Classic Cars and More Rev Up One of Biggest Events At State Fairgrounds

Jul 14, 2017

The New York State Fairgrounds is packed full this weekend with Hot Rods and Classics from all over North America.  From Hot Rods to Muscle Cars and everything in between, it’s a colorful display of U.S. automobiles at the 2017 Syracuse Nationals.

More than 8,000 vehicles are filling the Fairgrounds everywhere you look.  This is the 18th edition of the show and Event Organizer Rob O’Connor feels there’s something for everyone to appreciate.  He admits being partial to muscle cars such as Camaros and Mustangs.

“It’s more than just a car show.  The cars are the backdrop but this is a festival type of atmosphere,  There’s so many different things to do and see.  There’s great food here.  It’s fun for the whole family.” 

Hundreds of the cars are from many decades ago
Credit Meghan Burke/WAER News

And that’s precisely what O’Connors’ Father Bob intended when he created the show.  The show reels in 10 to 15 million dollars for the local economy.  They also have a history of giving back to the community.

“We’re hoping to break $1.1 Million or $1.2 Million (over the years), depending.  We have Artie’s party pinstripers coming in from all over the world.  They create all this cool automotive artwork.  It’s auctioned off, and 100% of the money goes to the local Ronald McDonald House.  Last year they raised about $70,000.”

One of the more popular cars at the show was Joe Mero’s Dodge Charge better known as the “General Lee” from the TV Show the Dukes of Hazard.  He says only 25 to 30 are on the road today.

Credit Meghan Burke/WAER News

“This Charger is documented have been in the show.  It’s all restored.”  

Most of the main cast from Dukes like John Schneider have autographed the vehicle.  Mark Schneider from Baldwinsville is not related.  However, he’s at the show with his 1955 turquoise and white Chevy 2 door.

“A whole line of us are all together.  Actually there are a lot of guys I went to high school with that have bought cars now and are back into it.  I never left it, but these other guys did and now we’re all back together in it.”

Credit Meghan Burke/WAER News

The Syracuse Nationals runs through Sunday at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.  Even more car enthusiasts are expected to be rolling into town on Saturday.  And you might want to yield to them.