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Buffalo Motorama attracts hot-rodders and Eddie Munster

Thousands packed the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center over the weekend for 2014 Buffalo Motorama, which featured dozens of snazzily modified trucks and race cars, including a replica of a coach car made famous on an early 1960s television show, “The Munsters.”

The Buffalo Motorama is the continuation of a 60-year tradition, including its forerunner, the Buffalo Autorama, said Joe Haniszewski Jr., who four years ago took over promotion tasks for the show.

The featured vehicles included a few originals, as well as cars and trucks that were modified to improve their performance, handling and visual appeal

“I’ve got a 1914 Ford up to 2014 Corvette and everything in-between – street rides, classics and race cars,” Haniszewsi said Saturday.

“Every car is customizable. I mean, there’s so many different ways to modify a car,” he added.

Among the big features were replicas of two vehicles used in the TV series “The Munsters,” and on hand to add to the authenticity was one of the stars of the series, Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on the show.

“It’s the 50th anniversary of the ‘Munsters’ TV show, so they have the three cars on display,” Haniszewski said.

Patrick said he began traveling to various cars show with the designer of the replicas, Rucker Posey, several years ago. Patrick said he remembers that his favorite days of filming “The Munsters” were when they had scenes outdoors.

“My favorite episodes were whenever I noticed the Munsters’ coach was going to be involved. A few reasons I liked those scripts is, we were outside instead of that dark, dingy sound stage and, No. 2, it was the coolest car in Hollywood, and I got to ride right in the backseat. I was right on the top of everything,” said Patrick.

The show also featured replicas of two other “Munsters” vehicles, including one called the Dragula, which had the body of a coffin and an interior designed to look like the inside of one, and a go-cart that was driven by Eddie Munster in at least one episode.

Andrew Daloisio, of Buffalo, and his son, Antonio, 9, checked out the vehicles and said hello to Patrick, who also signed autographs and took photographs with his fans.

“We were just over there, but he’s too young to remember ‘The Munsters,’ ” Andrew Daloisio said of his young son.

“I remember it. That’s Eddie, right?” added Daloisio, 45.

Meanwhile, Paul Straus ran the Open Wheel Show on the first floor of the Convention Center, where he handpicked 35 to 40 open-wheel hot rods to display.

“These are hot rods like the kids drove back in the 1950s and early ’60s, before there were Corvettes, before you could go to Detroit or a dealer and buy a new car like a GTO or 409,” said Straus.

“They removed the hoods. They removed the fenders. They put bigger motors in them, hydraulic breaks, layer model steering, but they’re hot rods,” he added.

One of the features was a 1930 Ford pickup that was modified nearly 60 years ago by Bud Pearce of West Seneca, who Straus described as an original hot-rodder.

“I bought it from a guy at an Esso gas station on Elmwood Avenue by Mercy Hospital,” said Pearce of the vehicle, which was painted candy gold and tangerine, with rosewood paneling and an off-white leather upholstery top that he added in 1966.

“I don’t drive this in the rain or snow,” Pearce said.

The show winds up today, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.