AutoFest and Street Festival to return for 32nd year

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The Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District’s AutoFest and Street Festival returns Sunday for the 32nd year, and this year’s event will showcase a number of classic BMW motorcycles and cars.
Jay Corn, the district’s vice president and events committee chairman, said Peter Nettesheim, who is known across the world for his BMW collection, will  bring many of his motorcycles and cars to the event.
“We are thrilled to include Peter’s collection in our line-up for this year’s AutoFest,” Corn said. “Our show has always provided a unique, close-up look at these classic and special edition cars for our festival visitors.”
“This year, with the edition of several of Mr. Nettesheim’s priceless BMW motorcycles, our festival-goers will be treated to a truly special experience,” he added.
Nettesheim said he found his love for cars when he was 10 years old admiring his father’s Mercedes-Benz collection.
His father, he said, was the first Mercedes-Benz truck dealer in the United States.
By the time he was 16 years old, Nettesheim said the Mercedes was considered an “old man’s car” and he preferred more “sporty vehicles,” like BMWs.
He said that in the late 1970s, he purchased his first BMW.
Now, Nettesheim said, his collection includes about 110 motorcycles and cars.
He said he owns every motorcycle produced by BMW from 1923 to 1970, including the BMW R32, which is the first motorcycle made by the company.
His R32 is the 22nd  to come off the line at BMW, Nettesheim said, with none of the previously made motorcycles still around, making it the oldest existing BMW motorcycle.
He keeps his BMW collection in the Nettesheim Museum in Huntington, a private museum where those interested can visit on a pre-arranged basis.
“My collection is well known throughout the world,” Nettesheim said. “BMW corporate themselves borrow from my collection.”
He said he was looking forward to coming to the AutoFest and Street Festival to share his collection.
“It’s always great to bring the collection to see the reaction people have and educate them on the brand and have them learn of the quality and history of the brand,” Nettesheim said. “I look forward to sharing that passion with others.”
While a number of classic cars will be on display at the festival, there will also be other types of fun and entertainment.
The Meade Brothers Band, Nina Et Cetera and the Banjo Rascals will  perform at the AutoFest.
There will also be rock-climbing walls, a petting zoo, carnival games and inflatable bouncers, as well as performances by Katya’s School of Dance.
The AutoFest is sponsored by United Capital Corporation, a real estate agency in Great Neck.
United Capital’s president, Michael Lamoretti, said the company sponsors the AutoFest and Street Festival as a way to give back to the community.
“It’s great to see members of the Great Neck community and people from the entire metropolitan area come together to enjoy the day,” Lamoretti said.
The festival will take place on Middle Neck Road from South Station Plaza to Maple Drive. There will also be attractions on Grace Avenue and Bond Street.
It takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. In the event of inclement weather, the  rain date is Oct. 23.
“It’s not just a car show, there is something for everyone and the family,” Corn said. “It’s really a country fair atmosphere for the whole family.”

By Joe Nikic

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