BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Cars of all shapes, colors and sizes were on display on Sunday at the fifth annual Berkeley Heights Fire Department Car Show. From Chevrolet Chevelles to Ford Mustangs to even a monster truck, the event had something for everyone.
There were 100 cars involved in the contest and Lieutenant Mike Ambrose of the Berkeley Heights Fire Department said it’s always a fun event. Ambrose, who is also in charge of fundraising, said the show originated because they wanted another way to create revenue for the fire house. So, after talking to members, they decided to start a “Hot Rods on Hamilton Car Show.”
“It’s been very successful,” he said.
Advertisements and flyers were posted at car shows and on websites leading up to Sunday’s festivities. The cars were judged by the drivers in different categories. Therefore, no one could complain, he said. There were also special winners chosen by the mayor and the fire chief.
The event helps pay for equipment, uniforms and other necessary items for the fire department. The Berkeley Heights Fire Department answered 850 calls last year and is one of the busiest departments in the county. As a result, every cent raised is vital, Ambrose said.
“With budgets getting tight, we got to figure out another way to put equipment on the trucks,” he said
Fireman George Bott of Millington said he came to support his brethren and bring his 1973 Dodge Challenger out, as well. He said when he isn’t busy putting out fires or repairing plumbing and heating, his passion is cars. He likes to restore classic ones when he has a chance.
George Trohalidas of Somerset, who was participating for the first time, said he has attended many shows throughout the state in the past. He brought his Hummer H2, which isn’t made anymore. He said he used to drive it, but now it’s more for show. With 27 T.V.s in it, a four inch lift and chrome all over, what else could a person want, he asked.
“It’s one of a kind,” he said
Bill Mann who resides in Piscataway, but grew up in Berkeley Heights, has been to the show many times. He came with his 1969 Dodge Charger, which is his favorite car, he said. He fell in love with the Charger at a young age and as he got older, did research and finally understood its true beauty, he said.
“It’s my hometown and I support the event,” he said. “To me it’s the ultimate style of muscle car.”