This is my third Staggered to date and I have to say personally it was my favorite one yet. My day began at 7:15 A.M., pulled into the grounds of the Eastern States Expositions and got inside where I found the staff preparing for the day. I remember walking through the doors just in awe of what this team of individuals have put together. So I hit the ground running taking pictures of everything that was being parked and everything that was parked from overnight. From seven in the morning till about 10:30-10:45 was all spent inside. I was completely unaware of how full it had gotten outside and I was stunned at how many cars turned out.
The staff did an amazing job of organizing and parking everyone appropriately. Staggered’s roots began at Rocky Neck State Park that just started as a gathering of good friends and clean cars, it was kept up by donations from the group that attended. It was only a few years before the folks at Rocky Neck caught on to what was going on and decided to start charging them to park, however, the show organizers didn’t have any part in that so that pushed the first move from Rocky Neck State Park, to the Pleasant Valley Golf Center in Somers Connecticut.
The years at Pleasant Valley were great. When I met with a few staff members they commented their favorite year at Pleasant Valley because they had the driving range open on the back end of the lot along with a car show. The next year it had grown in popularity to where they had to park overflow cars down the driving range. I went to Staggered Fall 2013 to start my photography portfolio and was hooked on automotive photography from there. Then at Staggered 2014 things got really huge. I had to park almost a quarter mile down the road from the show field along with many other folks, disaster for the staff when they had to turn people away at a car show because they ran out of space at the venue.
The staff finally said well the next step is the Big E. They considered other fairgrounds but Eastern States was, in my opinion, the best venue they could have done for this show. This season’s show was so well organized from the parking in the morning, they were adamant about the 1/8th of a tank rule and disconnecting batteries making sure they had the all clear from the Fire Marshall before opening to spectators. Parking outside was done really well, very organized for a first go at an indoor outdoor event.
The day progressed, waited about forty five minutes for food then kept taking pictures until the awards went out. Some honorable mentions from the awards go as follows, Best Air went to James Moran with his 1989 Golf with the air tank double functions as the cage, Best Static Shane O’Rourke with his 1991 Corrado, Best Wheels to Connor Mahoney’s 1996 Jetta on HRE 454’s, the trendsetter went to Joe Tavella of Garage Jobs with his R32 MK1 Truck, the Staggered Neckbreaker went to George Daskalakis with his 1980 Scirocco.
Some of the staff favorites included, John Ludwick’s Chevy Corvair, Brent Favreou with his 61 rag top Beetle, and Jessie Seymour and his 83 GTI, but great job to everyone that showed their vehicles and different styles. One thing staggered prides its self upon is being an enthusiast show, everyone is welcome from Euros to Japanese Domestic Market to lifted trucks and anything in between. This is one of New England’s best car shows and for as long as I live in New England you can expect me back year after year.
I would like to express one last big thank you to the staff for putting in the work that they do. This show wouldn’t flow as easily as it does if this group of people weren’t in charge. I am also grateful the staff gave me the opportunity to come in early on show day to do this article and look forward to Staggered's bright future. Now as flurries remind us that winter is approaching quickly in New England, it’s time to snowboard, can’t wait to see what people come out with for 2016. I hope this piece was as enjoyable to read as it was to write.
Photos and words by Kevin Miller