Rodfather Gang Car Club Cruise held its debut car cruise for 2021 on Saturday with 145 classic cars/trucks/rides in attendance.
“It was double the number we expected,” said club adviser Vin DePeppo.
“It was a great day and what a turn out,” DePeppo said. “Everyone was so happy to be out, having fun and enjoying the cars and the atmosphere.”
The cruise, held every Saturday, is sponsored by the Friendly’s of Newton and Wantage. Dr. Mary Jean Negri, who owns both franchises, attended the event, which was held in front of the Newton location.
“It was amazing to see all the different types of cars that attended including older vehicles and newer ones like the McLaren that showed up,” she said. “The older cars are just amazing too. This is such a great event.”
Negri credits her son, Frank, and daughter, Anestasia, for all of the food set-up.
“It’s a lot of work to get everything set up outside,” she said. “They get there several hours early to do so. Also, without family cousins Kyle and David, who run the grill, it wouldn’t happen.”
Friendly’s offers food outside for those who don’t want to go into the restaurant. Prizes, in the form of gift cards donated by local businesses, are awarded each week.
“The first two years was a lot of work, but now we’re to a point where it’s much smoother, with help from some great people who are local,” Negri said.
The event is about fun, cars, and giveaways.
“Plaques are purchased by attendees for the duration of the cruise, and so far, Rodfather Gang has collected more than 270 gift cards which are presented in the form of a drawing and answering trivia questions,” DePeppo said. “Friendly’s is our super-sponsor.”
Alan Arduini, a Rodfather Gang member, had his blue 1971 Mustang at the cruise. His brother Glenn fixed up the engine for him.
“It just needed a little TLC,” Glenn Arduini said.
The classic cars park in a roped-off area. The community is invited to walk around and check them out every Saturday, starting at 2 p.m., from now until November.