A show on land and in the air
Two Bayport Aerodrome Society members get ready to take off on the grass runway.

SCN/Waszynski

A show on land and in the air

Story By: RANDALL WASZYNSKI
5/30/2019


ISLIP TOWN—The Bayport Aerodrome Society hosted its fifth annual Larry McLaughlin Memorial Celebration of Vintage Transportation on Sunday, May 19.

In addition to vintage car and motorcycle showings and contests, the event also allowed for the public to watch members take off and land at the grass landing strip on site, which is the only one of its kind on Long Island. About 35 airplanes were on display, as well as 75 cars and 26 motorcycles.

“We do our best to create an environment of classic vintage cars and motorcycles — kind of bring back the old world here,” said Johnny Mularadelis, the society’s activities director. “I think there is enough people out here who enjoy that kind of activity.”

Mularadelis noted that the turnout for the event was pleasant and that the weather was ideal.

The cars and motorcycles enrolled in the show are bracketed into contests based on year: the cars are sectioned into two groups (1900-1941 and 1942-1984), and the motorcycles are sectioned into three groups (1900-1941, 1942-1960 and 1961-1984). First, second and third-place honors were awarded to each of the five groups.

Keith Moser, the president of the Big Sandbar chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America and one of the judges for both cars and motorcycles,  owns a collection of motorcycles — at least one from each decade. He judges and attends many motorcycle and automobile shows across the nation and always enters some of his bikes.

“When we have big collections, we can pick and choose,” said Moser, who is more commonly known as Mudfish. “But I like to bring in decades that I know aren’t going to be here.”

Moser is also a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America and owns a handful of old cars. He said that he prefers models that are pre-World War II.

“But some of the guys like this muscle car stuff,” Moser said. “I think it’s cool; it’s just not my cup of tea.”

All the proceeds to enter the competitions go directly to the Bayport Aerodrome Society, which is tasked with maintaining the grounds and hangars on site.

“Unfortunately, aviation is not a growing activity,” Mularadelis said. “The airlines are having a problem getting qualified pilots.”

The society’s membership has dipped from 600 to 200 in recent years, so it has felt the effect of aviation’s decline in interest.

The society will be hosting a pancake breakfast on Sunday, July 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., an event in which most local pilots are invited.