BY MVITALE, OCNJDAILY
There wasn’t a racetrack. But if there was, there would be a whole lot of horsepower on it Saturday when exotic cars, sports cars and classic autos filled the Ocean City Tabernacle grounds.
Virtually every high-end car from McLarens, Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and even a Bugatti gave crowds a lot to ogle.
“This is the first time I have seen a Bugatti in my life,” sports car enthusiast Dan Sporer, of Haddon Township, N.J., excitedly said.
He stood just a few feet from the car. Ropes kept attendees from touching the automotive piece of art that can cost up $3 million-plus.
“It is definitely exhilarating standing this close to a Bugatti,” Sporer noted.
Altogether, there were 250 cars, from unique to classic on display.
A Bentley and Rolls Royce were also there for car lovers to appreciate.
Austin Via, who works for McLaren, and his girlfriend, Morgan Nale, brought not one, but two McLarens to the event — a 2019 light blue beauty and a gorgeous 2016 gray car.
People walked around the McLarens to give them a closer look
Austin explained that their top speed is around 200 mph and the two brought to the show cost nearly $300,000 each.
John Simmons, of Marlton, N.J., just stared at the blue McLaren.
“I would buy this in a heartbeat if I had the money,” Simmons said with a laugh. “I think it is beautiful.”
The event is sponsored by Matthew Gabriel and his family. His sister, Juliett, and parents, Sam and Colette, help out with each show. This one was the seventh year.
“It filled up pretty quickly,” Matthew Gabriel said of the number of participants who brought their cars. “And everyone came out to see the cars.”
Sam Gabriel emphasized that over the years, the event, which is also a fundraiser, has raised about $150,000 for good causes.
Bill Elliott attended with a HERO Campaign vehicle. He and his wife, Muriel, started the campaign two decades ago in memory of their son, Navy Ensign John Elliott, who was killed by a drunken driver in Salem County, N.J., in 2000.
The goal of the nonprofit is to stress the importance of having a designated driver.
Bill Elliott said a few words about the car show.
“The show grows each year, and we think it is important we are here to promote our message to as many people as we can,” he said.
This year, some donations raised through the event will go to the Ocean City Tabernacle Kull Youth Center, located at the Tabernacle at 550 Wesley Ave., Sam Gabriel said.
“It is important to donate back,” he said of giving back to the community.