Opinion

The fun of chasing down unusual cars

On a late summer Friday night, a group of us were relaxing in lawn chairs, sitting behind our old cars and trucks at a Tim Hortons. These weekly mini car shows pop up around the community during the summer months, all of them a build-up to the Langley Good Times Cruise-In coming this weekend to downtown Langley.

It’s been a great outdoor summer and we’ve all had lots of opportunity to show off our vehicles across the Lower Mainland. Some have even gone farther afield, as many cities across the province have added a car show to their summer schedule.

You might think that we would eventually run out of things to talk about, but someone might show up with a different vehicle or maybe someone has just finished a project car and they are showing it off for the first time. Of course everyone seems to always be doing some sort of repair or restoration or looking for parts or advice. There is never a shortage of advice when car people gather.

No matter what you need  done to your vehicle you will find the expert at one of these shows. There is the engine guy, the paint guy, the transmission guy or the upholstery guy. All you have to do is ask someone and you’ll find the right guy.

I personally like the urban legend stories. Someone always seems to know where there is a secret cache of vehicles or maybe that one classic tucked away.

“I know  someone who knows where four of those trucks are but the husband and wife passed away and the estate is tied up in court so you can’t get at them.”

Or “I know where you can find one of those cars. My friend knows a guy who lives by an old lady who has one in a garage but it belongs to her son who she hasn’t seen in years so she won’t sell it.”

Sometimes the stories are true sometimes they don’t pan out, but searching them out is the fun part.

For instance, I have the wrong tailgate on my truck. The word Ford should be in script not block letters, as it’s from a newer model. Many folks go out of their way to point this out. I get lots of tips where I might find the right one.

I went to Yarrow and looked at one that was in worse shape than mine, but the drive was nice. I went to Whonnock to a wrecking yard where it wasn’t the right tailgate but I found some other stuff. I followed a tip to Hope and found one that was attached to a truck, but he only wanted to sell the whole vehicle.

But it wasn’t a wasted trip because they were a great couple and they had lots of old signs and memorabilia to walk through. I could simply buy a “new old tailgate,” but then what excuse would I have for taking off on a weekend exploration? Looking for a tailgate occupies a lot of afternoons throughout the dreary winter.

For all of you coming down to the Cruise In this weekend, I know I have the wrong tailgate on my truck, you don’t have to point that out, but check out my 8-track under the dash. It works and sounds great.

Check out downtown. It’s a trip back to a simpler time. At least that’s what McGregor says.

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