There’s something about the Langley Good Times Cruise-in that brings out the best in Mother Nature.
The 17th edition of Western Canada’s best attended charity event was held under a dome of blue sky.
The sun warmed the annual celebration of classic cars, trucks, souped up motorcycles, and hot rods to above normal values for this time of the year.
Along with tens of thousands of visitors who filled streets that were closed to traffic, there was a sensory explosion of music, food, and motorized entries of shapes and sizes.
All proceeds from Cruise-in go back into the community, benefiting the show and shine’s charities including the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Langley Community Support Groups, Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association, PuCKS, Langley Boys & Girls Club, Douglas Park Elementary Association, and the Legacy Water Search and Recovery Society.
Meanwhile, a good number of owners didn’t have to travel very far to show off their prized possessions.
Al Tecklenborg lounged in a lawn chair near his 1913 Ford Model T at the Concours d’Elegance at Douglas Park. Tecklenborg said he acquired the Model T from former Langley City Mayor, the late Reg Easingwood, “way back when,” around 1970.
A five passenger, four cylinder, 20 horsepower car, a Model T Touring Car retailed for $600 and included an extension top, top cover, automatic brass windshield, speedometer, two six-inch gas lamps, generator, three oil lamps, horn, tools, and jack.
His Model T “runs good,” said Tecklenborg, who drove it to Cruise-in.
“We did a frame-up, I guess you would call it, took it all apart, cleaned it up, painted it,” he said.
Further north, along the one-way portion of Fraser Highway was where you could find Al Underhill’s 1955 Chevy Bel Air.
The Bel Air has come a long way in many respects; Underhill bought it from its previous owner from Boston, Mass., about two years back.
He found the car on a “racing junk website,” Underhill said.
Since acquiring the Bel Air, Underhill has given it a complete overhaul, including new paint, motor, transmission, rear end, suspension, and frame.
This isn’t his first classic car. Underhill said he’s been a car collector for 30 years.
The Bel Air is a nod to Underhill’s first car, a ’55 Chevy that he purchased when he was 15 years old.
This marks the second straight year Underhill has shown the car at Cruise-in. He said he had “lots of thumbs up” from passers-by on Saturday.
“It’s amazing,” Underhill said. “Old people like it, too. It’s noisy, but they like it.”
Parked next to the Bel-air is Underhill’s cherry red 1968 Camaro, which he is trying to sell.
A couple of blocks away, Shannon MacDonald, from the Bradner area, had her hand-built hot rod on display.
“It started as a joke,” MacDonald shared. “We had an old, beat up body hanging in the rafters…”
It took MacDonald four years to collect the parts, followed by about four-and-a-half months of what she described as “intense labour” to put the car together.
MacDonald did everything on the car herself, including custom building the chassis, many of the suspension components, engine exhaust headers and fabricating the custom body.
“I did it all myself,” she said. “Every last stinky part of it.”
She got it on the road in July 2010, and this is the third time it’s been shown at Cruise-in.
“I live in Abbotsford and it [Cruise-in] is lots of fun, and I’ve got lots of friends who come here, so it’s kind of a social event,” MacDonald said. “So you wander around and you get to see new cars and see ideas on other people’s cars.”
It’s always a crowd-pleaser, MacDonald said.
“People love the thing,” she said. “They get quite a chuckle out of it because it takes them back to the old days.”
While registered as a 2010 vehicle, it’s based on a 1924 roadster pick-up.
And it has covered miles and miles of asphalt, racking up 17,000 miles so far. MacDonald has driven to relatively far-away places such as Ashcroft and Barkerville.
The 420 horsepower five-speeder, which weighs a scant 1,850 pounds, has a lot of giddy up and go.
“In Ashcroft, I granny shifted it and idled off the line, and it went 12 seconds flat at 116 mph, and it gets 24-and-a-half miles to the gallon on the highway,” MacDonald said. “It’s like driving a thousand horsepower Chevelle.”
– With files from the Vancouver Sun
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© Langley Advance
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