Uptown Automotive Hobby Shop
The Biggest Little New and Used Car Showroom in Central New York



The Best Little Show No One Knows About

That is how Gary Wallace describes the model show which is more commonly called the Fulton model car show. For those who may not know, Fulton is located in northern NY State, approximately one hour above Syracuse. But don’t go there to find this show, because it isn’t there. “The best little show no one knows about” grew so big that it had to be moved to larger quarters, so perhaps Mr. Wallace is wrong in his assessment.
Who is Gary Wallace? Truck modelers may recognize him as GW Trucks, a producer of high quality resin products for their hobby. What many may not know is that he has been an amateur race car builder and driver, and a long time scale model builder himself, having fared very well in model contests, especially the truck classes, for many years.

The Fulton Model Show, having enjoyed its twentieth birthday in November 2011, is his brainchild, and his baby. It seemed to many that model contests sponsored by some model clubs tended to favor their own members. Contestants not affiliated with the club which put on a show, didn’t appear to be considered or judged according to their model’s merits. Throughout the years this observation had been made by, and became a complaint of, several modelers at various shows.

Gary decided to do something about it. Teaming up with his brother-in-law, Dan, and a fellow model builder and friend, Jan, they began holding a show which they intended would welcome all modelers and treat each fairly and equally. The show includes a contest, display area for models not competing for awards, and a large vendor area. From the beginning, it was, and has remained, a fun show, bringing together talented modelers from Quebec, and Ontario, Canada, and several areas of New York State. In recent years, “the… show no one knows about”, has drawn modelers from Vermont, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Jersey, and Ohio. OOPS! Somehow, apparently people DO know about it!

While open to all types of scale model vehicles and equipment, and with 200 models entered in the “twentieth anniversary” show, and all types represented, this show has nonetheless become heavily truck oriented. I dare say it has become “holy ground” for model truck fans, and enjoys one of, if not THE, largest model truck attendance of any model show in the northeast. Notice the use of the word “fans”, rather than “builders”; this because even those who may not actually construct truck models, will certainly find much to enjoy both on the contest tables, and the display tables.

The quality of the models is among the best one is likely to see. ‘50s era custom cars from Syracuse builders, huge off road work trucks from our Canadian neighbors, first time entries from young builders, and every other imaginable vehicle on the tables leave an observer thinking that he or she is walking through a museum.
In an adjacent room, there were approximately forty tables of vendors offering old model kits, parts, aftermarket details, accessories, and other model car and truck related “goodies”.

For this, the “twentieth anniversary” show, in addition to the usual 1st through 3rd place awards in the seventeen categories, and the many special awards given annually, the team decided to do something which they hadn’t done before. As was explained at the end of the awards presentations: with three judges, each may not always agree with the other two. Despite the usual consensus which results in a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place award, there are times when one of the judges feels that a particular model “speaks” to him for a reason known only to himself. So this year, (adding to the fun factor previously mentioned) they handed out three unique prizes, each selected by only one judge himself: The “Gary Award”, the “Dan Award”, and the “Jan Award”, each went to a deserving modeler, based on what the judge saw in the particular model he had chosen. This unexpected twist was well-received by everyone in attendance, and a good time was had by all!

Gary credits his brother-in-law Dan for much of the show’s success, as a result of the hard work and effort he has invested throughout the years.

So where will this “best little show no one knows about” be found? Not far from Fulton, At the “Volney Fire Department Barn”, in Volney, NY. Which, by the way, isn’t a barn at all; it is a large, modern structure with two huge areas devoted to the Fulton Model Show, on the last Sunday before Thanksgiving, every November.

Get building! Then get out your GPS Navigation and find your way to “The best little show no one knows about”…see you there!


-Jim Amado, October 2022

page updated 12/22/2023