BELMAR, NJ — To say that Joe Puleo’s favorite classic car is the Cadillac would be an understatement.

For the past 42 years, the Belmar resident has amassed 14 of these distinctive cars from yesteryear and brought two of them to the Belmar Cruise Night on August 22 — a 1959 Coupe de Ville and a 1959 Fleetwood, both models known for their fighter jet-inspired tailfins.

“I bought my first antique car in 1977 when I was 18,” Puleo said. “It was a 1937 Cadillac, and I still have it.”

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There is a 15th car in his entire collection, which he also showcased at the event — a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, a shiny red crowd-pleaser that is considered among America’s ultimate muscle cars.

During the car show — the last of the season sponsored by the Belmar Business Partnership — Puleo and other car aficionados had the opportunity to talk shop with other fellow car owners, as well as share their wealth of knowledge about what is more of a passion than a hobby to most of them.

And many attendees appreciated the history lesson. “We’ve been coming to Belmar for this event for as long as I can remember,” said Agnes Fuchs of Sayreville, who was accompanied by the husband, Rich. “It’s just a fun time, and there are always new ‘old’ cars to look at ... and so much to learn about them.”

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