Brian Wilson Jr. was surely smiling as he looked down on so many family members and friends gathered for the Central Connecticut State University Car Club (C3) Spring 2011 Car and Truck Show. His car, a silver Pontiac GTO, was there, and Brian was there, too, in spirit. An active member of C3, Brian (affectionately known as “SpongeBob”) was 23 when a heart attack tragically cut his life short in 2008.
The New England weather co-operated fully and served up a sunny day for the benefit car show, with proceeds going to the American Heart Association, a worthy cause with a heartfelt meaning for C3.
Kathy and I had met Brian’s family at last year’s C3 Fall show as they handed out heart-healthy apples (link) and have stayed in touch with Brian’s cousin Krystina Carbone. In fact, we’ve kept in touch so well that we will be photographing her wedding to fiancé Terry in September of 2012!
Members of Brian’s family manned the Heart Association awareness gazebo, which we made our first stop. Brian’s parents, Linda and Thomas, Krystina, Terry and Thomas’ new rescue dog Tia, a Doberman, greeted us warmly. Linda explained to Kathy how she enjoyed baking cupcakes to give show visitors as a thank you for their support. Krystina teased her aunt that she may have to make 300 cupcakes for the Fall car show. Linda made 130 regular cupcakes, which she and Krystina distributed, as well as a large cupcake just for me. Thanks Linda.
After taking a few family photos, it was time Kathy and I took walk to see who was about. More than 150 vehicles were in attendance. The cars represented a cross section of vehicles that included classic and modern muscle cars, domestics, imports, tuners and off-roaders. Along with the hosts from C3, the main club representation came from Dreamz II Reality Motorsports (DIIR).
DIIR was well represented by club president Jerry Zayas’ tricked-out Hyundai Elantra, his wife Maria’s newly revamped GTI, Peter and Kathy Pires’ Crossfire SRT6 and the Scion tCs owned by Jeff Alexander and Gabriel Martinez. The club’s two-wheeled fraternity was represented by CCSU student and C3 member Crystal Barnes on her Suzuki GSXR and the later arriving Gary Lambert on the awesome “Dark Knight” turbo Hayabusa.
We ran into many old friends and made some new ones along the way, including the crew from CTShift.net. I was attracted to the two Triumph Street Triple motorcycles in their display area. When I called England home, I lived around 15 miles from Triumph’s factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire.
Chris, the owner of a sweet Triple decked out in classic British Racing Green paint, told me about the CT Shift website. The conversation soon turned to bikes, racing and track days on either side of the pond. While I was busily enjoying myself, Kathy was photographing Kimber, the owner of the other Triumph.
Feeling a little sunburned and already looking forward to C3’s Fall show, Kathy and I said our goodbyes and adjourned to Rita’s for ice cream.