2015 Event Wrap-up


PPG Syracuse Nationals continues to draw record crowds, campers and cars

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The 16th anniversary of PPG Syracuse Nationals, presented by Fastrac Markets and Your Local Ford Store, drew more than 88,000 people, 550 campers and 8,034 classic cars from 34 states and six Canadian provinces to the New York State Fairgrounds July 17-19 – the show’s highest attendance to date.

In addition to providing entertainment ranging from classic car build-offs to a Women’s World of non-automotive vendors, the event raised more than $92,000 for charity, including more than $67,000 from items auctioned during “Artie’s Party,” a pinstripers’ panel jam of artists who worked almost around the clock to paint original designs on items from vehicle panels to skateboards and stop signs. The proceeds from the auction benefited Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York, a not-for-profit organization in Syracuse, New York, that serves as a “home away from home” for families whose children are hospitalized with serious illnesses or injuries. Since 2000, PPG Syracuse Nationals has donated more than $918,000 to charitable organizations. Next year, the organization hopes to reach $1 million in donations.

Friday night, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a surprise visit to the show, driving through the gates in his ’75 Corvette, which was on display at the Center of Progress Building throughout the event. Cuomo and the event founders announced a five-year contract extension to keep the car show at the Fairgrounds through 2019. To commemorate the announcement, the event organizers presented Cuomo with a special “#1 Gearhead” award.

“We are very excited to announce our continued partnership with the New York state Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Fairgrounds,”said Bob O’Connor, PPG Syracuse Nationals founder and director. “We’ve had a great relationship to date and expect nothing less during the years to come. We’re grateful for all of our attendees and volunteers who have helped to make this the biggest show in the Northeast and are proud to keep the show in Central New York to continue to give back to this great community.”

This year’s event featured a “Backyard Build-Off at Ol’ Skool Roundup,” sponsored by Kammer Towing, in which four builders were each given $5,000 to build a car. The winner was Jarod Walker from Lebanon, New Hampshire. Other entertainment included the Heidts Driving Experience Autocross track; Gasoline Alley, which displayed more than 40 vintage race cars; Traxxas’ remote-control trucks, demonstration track and stunt ramp; 450 automotive vendors and 15 bands and disc jockeys performing throughout the weekend. Kenny Youngblood, one of the most prolific artists in the car field, also appeared at this year’s event.

Throughout the week leading up to the PPG Syracuse Nationals and during the event, volunteers from the Central New York Car Club Association worked to make the event run smoothly. The association helped raise more than $25,000 for its local charities of choice, including Clear Path for Veterans, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Food Bank of Central New York, Madison County Children’s Camp, the American Legion, Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse and the Syracuse Lions Club.

The PPG Syracuse Nationals, which started as an idea in the summer of 1999, has grown each year since its record-setting debut in July 2000, when more than 4,300 vehicles filled the facility. The Nationals is now one of the largest automobile shows in the country featuring street rods and custom, classic, muscle and antique cars.

For more information on the PPG Syracuse Nationals, visit www.syracusenationals.com. Next year’s show is scheduled for July 15-17, 2016 at the Fairgrounds.