Mattapoisett Cruise Nights summer season begins

Jun 28, 2019

MATTAPOISETT — Car enthusiasts gathered at the Mattapoisett Town Wharf for the first cruise night of the summer on Friday, June 28.

Jim Babineau brought his 1935 Chevrolet sedan. He said he has owned the car for at least 25 years, and drives it three to four times a week during the summer.

He keeps the classic Chevrolet in a garage when not in use, and said that time and money are the keys to maintaining the vehicle. “It’s like having an old new car,” he said.

Babineau added that his favorite part of Mattapoisett Cruise Nights is meeting with people who share a common interest in cars.

While many of the cars were antiques, Alan Slavin showed up with his bright purple 2016 Dodge Charger Hellcat. He bought the car when it was brand new, and said it currently has just 4,800 miles on it.The Hellcat has a 700 horsepower engine and a top speed of 204 mph.

Ed DeMello said that he has owned over 100 cars in his lifetime. DeMello bought his first car when he was just 13-years-old with money he earned from his paper route. He drove around a farm before he was able to hit the streets when he got his license at 16. For the Mattapoisett Cruise night, he showed up in his 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport. DeMello does tune-ups and minor repairs on his cars himself. He finished rebuilding the carburetor on the Chevelle the night before showing it off at the Town Wharf.

Jim and Patti Bernier brought their 1967 Firebird. Jim Bernier said that the car was a “rusty piece of junk” when he bought it roughly 30 years ago. Bernier bought another car of the same model to use as a donor car, and used the better parts of each Firebird to restore the one on display at the Mattapoisett Town Wharf. Bernier has owned three ‘67 Firebirds in total, his first car when he was 16-years-old was the same model.

Leo and Renee Ouellette sat beside their 1933 Plymouth 5 Window Coupe with running boards and a rumble seat.The couple went on dates in the car as far back as 1960. The car sat in a garage for roughly 50 years until they started restoring it in 2010 with help from professionals and family members. The Ouellettes brought a photo album of pictures chronicling the car’s restoration, and said they were able to drive it again in 2012.

Brian Avila and Michael Bare arrived in matching 2013 Grand Sport Chevrolet Corvettes. The two friends first met at a car show at Plumb Corner in Rochester six years ago. Bare estimates that he drives his Corvette about 3,500 miles each summer, and Avila estimates that he drives his about 5,000 miles each summer.

Paul St. Laurent brought his 1993 Corvette with hopes of finding a potential buyer. He popped the front-opening hood and answered questions for curious onlookers. St. Laurent said he is asking for $20,000 or the best offer for the car.

Manny Silva dedicated his 1966 AMC Rambler 770 classic to Marilyn Monroe in an effort to draw more attention. Silva has been attending similar car shows for twelve years and wanted to make his vehicle stand out in a crowd of other classic cars. He started his Monroe collection when he bought a record album with her on the cover at a yard sale, and has added items over time. The painting on the front hood of the car was made by Kingsley Signs in Acushnet.

Trucks were also welcome at the cruise night. John Frasier brought his 1957 Dodge D100. The truck sat in a barn in Kansas for about 45 years before being tuned up by another previous owner in Wareham. Frasier bought the Dodge truck in 2016.

Future Mattapoisett Cruise Nights will be held at the same location on Fridays, July 5, and 26, Aug. 2 and 23, and Sept. 6 and 20.