HomeCar CultureCommentaryGo Fish! Car show at aquarium makes a big splash

Go Fish! Car show at aquarium makes a big splash


What on earth does the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut,  have to do with classic cars?

Well, the powers that be at the aquarium had an amazing idea to hold an event at that celebrates cars influenced by or named after fish. Calling the show “Barracudas, Sting Rays & More Show Cars from the Sea,” cars on display fit the bill to a T. 

The collection of cars included Marlins, ‘Cudas, Stingrays, a Shark and even a few whale-tail Porsche 911 Turbos, among others. My favorites, a surprise to me as a sports car guy, were the pair of immaculately restored Rambler Marlins.

This themed show may sound at first like a bit of a reach, but when thinking about the event and after attending it, I wonder why more organizations don’t hold similar fund-raising events. If you had a horse charity you could hold a show with Mustangs and Broncos. Such events could work as out-of-the-box fundraisers and bring people to the events who can donate but who also can help the organizations by getting the word out to an entire new group of people.

I have lived in Connecticut for six years, am an avid scuba diver, and had never been to the aquarium, which is only an hour away from my home.

As much as I enjoyed seeing the cars, I had just as much fun when I saw the shark feeding, the baby sea turtle nursery, petted the stingrays, jiggled a jellyfish, and meet the seals. In fact ,while I initially intended to spend at best an hour at the show, I actually spent four hours and even joined the aquarium as a new member.

1956 Bangert Manta Ray (red) and 1962 Covington Tiburon Shark concept cars at the aquarium

This fish-car show demonstrated to me that classic cars can be a very powerful tool well outside the usual concours or weekly cars-and-coffee events in bringing together a diverse and enthusiastic audience. These people can add that enthusiasm to other things besides cars if asked, and many other people who had never been to the aquarium were in the line with me for memberships.

If you belong to a museum or like organization, you might want to consider ways to leverage the amazing enthusiasm that the car hobby has into a way to not only celebrate cars but to bring a whole new group of people to the museum or other themed facility.

I hope that the folks at the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium make this an annual event and that this is a catalyst for other museums and organizations to see how the great people in our collector car hobby can help them out while sharing the cars we love. 

Some of the aquarium residents

If you live in the Northeast, be sure to visit the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. It is a wonderful day-trip destination. 

For more information, visit the museum’s website.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


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