Doug and Karen Bowtell will be bringing their hot rod to Cruise-in on Saturday. The couple has been attending the show, on and off, since 1997, when Doug was a volunteer.

Couple enjoying the hotrod culture

This weekend, Doug and Karen Bowtell will carry on the Cruise-In tradition they established in 1997

Karen Bowtell thought her husband, Doug, was done building cars until a Buick Nailhead motor showed up at their house.

“He just liked the idea of having that motor, so I asked him what he was going to do with that motor (and) he just started collecting parts and pieces,” Karen explained.

“He would come up with things and just start adding to it … I didn’t think we would have anymore hotrods, but like I said, it started with the engine.”

Two years later and Doug had built himself a custom 1928 Roadster pickup from the ground up — one of several cars he’s crafted in his lifetime.

A mechanic by trade, Doug has always been “tinkering with cars,” said Karen. He’s built a ’37 from just a shell — which was fished out of a barn in Winnipeg — and a ’53 Mercury truck, which was built 30 years ago and still garners attention.

“What he couldn’t find he made, so (the Roadster) is definitely homebuilt. He added from different vehicles and stuff, too,” Karen said.

“This one was basically 100 per cent build.”

Hotrodders may recognize the flashy vehicle from shows across B.C. and United States, including the Langley Good Times Cruise-In, which the couple will be attending on Sept. 10.

The Bowtells have been involved in the charity show on and off since 1997, when Doug was a volunteer.

“It’s kind of tradition,” Karen said.

“It’s the hub of hotrodding, the place to go. It’s not even so much about the car show and the cars, it’s the whole atmosphere. We all get together Friday night, and in the morning, we meet and we go in and park and we spend the day together and enjoy Langley downtown.”

For Karen, who often fills the role of “apprentice” as Doug works on his cars, the part she enjoys most about hotrodding is the culture.

“In the day, everybody used to gather around and watch somebody build a car, or everybody helped you build a car. That’s what it was all about, getting together,” she said.

That nostalgia was brought back to her earlier this summer, when she and Doug ran into a bit of a glitch with the Roadster on Vancouver Island.

While on the way to a Sunday car show in Victoria, their car broke down in Campbell River the Tuesday prior.

“We wanted to get to Victoria for Thursday, and we couldn’t get the part right away. We had to wait a couple of days,” Karen said.

Instead of waiting, they decided to look up the local car clubs of that area to see if anyone could help them find the elusive part for the Roadster’s old engine.

“So we phoned the North Island Cruisers over there, and next thing we knew, coming to our cottage, we had a couple hotrods show up with the part … they basically pushed us out of the way to install it,” she said.

“These guys just happened to have the part, and they came and they bailed us out … We loved it, it was neat, it was just so cool that they came to the rescue. It is kind of what hotrodding is all about, so it was a really neat experience.”

The Langley Good Times Cruise-In is back in downtown Langley on Sept. 10, with a swap meet and car corral on Sept. 11. Featuring more than 1,200 classic cars, the annual event attracts thousands of spectators while raising funds for local charities.

For more info, visit langleycruise-in.com.

Just Posted

Mom delivers plastic mats to Langley’s homeless

Jenifer Kosman fashions sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Man in mid-20s killed in targeted shooting in Abbotsford

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Giants fall in six-round shootout

Visiting Victoria squad beats Vancouver 4-3 at Langley Events Centre

GALLERY: Giants host Royals in WHL action

Photos from the Vancouver Giants clash with the Victoria Royals at the Langley Events Centre

UPDATED: SUV fire at Langley mall (with video)

Firefighters respond to Fraser Highway incident

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Most Read