The Staten Island Gatsbys
By: Tony Ventrice, Staten Island, NY
I had always been intrigued with vintage cars and a love of the history of the 1920s. It was a childhood dream of mine to own a Ford Model T. Well, two years ago that dream became reality when we purchased this 1922 Ford Model T Touring on EBay. Now everyone knows us as the Staten Island Gatsbys.
Our group started in June 2014, when I thought to myself how can we make ourselves stand out from other Model T owners? What better way to relive the 1920s than to dress the part! We already had the car; now we just needed the clothes.
Every car show and event, we show up dressed as characters from the 20s era. We've been gangsters with a flapper gal, and at the Historic Alice Austen House we came dressed as Gatsby with a Victorian dressed gal to complete our picnic scene with everything original from the 20s. We even built a tool display that houses all of the original tools for the Model T.
We always draw a crowd and countless pictures are taken. People seem intrigued and want to learn more about that era. This has also become a learning experience for us as we do intense research for the items, the clothes and even come with recorded 20s music. You just have to be there to relive it! We are always happy to be invited to any car show or event. We belong to the Staten Island Antique Car Club ran by president Paul Arena, Jr. Its a great club and they do a few car shows a year with a raffle car!
We are proud to say we received our first trophy at the Staten Island Alzheimer's Foundation Car Show in June 2014, dressed up at Gatsbys completed with a '20s mustache! We won our second trophy at the Farrell car show in September 2014, all dressed up as '20s gangsters! But this year, we are planning an awesome display of the '20s Model T camping days with all original '20s camping stuff including '20s bathing suits. We strongly believe in keeping the memory of the Ford Model T days alive and the history behind it and how it affected many American families by giving them the freedom to venture out of the city and go camping enjoying life and nature.. As I always say, life is better in a classic, especially when it's a 1922 Ford Model T.