NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – For the Car Nutz, a central Jersey automotive club, the building and showing of their classic and custom cars is a labor of love, but sometimes it’s even more.
Frank Stabile, of North Plainfield, is the newest Car Nutz member and was showing his yellow Ford Model A pickup for the first time ever. He has had a lifelong interest in classic cars, but hadn’t taken the plunge until three weeks ago when he took delivery of the pickup from its previous owner in Massachusetts.
What made this a truly special day is that Stabile underwent lung replacement surgery three years ago, and has had a difficult recovery. Stabile had a number of hospital stays this winter, and has to undergo regular physical therapy sessions and limit his activity. For a man accustomed to being a leading member of the Lions Club, volunteering on committees such as the Economic Development Committee, and playing banjo in a Dixieland Jazz Band it’s been a difficult road.
But Stabile has been able to travel that road, and the canary-colored truck is his present to himself for all the hard work he’s had to endure, and a recognition that life is extremely precious.
“It’s really about celebrating life, about doing something that is fun and that I love,” said Stabile. “My wife said three years ago she would have told me no, but we both know now life is too short.”
Stabile’s son, Skip, participated in the show with his dad the day before Father’s Day in a show of support.
“My family really encouraged me in this,” said Stabile. “They’ve been very supportive.”
In addition to Stabile, close to 150 enthusiasts brought their carefully cultivated cars to North Plainfield High School this Saturday, with everything from early 20th century hot rods to 21st century Corvettes lining the parking lot and surrounding lawn.
For Saturday’s show, all the proceeds from entrance fees and donations were donated to three primary charities, including a foundation that supports Brendan Morrocco, the first American veteran of the war in Afghanistan to survive a quadruple amputation. The program also helps fund North Plainfield’s Project Graduation and the Plainfield Area Humane Society.