NEPR-AACA Car Show features variety of automobile categories, flea market in Forty Fort
FORTY FORT — The annual car show held by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America is part of Mark Nenichka’s culture.
“I remember them as a teenager,” Nenichka said of the shows. “It had started way back when (they were) in Ralston Field by Kirby Park.”
The 55th annual NEPR-AACA Car Show starts at 8 a.m. June 5 at the Wyoming Valley Airport. The show awards classic and contemporary vehicles in 36 categories and features a flea market with more than 20 vendors of auto-related and general goods.
Nenichka, now 62, is the current director of the NEPR-AACA. The Swoyersville resident said his organization’s show is special because it’s held at the airport.
“People get to see classic, antique or present day muscle cars, but also antique planes and current issue planes of those eras.”
Patrons can even take a plane ride for $25.
Club secretary Mike Sawczuk has been involved for nearly 25 years, seeing the show location change several times, and he’s satisfied with the event’s home over the last three years.
“It’s a much larger venue for us, and it opens us up to people in the northern part of the county and Lackawanna County,” Sawczuk said.
The Nanticoke resident said the new locale has doubled the amount of cars registered and the number of patrons who attend.
Those vehicle entries include AACA certified categories, Model Ts and As, muscle cars, foreign rides, trucks, motorcycles and this year’s featured category: street rods. These and numerous other varieties add to the unique quality of the show.
“It’s kind of an open show as opposed to the AACA shows,” Sawczuk said. “They’re restricted to cars in certain classes, but we open it up to everything.”
Nenichka said the chapter’s inclusion of rat rods and several other categories reaches a wider range of people. The club fosters the same all-are-welcome sentiment during its monthly car cruises on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.
“We even get in to the tuners, so kids running the four cylinders, making a ton of racket, have an opportunity to be involved,” Nenichka said.
Of the many preserved, rebuilt and new vehicles at the show, two are dear to Nenichka. One, a silver 1973 Chevrolet Corvette covertible, is owned by him and his wife, Sharon, the club’s vice president.
The other, a black 1958 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery, was Nenichka’s car in high school, but he sold it to Ronald Krushnowski, of Hanover Township, in 1980.
“They only made 260 of them,” Nenichka said. “I told [Krushnowski] if he was ever interested in selling it to call me first.”
The event brings car enthusiasts together to share nostalgia and excitement, but there is also a philanthropic element to the show.
Dallas Boy Scout Troop 281 cooks food for the event in the airport’s main hangar.
“Whatever they make is theirs,” Nenichka said. “We’re just glad to have them taking care of the food.”
Proceeds from past NEPR-AACA events have also been donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center where the club holds monthly meetings and sponsors a scholarship for automotive students.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651
If you go:
What: 55th annual NEPR-AACA Car Show
Where: Wyoming Valley Airport, 2001 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort
When: 8 a.m. June 5
Additional information: Enthusiasts who wish to show their vehicle can register at the show for $12. Cars must be registered and driven onto the field before noon. Spectators can enter for $2 per person or $5 per car load. Plane rides cost $25.
For more information and a schedule of events, visit nepraaca.org.