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Thursday, October 1, 2015

2nd Autorama Montreal Starts Tomorrow

Autorama is back for its second year. Once again it’s being held at the Olympic Stadium. It’s open Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm, and on Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. General admission is $13 (13 and over), taxes included. Children (6 to 12) are $6 and must be accompanied by an adult. Children younger than that are free.

I thought last year’s event was terrific and am really happy to see them running it again. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, check it out.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Spotted: Ford Jeep GPW circa 1941

Ford Jeep GPW circa 1941
D-Day Museum, Portsmouth, UK
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Just got back from a trip to Portsmouth, England. While it’s paradise for a naval buff (if you’re at all interested in naval history, it’s a must-see, especially the Historic Dockyards), there are some land-based military vehicles at the D-Day Museum, including the Jeep above. There’s also the Wight Military and Heritage Museum on the nearby Isle of Wight (just opened this summer) but I haven’t been, so can’t report on it. I understand it’s possible to drive a Centurion tank there!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Events for the Rest of September

Okay, all the September car events I know about are now up on the September page (see link on the right hand side).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Montreal Area Classic Car Shows and Events on the Labour Day Weekend

I’ll be updating the September page next week sometime, but below are the events coming up this weekend. Lots of great shows on offer.

September 5
Monkey Joe's Car Show, Cruizin into Fall (all makes and models)
4:30 pm to 8 pm
Westgate Shopping Centre, Ottawa
Contact: Larry Way at 613-446-4717 or

September 6
7th édition de l'Expo de Valleyfield du Club Corvette Valleyfield (all classics, even modified, not just Corvettes)
9 am on
Parc Sauvé, Valleyfield, Quebec
Contact Jean-Guy Lafontaine at 450-429-8508 or or Richard l'Espérance at 450-371-6171

September 6
Boston Pizza Car Show (all makes and models)
4:30 pm to 8 pm
Rockland, Ontario
Contact Larry Way at 613-446-4717 or

September 6
North Augusta Labour Day Weekend Car Show
9 am to 3 pm
$10 registration
North Augusta, Ontario
Contact Bill Tennant at 613-340-4073 or

September 6 (rain or shine)
Auto Expo 2015/Hawkesbury Nationals
9 am to 3 pm
$15 registration
Hawkesbury, Ontario
Contact Michel Dicaire at 613-632-8695

September 7 (cancelled in event of rain)
Déjeuner sur l'herbe VAQ au Parc d'Outremont (pre-1970 classics only)
10 am on
Parc d'Outremont, Montréal
Contact VAQ at 514-745-6278

September 7
Docksyde Final Cruise & Show
10 am to 4 pm
Morrisburg Waterfront, Morrisburg, Ontario
Contact: Brian Erratt at 613-543-2261 or

September 7
Kiwanis Club of Goulbourn’s Richmond Motor Classic
Richmond Plaza, Richmond, Ontario
Contact: John Egan at 613-298-2324 or

Thursday, August 27, 2015

BMW to Bring 13 Historic Vehicles to 4th Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix

BMW Group Classic Historic Motorsport has announced that it will be bring ten race cars and three motorcycles to this year’s ZandvoortHistoric Grand Prix (August 28 to 30). While it’s been 30 years since there’s been a modern F1 Grand Prix on Dutch soil, the Zandvoort Historic brings legends back to life. With more than 50,000 visitors last year, the program, which has races and demo runs on its 4.26 km track, obviously interests a lot of people.

BMW won’t be posting pictures until after the event (if time permits, I’ll repost them), but it has provided information on some of the vehicles it’s bringing to its first time at the event:

Chevron BMW B21 from the 1972 Formula 2 championship
March 782, powered by a BMW engine, which won the 1978 F2 European Championship
BMW M1 from the 1979 Procar series
Winning BMW 635 CSi from the 1983 European Touring Car Championship
Brabham BMW BT52 that won the 1983 Formula 1 World Championship in 1983
BMW M3 2.5 DTM from the 1992 German Touring Car series
Winning BMW V12 LMR from the 1999 24-Hour Race of Le Mans
BMW M3 GT2 from the 2011 24-Hour Race of Le Mans GT Pro class

1954 BMW RS 54
1960s BMW R 50 Kaczor
BMW S 1000 RR that won the 2014 Isle of Man Senior Tourist Trophy


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What Makes a Car a Classic?

Before I started attending car shows and cruise nights, I’d assumed a classic car was one that was older than I was. At least ten years older than I was. It was a bit of a shock when I found cars from my early 20s on display. So what exactly defines a classic? It depends on who you ask.

According to the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) , a “Full Classic” car is one that was built between 1919 to 1948 (older than me—yay!). Not only that, but the car must have been produced in limited numbers and been expensive at the time—think Packard and Cadillac. You can find a list of the cars that they call CCCA Classics on their website.  You won’t find any Chevy Bel Airs or Ford Fairlanes here. No Model A Fords, either. But you don’t have to own a CCCA Classic to join the club or attend their events.

Fortunately for the average car lover, most clubs and events aren’t nearly as exclusive with their definitions, or we’d all have a lot fewer automotive beauties to admire. Many seem to consider any car more than 25 years old to be a classic, with anything built before the Second World War falling into the vintage class. Rules can vary as to whether modifications are allowed or not. Hot rods aren’t considered classics but are welcome at many of the same shows.

While I can’t see my first car, a used 1978 Plymouth Horizon, making anyone’s list of classics any time soon, you never know. HERE’S an article (with photos) on the sportier 1979 tc3 version. Nah. Not feeling the nostalgia. But I say if someone loved it enough to keep it, or to track it down and restore it, then it’s a classic. What’s your classic?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Spotted: Classic Ford Truck

Classic Ford Truck
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Saw this beauty on the streets of Portsmouth on a recent trip to England. It was parked in more or less the same place two days running so I assume it’s someone’s daily driver. Sweet!