Classic car show drives traffic to Shields Post

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Betty Leach and Gloria Zeoli talked about “promoting goodwill in the community” as they stood in Sunday’s sparkling sunshine in the parking lot of the William Shields Jr. American Legion Post 43 at 662 West Shore Road in the Conimicut section of Warwick.

Meanwhile, Post 43’s resident disc jockey Chuck Holm set up his sound equipment atop the famed 40 & 8 train and sent oldies and doo wop music into the day’s air while many members and their guests enjoyed food and beverages and walked around looking at a unique collection of classic cars.

In the middle of it all was Gene Cahoon, who Post 43 member Jake Holm called “the car show guru” because of his long-standing experience of organizing successful car shows in-and-around Warwick, greeted nearly 40 classic car owners to Sunday’s show.

“We are very thankful Gene did this for us,” Gloria Zeoli, a member of the Post 43 Women’s Auxiliary, offered “This is a great way to promote our post and bring people together without having to spend a lot of money.”

The event, which attracted vintage vehicles of all makes, models and colors including a classic 1929 Model A Ford, reinforced the message on a banner that is affixed to the historic building and reads: “The American Legion, William Shields Jr. Post 43 celebrating 100 years of veterans helping veterans, 1919-2019.”

For a first time event, people like Joe Flamand who brought not one but one but four classic cars including his 1931 Ford Model A coupe, a 1993 Cadillac Deville, 1978 Cadillac and ’78 Chevrolet wanted it known: “This was a very good turnout and has the potential to grow and grow.”

Flamand was also one of three men who took home a trophy that Leach, who is Post 43’s command, presented during an awards presentation.

He captured third place for his 1931 Model A Ford Coupe while Cahoon announced that “first place goes to Mister C – Robert Cicchetti – for his 1942 Chevy. Third went to the owner of a 1967 GTO.

But as Cahoon later related, “every one that brought a car here today made this [show] a winner. I’m very happy with the turnout and I want to thank Betty [Leach] and the American Legion for hosting everyone today. They rolled out the welcome mat for us.”

No one, though, was happier with Sunday’s results than Leach, who issued a show-wide “Thank You” to every attendee during the awards ceremony and later told Cahoon “I’m very happy with what transpired here today; I’d like to keep this sort of thing going as long as it doesn’t conflict with other shows in the area.”

As she accepted congratulations from a number of show goers and Post 43 members, Leach said: “We are looking forward to doing future events like this. It’s a great way to promote goodwill in the community and here at Post 43.”

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