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I caught the car bug early in life as I tagged along with my older brother Albert when he would drag race his 1960’s muscle car. Helping him by getting his tools and moving tires gave me a spectator’s view from the pits.


When I was old enough to drive, I also wanted to go fast. Only I chose a different route and became a police officer. Working for the NYPD in the Highway Patrol unit I was involved in moving cars within the speed limit and in devising traffic plans and escorts for President’s and Pope’s. This background gave me an amazing sense of the skills needed to organize cars. And in turn, car events.


So fast forward to the parking lot of St. Columbanus church where I assembled a bunch of local hot rods for a Saturday afternoon car show. Once that was a success, there was no turning back.


While on vacation in Monterey, California one year for Car Week I was amazed at all the shows that were happening. So, I decided to add to the mix. With my best friend Frank DiPaola, we co-founded the Carmel Mission Classic which is held in the picturesque courtyard of a 250-year-old Spanish mission. When they say location, location, location. You cannot get much better than that.


In just a few short years that show has become a must-attend event and has been branded as “Car Weeks Most Relaxed Event”. So far, we have donated close to half a million dollars to the Knights of Columbus and their charities. Not bad for two kids from Brooklyn.


Next up, I went from the California coast to the banks of the Hudson River. I shut down an entire city for the day and organized the Peekskill Vintage Grand Prix.


It was not a race. It was not a rally. It was something in the middle. An event where you got to be part of the show. As we called it, “A spirted ride around town”. Because it is ok to drive your car to and from the car show. But here you got to drive your car, in the car show. And after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?


“Cars are made to be driven" - Rich Pepe

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