It looks like Auto Expo 2010 in Hawkesbury, Ontario will be the only Canadian location in the upcoming season. I always try to do a couple Canadian-based episodes per season since the show has such a strong and loyal north-of-the-border following, but it just didn’t work out that way this year.
No worries tho, this little town on the Ontario/Quebec border about halfway between Ottawa and Montreal puts on a heck of a show and packed about 700 cars into just about every nook and cranny the town had. It’ll make an episode that all Canadians can be proud of!
The day was a bit chilly, but we were certainly given a warm reception. And they fixed us up with a couple of the coolest golf carts I’ve ever seen to get around in.
One of the challenges tho was that there were probably more French-speaking people in attendance than English-speaking folks. I would have loved to interview a guy who had built one of the most unique motorcycles I have ever seen, but he spoke virtually no English.
We had to settle for exchanging “thumbs up”, and I’m confident the message got thru.
One of the weirdest things I saw was a camper built on a ’65 Pontiac Parisian convertible. This thing was hilarious but amazingly well thought out and functional. It had apparently been across Canada a number of times and was still going strong. Now that’s camping in style!
And speaking of campers, there was also a 1980 VW Vanagon with the pop-up camper option. This interior was completely stock with stove, refrigerator, and sink, and it looked like it would be a blast to travel in. I would probably have bought it on the spot, but the owner said his four young kids would kill him if he ever sold it.
There was a ’62 Dodge wagon with a dual quad 413 Max Wedge under the hood that looked really slick. The ’62 Dodge was not a particularly good looking car (and some descriptions of it are considerably less kind), but as a wagon, this car looked pretty cool. I’m sure it’s plenty quick too.
Probably the most exotic car there was a ’71 Monteverdi 375L. This is an Italian-designed, Swiss-built, 440 Chrysler-powered grand touring car. I just love these cars, and only a handful of them were built. This owner found his in London. The only other guys I know that have these are Jay Leno and Bob Lutz, the Swiss-born former Chrysler and GM executive.
Before we were able to do this interview tho, I had to scale a streetlight pole to silence a chain that was swinging in the breeze and making a clanking sound that our mics were picking up like crazy. 30 years of technical rock climbing experience came in handy here, and I’m sure it was entertaining to onlookers.
And what would a Canadian show be without a Canadian car? The one I went for was this pro-street ’62 Pontiac Acadian. It is basically a Chevy Nova with a different grill, tail lights, and badging. And in this case, a considerably beefier engine.
And in the category of Ford performance, there was this ’86 SVO Mustang. This particular car was one of eight actual Competition Prep cars that were shipped to Canada. These cars had an intercooled, turbocharged 2.3 L engine, double deck rear spoiler, and numerous interior appointments unique to the Comp Prep SVO’s. The engine was amazingly quiet, but it’s also apparently pretty fast.
Next stop will be upstate New York for the Adirondack Nationals in Lake George. The only language barrier I envision there is possibly the occasional Jersey accent. I think I can manage that.