiasts were no exception.
The Binghamton University chapter of Delta Sigma Phi, a social fraternity, hosted the Show N’ Shine Car Show in the Events Center parking lot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The car show, the second annual edition of the event, raised money for Binghamton Crime Stoppers, a civilian organization that is dedicated to providing information regarding crime that occurs in the area.
Area car owners brought 59 vehicles to the show. The fraternity charged entrants $10 per car, raising almost $600.
Thomas “T.J.” Ciccone, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, said that he came up with the idea to host a car show when he attended a similar event near his home that raised money for Toys For Tots.
“We were looking to do a philanthropic event, and I just thought it was a cool idea,” Ciccone said. “I brought it back to the rest of my fraternity brothers and they got behind the idea.”
He said his fraternity decided they wanted the funds they raised to contribute to the local community.
“Crime Stoppers ultimately benefits the entire community, including students,” Ciccone said.
Delta Sigma Phi advertised for the event through a host of mediums, including flyers, newspaper advertisements, advertising on a local rock radio station and a spot on FOX 40’s events calendar.
The turnout at this year’s Delta Sigma Phi car show did not surpass last year’s, something Ciccone blamed on the rain.
“The weather definitely had an impact,” Ciccone said. “People told me that they knew others who were planning to bring cars, but kept them at home because of the rain.”
Ciccone also said that some owners of older cars departed around 2:30 p.m. to try to keep their cars out of the rain.
Nevertheless, Ciccone and other members of Delta Sigma Phi said they were pleased with the day’s turnout.
“We’re excited about what we’ve seen so far, and we’re happy we could generate some interest among the community and show support for the Binghamton Crime Stoppers,” said Matthew Coleman, a senior majoring in English, who organized the car show.
The show featured classic domestic cars, European hatchbacks, Asian imports and even an in-service Pennsylvania State Police squad car.
Delta Sigma Phi gave out an award for “best classic” car in attendance, which went to a 1964 Porsche 356. The fraternity had planned to give awards in other categories, but the intended recipients had already departed when the weather turned inclement.
Edie and Richard Griswold, brothers and self-identified lifelong automobile enthusiasts, were among the car owners in attendance. The Griswolds brought two national-award-winning vehicles with rich histories of their own.
Edie’s 1969 Buick Wildcat and Richard’s 1965 Buick Grand Sport are both registered with the Antique Automobile Club of America, which describes itself on its website as “the premier car club in the world.”
Edie said he fell in love with his Wildcat the first time he saw the car.
“About a decade ago, I remember seeing this car on Conklin Avenue with a young lady behind the wheel, and I knew I wanted it more than anything else,” Edie recalled. “I spent nearly a year talking to this woman, and wound up buying it when she became pregnant, and then I spent another year restoring it.”
Richard said that he and his brother both take special care to maintain the condition of their cars and refuse to modify any of the car’s original parts.
“These cars are exactly as they were bought from the showroom over 40 years ago,” Richard said. “And we drive them just as they were meant to. If something breaks down, we buy the original part from a warehouse in California — and you can bet it ain’t cheap.”
Ed Shelp, a resident of Choconut, Penn., brought his Cadillac out to the event.
“I jump at any chance to show off my car and learn a little bit more about others,” Shelp said.