The Nth of Cool

Lead East is a New Jersey tradition. Since 1983 it’s become one of the biggest and best car shows on the East Coast. More than a car show, it’s really a celebration of the entire culture of the 1950’s. The music, the fads, the attitude of ‘cool’. All of this put together by a guy named Terry Cook. Terry was an editor in the ‘70’s for Hot Rod magazine and had other experiences in the automotive publishing industry.

By the time I got to Lead East it was a very popular event. After telling Terry what I was up to with my art I was able to rent some table space in a part of the show where vendors sold various types of things related to ‘50’s car culture.

One of the first people I met at Lead East was a big, rumpled Teddy Bear of a guy named Wayne Mauro. Wayney is a painter. He works mostly in acrylics and oils.

Motorcycle racing art by Wayne Mauro

He’s a big hearted guy whose mechanical skills are even more amazing than his brushwork. Wayney built and campaigned his own F-1 car for awhile in the ‘80’s. In case you don’t know that’s like an Indy car.

The first couple of times I was at Lead East were great. I met a lot of awesome people and my work was well received-I sold a bunch of it there.

One guy I met was a real character. He was from Staten Island. In the modern idiom he was a lot like Tony Soprano. But this was the early nineties so I didn’t have that reference point. He had a rare old Buick and was impressed with my rendition of the Buick Lesabre dreamcar. (In fact he bought a copy). He wanted to know if I was willing to take on a commission. I said sure.

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