Cruisin’ New England Elite Dream Machines Rock n’ Roll Weekend, July 2nd, 2011

MS070211 041A hectic Saturday started on the top of the Thames Garage at Mohegan Sun for the Rooftop Super Cruise section of the Cruisin’ New England Elite Dream Machines Rock n’ Roll Weekend. Elite Dream Machines showcases some of the finest classic, muscle, vintage and special interest vehicles from across the northeast. “The variety is superb, from classics to muscle cars to tuners. I try to represent as many eras of automotive history as possible,” stated show producer Paul Mennett.

Cruisin’s first item of business was to meet up with our old friend Kim Kerr and delivered the first of his two commissioned pieces – a framed Digital Auto Art of his awesome 1976 “Madmax” Ford Falcon XB. The second image will be Kim’s new Display Print that Dave is currently designing. No matter how many times I see that car, I never get tired of it!

Wayne and Cathy Vandini and their gorgeous white and blue 1969 Camaro SS 350 were set up next to Kim – two showstoppers parked side-by-side. It turns out that Kim, Wayne and Cathy live about a half-a-mile apart in Massachusetts and met for the first time on Saturday. Talk about a small world.

Dreamz II Reality’s Jeff Alexander found some shade for himself and his Scion tC. This car has to be seen to be believed, with its black-and-purple shag interior, Grateful Dead graphics and purple shag exhaust covers.

We then met Carlos Ponce and his wife after I literally drooled all over their stunning yellow Camaro RS. The late-model exterior had some sweet early model touches like chrome bumpers and chrome inlet panels on the hood. The interior had subtle touches of yellow that set the car off nicely.

We also met up with Cruisin’ Photography Facebook fan Kirk Morgan and his wife, Lilly. Their superb 2008 Mustang GT looks great in blue with pearl white stripes and Lambo doors. Next up will be new wheels and tires…

Vanning is gaining an upsurge in interest after the halcyon days of the 1970s and it was good to see that the vanning fraternity was represented on the rooftop by two stunning examples.

Next, it was a quick trip on the shuttle bus to the Mohegan Sun Ballroom to cool off a little and see some old friends and to make some new ones.

Upon entering, Tommy Hannon’s eye-catching display of his Hayabusa and Harley came quickly into sight. It was nice to see Tommy’s girlfriend, Sue, and her sunny smile. We first met Tommy at the Maratta show in January, when he commissioned Dave to produce an Auto Art piece of the striking ‘Busa. We’ve stayed in touch since and it awesome to see Dave’s artwork being proudly displayed with the bikes.

We then stopped to see Mary Odom and Todd Vaillancourt, owners of the showstopping 1987 Chevy Astro van, Vanformer. Todd told Dave and me that Paul Mennett had interviewed him on Friday night for an upcoming episode of Cruisin’ New England and will also be filming a segment for the show at the upcoming Super Somers van event. Todd loves to talk about the history and future of vanning, so we’re looking forward to watching both shows.

Roger Moyles and his beautifully turned out 1965 Chevy van “Sinsational” were parked right next to Vanformer. You can bet both of those beauties drew lots of fans and were well photographed.

It’s been too long since we’ve seen DIIR president Jerry Zayas and first lady Maria Zayas, so it was good to catch up with them. With its Rolls Royce Georgian silver paint with candy metallic purple graphics, Jerry’s 2000 Hyundai Elantra always turns heads. We never met up with DIIR club member Mike Dembkoski, but we did see his “Split Personality” Yamaha R1, looking good under the ballroom lighting.

Cruisin’ had a total of seven commissioned pieces on show at Elite Dream Machines. Five were in the ballroom, by the vehicles of Jerry Zayas, Tommy Hannon, Mike Dembkoski and Todd Vaillancourt, while Kim Kerr and Jeff Alexander proudly displayed their Digital Auto Art on the Thames Garage rooftop.

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