Cars and food at the center of the Relay for Life event

Mark B. Gollwitzer and the Chevrolet Chevelle that once belonged to his late brother, Peter.

Sat August 13, 2022 7:00 AM

Story and photographs by Alice Gerard

For Mark B. Gollwitzer, the 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle he restored was more than a car. It’s a reminder of his brother, Peter, who passed away in 2018.

Gollwitzer, who was showcasing the car at Relay For Life’s Chicken Barbecue and Cruise Night, held Monday at Grand Island’s Fuccillo Toyota, said Peter bought the car new. Cars became a big part of the brothers’ relationship.

“We were 13 years apart,” Gollwitzer said. “We were very close. He taught me how to drive a four-speed and how to build engines. I taught him to paint cars.

Painting cars has led to some interesting results for Gollwitzer. He remembers a 1963 Impala that he “did two-tone. Tried to spread the flames over the hood and front fenders. They turned out. I painted the body green. It got a lot of attention, especially from the sheriffs.

Gollwitzer added: “Peter and I had fun. We went to car shows together and we had a car club together.

After Peter’s death, Mark purchased the estate’s Chevrolet Chevelle. He found a spiral notebook in the glove compartment, detailing all the work that had been done on the car, written in his brother’s handwriting.

Another car on display at the event was Paul Gast’s 1998 Dodge Viper.

“It has 1,600 horsepower and two turbos. It’s a fun car,” he said.

The chicken barbecue was provided by BWs Smokin’ Barrel Barbecue in Blasdell, said Lynn Dingey, one of three Relay For Life co-chairs. “They’re doing a good job. They’re great to work with, and the food is great. They cooked in the rain last year.

Relay For Life 2021 took place on July 17 at Fuccillo Hyundai. It rained non-stop all day causing flooding across the island.

Paul Gast shows off his 1998 Dodge Viper, which he calls a “fun car.”

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