Romancing the ride
If it's possible to "feel" the vibe of love for a car you'd swear it happens when you get a group of owners in one place to talk about their cherished rides.
That was the case recently when the South Delta Leader met up with three local automobile enthusiasts who are regulars at the annual Ladner Quilt Walk and Car Show that gets underway right in the heart of the historic village on Sunday (Aug. 19) morning.
While their cars may be of unique vintage, make and type, Steve Wilkins, Ray McGowan and Dave Falcon each cast a similar glow of pride.
Much of Wilkins' chat about his 1933 Ford Tudor hotrod is based on the story about how he acquired the low-slung, green machine.
"My wife (Dawn) bought it for me as a gift about eight years ago," he says, adding it wasn't for a particularly special occasion.
"She's just a loving, giving person. Most people who hear the story about the car ask if she's got any sisters," Wilkins jokes.
Wilkins explains the brother of a childhood friend had the car in storage for several years and Dawn got to talking one day with the owner's wife and asked if he'd ever part with it.
When the answer came back with, "sure" the pair made a deal and Dawn one day presented her husband with the keys.
"I didn't recognize what the keys were for and it turned out to be this car," Wilkins says, adding that since he was a young boy he's had a love for cars, and this was his favourite in the street rod category.
"It's from the art deco era and so its got lovely curves and overall design," he says. "It's a really pretty car."
Another pretty car that will be on show Sunday is Falcon's 1967 Pontiac Firebird convertible (seen below)
He's had the sleek, marina blue, drop top with a 400-cubic-inch power plant under the hood for more than 20 years after trading it for a 1935 Ford Cabriolet.
"It (Ford) was a project car, and I restored this (Firebird) one," Falcon says modestly.
Actually, Falcon not only brought the Firebird up to its current show car running condition, he even restored the interior and painted the body by himself in his own garage.
"Nobody else has touched this car but me," he says. "It was in good condition, a California car, clean no rust, all original and just needed a rebuild, restoration and new chrome."
The project was completed five years ago and one of it's crowning touches is the 8-Track tape deck in the centre console.
"It's Jim Croce," Falcon says smiling, adding he enjoys weekend summer drives, mostly to local shows.
McGowan says what he enjoys most is the classic lines of the deep, Chrysler green, 1967 Dodge Coronet 500 that he's owned for the past seven years.
"I found it in Ladner," he says. "It had been sitting for 22 years and the body was fairly good. A little rust on the quarter panels. But they all were replaced."
So was a lengthy line of other components over the years to bring it up to show car status.
"It's an B-body Chrysler. And I just like the hardtop and the way the roofline goes, and all the etching on the side of the body panels," McGowan says. "It's a very attractive car."
It's also quite rare.
"This particular model with a small block engine, the console and the bucket seats—there's only 520 built with this running gear.
"I just love cars. Love the look of them, the smell and the way they drive. They are special."