Gear up for Motor Mania

Friday, June 1, 2012


Staff Writer

NASHUA – If you happen to see a procession of classic cars making its way through downtown Nashua this Saturday morning, don’t panic.

You haven’t taken a wrong turn and traveled back in time – you’ve just stumbled across the cruise-in, the newest addition to Motor Mania, The Telegraph’s annual car and motorcycle event.

Motor Mania will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at The Telegraph grounds in Hudson, 17 Executive Drive, off Lowell Road.

Those interested in participating in the cruise-in will start lining up at 8 a.m. at Granite Clover Self-Storage at 6 Caldwell Drive in Amherst, just over the Nashua line.

“It’s brand-new this year, and it was a natural fit for Motor Mania,” said Kimberly Lencki, The Telegraph’s events manager. “Whenever we think of showcasing cars, for me, I always thought of a cruise-in.”

Though the route is still being finalized, the cruise-in is scheduled to pass through downtown Nashua a little after 9 a.m. on its way to The Telegraph grounds.

“The idea is that onlookers can enjoy the sight of all the cars,” Lencki said.

The cruise-in is also timed for participants to make an impressive entry into Motor Mania.

“We kept our start time at 10 o’clock so that attendees will be there as the cars come in to park,” Lencki said, noting that vehicles that are being showcased but aren’t participating in the cruise-in will already be on the grounds at this time.

The formula for Motor Mania is a simple one that has proven effective at car shows the world over: participants park their vehicles, spectators admire them and judges examine them and present awards.

“It’s an opportunity to show off and showcase their vehicles,” Lencki said of the participants. “They have a lot of time and money invested, and they’re proud to show off what they’ve done in rebuilding their cars.”

Trophies will be awarded for first and second place in the following categories: Best Antique Car, Best Street Rod, Best Muscle Car, Best Foreign Car, Best Sports Car, Best Truck, Best Classic Car, Best Custom Car and Special Interest.

The judging panel will be the same as last year: automotive airbrush muralist Dave Dapkus; Bill Allen, who recently retired as owner of Bill Allen’s Yesteryear Specialties, an automobile restoration and customization business; and Chris Laurencio, an IT professional with a lifelong passion for rare and modified cars who has hosted numerous car shows and related events.

“Their experience with the show was important to me, and their understanding of the cars,” Lencki said. “The feedback that was received was really positive on their judging techniques.”

“They really do look at all aspects of a car,” she said, explaining that it takes more than a pristine paint job for a vehicle to be trophy-worthy. She cited one of last year’s winning cars as an example.

“They really looked at the bones of the car, and the work that had been done on it,” Lencki said. “What really made the car win was that it had all its original parts.”

An award will also be given for the best motorcycle, a category that was introduced at last year’s event. Should more motorcycles participate, more specific awards will be created for future events.

“We would definitely start to break them off into types,” Lencki said, “because we know a motorcycle is not a motorcycle.”

Best in Show, People’s Choice and Publisher’s Pick round out the rest of the awards.

“I do like that we have a People’s Choice award, because it get the attendees involved as well,” Lencki said. “I think people like to be heard.”

Terry Williams, The Telegraph’s publisher, is unfortunately unable to attend this year’s event, so the Publisher’s Pick will be determined by Opinion Editor Nick Pappas.

As Pappas coordinates the newspaper’s editorial opinion, Lencki felt it would be a natural step for him to offer his opinion on the cars.

In addition to the awards, participants will have the opportunity to win a brand new 2004 Honda NSR50 bike, courtesy of Best Ford Lincoln and Best Cycle Center in Nashua.

“You can register online to participate in Motor Mania to enter, or you can register at Best Ford or Best Cycle Center,” Lencki said, noting that this raffle is only open to those who are showing a vehicle at Motor Mania. “There will be other raffles throughout the event for attendees to enter.”

A portion of the registration fees will be donated to Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity. The organization just completed a home in Wilton, starting work on a home in Hudson immediately after, and has two more homes in the planning stages. These projects will keep them busy through 2013.

“I thought it was a great way to shed some light on their needs,” Lencki said of the decision to choose this charity for Motor Mania.

Motor Mania is traditionally one of The Telegraph’s most popular events, with 1,600 people and 150 vehicles taking part last year. Lencki believes people are drawn by the nostalgia of the classic cars and the event’s family-friendly nature.

“There is something special about it,” she said, “because when I talk to people who’ve attended this event, even our Telegraph staff, they just grin from ear to ear and talk about how much fun it was to see the cars and have everyone there together.”

“I think it brings people back to the good old days,” Lencki said. “While the cars are the purpose of the event, it’s about the community, just coming together, sharing stories, reminiscing.”

Teresa Santoski can be reached at 594-6466 or Also, follow Santoski on Twitter (@Telegraph_TS).

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