The Vintage Automobile Museum celebrates its founder – the Star News Group

POINT PLEASANT – A collection of vehicles owned by Gary Stabile, a founding father of the Vintage Automobile Museum of New Jersey, is on display at the museum through May.

A collection of historic Chevrolets including a red 1956 Malibu convertible and a sky blue 1957 Bel-Air, a purple 1948 Cadillac Custom Lead Sled and a black 1952 Cadillac.

“Gary was one of the founders of what used to be a museum on wheels,” said Stash Serzan, a museum volunteer. He explained that the museum was originally on wheels, touring different parts of the state before opening its doors in Point Pleasant.

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“He’s been instrumental in the continued existence of this museum,” said Ray Patnaude, a museum volunteer. “He’s always been a car enthusiast, and he and a few other colleagues started the Vintage Automobile Club of Ocean County. He said that New Jersey should have a vintage car museum because New Jersey is one of the few states that doesn’t have one,” Mr. Patnaude said.

“As a practical man, he did a lot of work here that remained unknown,” he said. “Because he was so well known and respected, it was fitting to recognize him.”

Gary Stabile, originally from Bayonne, became a landlord in Seaside Heights while running a maintenance and painting business.

“His business prospered enough to enable him to build a car collection,” said Mr. Serzan, “it was an accumulation of hard work.”

“He was a great and warm guy and such a good friend and it really touched our hearts to lose him,” he added, noting that Mr Stabile passed away in September 2021.

“When we look at the cars here, it’s like we still have Gary with us and it means a lot to us to have them here.”

“His behavior was wonderful and so was his wife,” he said. “People welcomed him very warmly.”

Mr. Stabile was close to his father and inherited one of his Cadillacs into his collection.

“It has been stocked and kept in excellent condition all these years in memory of his father,” said Mr. Serzan.

Mr Patnaude explained that cars in the collection are sold to members of the public and also to members of the Stabile family.

One of the vehicles on display, a red Chevrolet Malibu convertible, was given to his wife, Ann Stabile, on their honeymoon in Nashville in 1992.

Ms Stabile told The Ocean Star: “I knew he liked cars but he didn’t own classic cars at the time.”

This is an excerpt from the print article. Read more about this story The Ocean Star— on Fridays at the kiosk or online in our e-edition.

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