Classic car cruises and shows happen every weekend all across our area, and they are full of beautiful vehicles from years past.

If you've ever been to the Ferry Rd. cruise night in Old Bridge or the annual Monmouth Park classic car show, you've undoubtedly seen this antique.

But what makes it so special?

It's my Dad's.

My father, Dennis Cataldo, has owned an auto body repair shop (Dentz Unlimited) in Brooklyn for more than 30 years.

His passion is cars, and this truck is his pride and joy.

It's a '49 Studebaker pickup...and he built it from blah into what it is today.

I don't speak "car", so bear with me when it comes to the technical terms -- if you want the hard details on the car, you'll have to ask him.

Here's what I know. I remember being in high school and first seeing this truck -- it was unpainted, nothing all that special to see. It's always been fast though -- crazy fast. It's got a Corvette engine under the hood. (If you wonder why I drive so fast, now you know.)

As for looks? It's beautiful. Technically the color is Sunset Yellow (whatever, it's orange) with custom green lettering.

There are LED lights under the hood (super cool at night) and a custom diamond-plated (bad ass) cooler built into the back (gotta have snacks for those hot days at the shows!)

The interior is the only thing my Dad didn't do himself. It's like a cream/tan leather and suede combo...really nice.

It may be from 1949, but that didn't keep Papa Bear from installing air conditioning and a functioning radio (always tuned to 94.3 the Point, I hope).

Suicide doors and a custom windshield give it an awesomely polished look. It's no wonder our basement is filled with trophies, the truck has won "Best in Show" more times than I can count.

And trust me, you'll hear this thing comin'.

If you see an orange blur fly past you on the road, you'll know it's him. It's out just about every weekend in the summer. Wave, smile, give him a thumbs's the best kind of compliment.

Just don't try to race him. If you see a woman clinging to the truck for dear life in the passenger seat, that's Mama C, and don't worry, she's used to it.

...and please, if you see it at a show, treat it like a lady -- You can look, but you can't touch.