Cartoberfest comes back to New Hartford (PHOTOS)

Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.
Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.

NEW HARTFORD — After a one-year break due to the pandemic, Cartoberfest, a benefit for the New Hartford Fire Department, returned on Sunday, Oct. 3 at the field behind the Hurley Business Park.
From the very early part of the event and throughout the day, cars of all shapes, sizes, and ages were on display at the event, from vintage antique cars from the early 20th century, classic cars from the 1950s and 1960s, to rare cars made in the 1970s and 1980s.
The event was co-organized by the department and Time Was Garage.
It was also a tribute to Connie O’Brien, the wife of Time Was Garage owner Michael O’Brien who died during the past year.
“She was the ringleader of this car show and was a huge part of this event,” Fire Department Deputy Chief John Wabrek said. “She would always work all year to put this show on. It’s been huge shoes to fill. Today a lot of Mike’s friends came out here to remember Connie.”
Wabrek said that both he and the department are grateful for the community’s support, especially since the New Hartford House fire that took place in early August.
“The money we raise here goes a long way to get the necessary fire equipment that we need,” Wabrek said. “The town has come together since the fire to help out the department. Amazingly, this community has provided so much to the first responders and those affected by the fire.”
David and Carrie Stully from West Granby brought their 1969 Chevrolet Camaro-Tribute to the event.
“For a lot of people, these classic cars are an obsession,” David Stully said. “If I had to guess, in a few years a lot of these classic cars will all be in museums because of all the electric cars coming out. There will be a lot less of them on the road. The newer cars are safer because they have airbags and crumple zones, which these older cars do not have. The classic cars are not as safe, but they are so much more fun to drive.”
Tim Wells and Kitsie Hacken from New Hartford brought to the show a 1992 Saab that Wells purchased from a friend for one dollar.
“It belonged to a friend of mine that I used to fly with him the National Guard,” Wells said. “He just left the car out in the woods for years. It sat there and it started sinking into the ground. I told him that I’d take it off of his hands.”
For five years, Wells fixed the car up until it was the same shape that it was when it was new.
“I guess there’s an emotional attachment to these machines,” Wells said. “It’s not going to be the same when electric cars come out. You have to have a lot of noise and exhaust when it comes to a car. And you need to put gas in it and all that stuff. When it comes to cars, you need to get dirty.”
“These car shows are better than hanging out in a bar,” David Stully added.
For more information about The New Hartford Fire Department go to

Photos by Shaw Israel Izikson

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