Thursday, August 31, 2017

September Car Shows

The September car show list is up. You can find a link on the right of this page.

Still can't believe summer's almost over. It feels like it's barely started, but that nip in the air--in August??!!??--can't mean anything good.

Friday, August 4, 2017

August Car Shows

The second thunderstorm of the day is rumbling off into the distance. That means it will be nice this weekend, right? Or at least by Sunday, which, apart from the Week-End des Anciennes de Rimouski, is when this month's shows seem to start. That includes this Sunday's 7th Annual Baie-D’Urfe Vintage Car and Truck Show.

Whether you're into showing classic cars, admiring classic cars, racing, or want to do a rally tour, there's something on this month for you. If only Mother Nature will cooperate.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

This Weekend's Upcoming Car Shows

June was pretty much a wash-out weather wise. Here's hoping July will be better. If you're needing a car show fix, there's lots going on in the next few days, from drag racing at Mont-Joli (starts tonight and runs all weekend), vintage racing at Mont-Tremblant, and, a bit closer to home, the Hudson car show on Saturday. Details can be found in the July car show listing link on the right side of this page.

Friday, June 2, 2017

June Car Shows

This month’s car shows are now posted—you can find the link on the right-hand side of this page.

Did you know May 27 to June 3 was Drive Your British Car Week? So why not close out the week with a drive to Quebec City and the Rendez-Vous British Quebec this Saturday. The highlight of June in Montreal is the Grand Prix, with lots of official and not so official events, but of course there are lots of other shows on this month as well. Ottawa also seems like a hotbed of car activity this month, with Ferraris, Jags, Mustangs, and even DeLoreans on offer. Naturally, there are lots of shows on the Fathers’ Day weekend, including one of my favourites, Cruisin’ at the Boardwalk, in Ste-Anne.

If you’re looking for something to do on a week night, check out the car cruise listings, also on the right-hand side of the page.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Targa Newfoundland Is Having a Baby

This year will be the sixteenth running of the Targa Newfoundland, the 1600 plus km rally held on public roads in Newfoundland each September. In celebration of that, and in memory of Burin native and Targa supporter and fan Tom Hollett, Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited has announced a second targa event: the Tom Hollett Memorial Targa Bambina.

The Targa Bambina will be held June 30 to July 3 (the Canada Day long weekend) over closed public roads in the Burin peninsula. According to their website, “If entering Targa is something you’d like to consider, but think it is too expensive, then the Targa Bambina is your thing!”

There will be three divisions: the competitive division (Targa Bambina), which will involve 16 timed stages on closed public roads; a non-competitive division (Fast Touring); and a parade type-division (Show Cruise). It will also be possible to participate in two car shows in the Burin area.

You don’t have to own an expensive rally car to participate (though it would probably help). Rules can be found on the Targa Bambina website, but basically all you need is a road-legal vehicle, a competition license (which they can sell you), and basic safety equipment.

Like the bigger, older Targa, classic cars are welcome in all divisions. Makes me wish I had one, because Newfoundland’s roads are worth driving.

Friday, May 12, 2017

2017 Cruise Nights Listing Now Up

I've now updated my cruise nights listing to reflect this year's dates and cruises--you can find the link on the right hand side of the page. Looks like the weather's finally on our side.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Classic Car Events Page Now Up

As promised, I've put together my list of classic car events for May. You'll find the link in the right-hand column. I'll be updating the cruise nights list tomorrow, real life permitting, but most of the cruise nights in last year's list are probably still ongoing--if only the weather will cooperate. Only one event for this weekend and that's the one in Montreal's Hampstead Park this Sunday.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

North American Alfa Romeo Convention to Be Held in Montreal

1947 Alfa Romeo 6C
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Looks like I may be seeing a few Alfa Romeos in my neighbourhood this summer. Alfa expo17, a joint convention of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club and the Alfa Romeo Club of Canada, will be held in Montreal (specifically Pointe Claire) this July 13-16. If you live between Kingston and Montreal, you may see some of them on their pre-convention driving tour. The convention will also include an art and model show, time trials, and a Friday lunch at the Orange Julep—probably the best chance for non-members to see some of the cars. For more details, check out their website HERE. You can bet I’ll be watching the local traffic.

I’m busy catching up on work after a two week vacation, but hope to get a chance to put the May car show list together in the next few days. Time to get the toys out!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The 1800s: It Was a Very Good Century Part Two

A few more cars from the late 1800s from my photo collection, all from the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

1897 Daimler Grafton Phaeton
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Photo by Kate Tompkins
First up is this 1897 Daimler Grafton Phaeton. If you’re thinking there’s a connection with Mercedes-Benz, you’d be correct. An English company (the Daimler Company) formed in 1896 had licensed the Daimler patents and was building cars in Coventry by 1897. You can find more details on the car at the Jaguar Heritage Trust website HERE. While, you’re there, check out the other cars in their collection. No, despite the Coventry connection, Jaguar’s history doesn’t go back that far.

1898 Benz Velo
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Photo by Kate Tompkins
This 1898 Benz Velo is a German car. The Benz Velo or Velocipede first appeared in 1894, as the successor to Karl Benz’s Patent Motorwagen (Wikipedia). It’s considered “the world’s first large-scale production car” with around 1,200 produced between 1894 and 1902. More details on the Benz Velo can be found on THIS Mercedes-Benz webpage.

1898 Cannstatt Daimler
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Photo by Kate Tompkins
I can’t find any information online on this 1898 Cannstatt Daimler other than THIS page by the National Motor Museum, so I’ll have to rely on my photo of the plaque beside it at the National Motor Museum. It was built in Bad Canstatt (hence the name) by the Daimlen Motoren Gesselschaft, a German company founded by Gottleib Daimler and Willhelm Maybach.

It wasn’t just Canadians, Brits and Germans jumping on the motor car bandwagon. Both Fiat and Renault also started building cars in 1899. Here’s an example of each.
1899 Fiat
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Photo by Kate Tompkins

1899 Renault Type A
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Photo by Kate Tompkins

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The 1800s: It Was a Very Good Century - Part One

Every year, as New Year’s approaches, I tell myself I’m going to write a blog post on the cars from the model year 25 years ago, which are about to become classics by most car show rules. And every year I’m so busy trying to catch up on the paying work (oh, the joys of freelancing) after taking time off for Christmas, that it doesn’t happen. So I decided, why wait for New Year’s? Why not start now with the oldest cars in my photo collection and go from there.

But before I get started, did you know that there were people building cars in Canada in the 1800s? I certainly hadn’t, but that’s what I discovered during my research for this article. Check out this PAGE from the Canada Science and Technology Museum, where you can find out about Seth Taylor’s 1867 steam buggy, an 1893 electric vehicle designed by William Still and Frederick B. Featherstonehaugh and built in Toronto, and an 1896 gasoline-powered automobile built by George Foote Foss of Sherbrooke, Quebec.

1885 Benz Patent Motorwagen (replica)
Samsung Transportation Museum
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Here’s a picture of a replica 1885 Benz Patent Motorwagen from the Samsung Transportation Museum in Korea. While this is often called the first car, there were working steam-powered vehicles back in the 1700s. There were even steam-powered buses. Steam cars became so popular in the 1800s that legislation was passed to regulate them in the UK (the 1865 Locomotive Act) so that they had to be preceded with someone on foot waving a red flag. The annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is based on the celebration of the repeal of that law in 1896. The 1885 Benz, however, was the first production car with an internal combustion engine.

1895 Knight
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Here’s the 1895 Knight from the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England. It was the first British gas-powered vehicle to hold two people, designed by John Henry Knight. Originally a three-wheeled vehicle, it was reconfigured the following year with four wheels. According to Wikipedia, Knight built it to draw attention to the rules against motor cars at the time.

1896 Pennington Autocar
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Here’s an 1896 Pennington Autocar, also from the National Motor Museum. Designed by American Edward Joel Pennington (quite the scoundrel if you can believe the Wikipedia article on him), this is the only remaining example. Seems he took orders for the car, but never delivered.

More 1800s cars to come in my next post.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Classic Car Movie Review: Genevieve

Back when I was writing about the 2016 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, I came across a mention of a movie made about one of the cars that would be doing the run. It took me a while to run down a copy, and even longer to get around to watching it, but I’m glad I did.

The movie is called Genevieve, and it’s a 1953 comedy about the rivalry between two friends who own veteran cars that they plan on driving in the Run. The plot is light but amusing enough to entertain a non-car fan.

There are lots of great shots of classic cars in action. While most of the footage goes to the 1904 Darracq (named Genevieve) and the 1905 Spyker driven by the two male protagonists, there are also several cars from the 50s (considered modern at the time), especially an Allard that ends up towing one of the cars when they run into a spot of trouble.

If it shows up on late night telly, it’s worth a watch. You might be able to find it on Turner Classic Movies. You can read more about the history of Genevieve and how the movie influenced the vintage car hobby HERE.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Montreal and Quebec City Motorcycle Shows Return

Honda Rebel 300
Can’t wait to hit the open road? Get your fix by attending the Montreal (February 24 to 26) or Quebec City (February 3 to 5) motorcycle shows. As usual, they’ll have all the latest models and gear, not just for bikes but scooters, four-wheelers and ATVs as well. There will also be representatives from various riding clubs if you’re looking for some bike-minded friends.

She Rides Nite is back, complete with a ladies only draw for a 2017 Kawasaki Ninja, and so is the Yamaha Riding Academy for kids.

Tickets for the Motorcycle Shows are available online now at:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dodge SRT Raising the Demon

Yes, I’m still writing the blog. I apologize for the much longer than intended Christmas hiatus. First there was the Christmas holiday, then there was catching up on work after Christmas (as a freelancer, I don’t get days off), followed by the cold from hell which downed me for a week. It’s still hanging on, but the last few days I’ve been feeling at least semi-human so I’ve made a start on my backlog of press releases. Which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

Seems Dodge SRT is planning on unveiling a new member of its line-up at the New York International Auto Show (April 14-23, 2017). While of course they’re not sharing any advance details on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, they are tempting fans with a series of pre-reveal videos. You can check them out at where a new video is being released daily.

"Most cars attempt to be everything to everybody. Then there are the rare few that revel in a single objective, rendering them totally irresistible to a subculture," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. "The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is conceived, designed and engineered for a subculture of enthusiasts who know that a tenth is a car and a half second is your reputation."

So it’s to be drag racing, then?