Every Sunday for about four or five years, my husband stopped everything and igged me. Was it football? Nope. Was it beer and chicken wings? Nope. Was it church? Uhm, of course not. It was Boardwalk Empire on HBO. And I partially blame Newark business owner, G. Jerry Immersi of Cars for Films, for the temporary divorce.
Boardwalk Empire was a successful semi-historical series based on the life of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, a financial administrator and underworld boss in Atlantic City who dealt in alcohol dealings and debauchery around the Prohibition Era. My husband, and East Orange native, loved the clothes and cars of the time period.
Many of the vintage cars seen in the movies belonged to Immersi who leases an impressive fleet of vintage cars from the early twentieth century to the about the late 70s or 80s to TV and film productions.
One day as I was driving from a long morning washing clothes when I took a favorite back street off the 21. I almost crashed. I saw the most beautiful display of cars. I drooled at the perfect line of old Model T. Fords immaculately painted and polished. Being from Los Angeles, I have been addicted to old school cars for a very long time. However, the cars looked very familiar.
Stopping the car, I approached two men who were standing in front of a brick warehouse and parking lot. After asking about the vehicles, Immersi told me that they were his collection and generously gave me a tour and explained how he built his fleet. A car collector for decades, Immersi decided to house them in Newark in the 80s or 90s because it was cost-effective for his growing.
When I asked about his experience housing a multi-million dollar irreplaceable collection, he said that he went through a rough patch during the height of drugs and break-ins in the city, but has been okay with the area. His only headache like many business owners is the regular paperwork and red tape. But its worth it.