White-walled tires, original leather, chrome, and flashy paint jobs were all on display this weekend in Vancouver for the city's second annual collector car show and auction.
Nearly 20,000 visitors came to see more than 600 classic and antique cars showed-off by hundreds of automobile enthusiasts, who clearly believe that the newer certainly does not mean better when it comes to the cars that we love to drive and to polish.
Vancouver Collector Car Show Director Phil Heard said the muscle cars and the convertibles seem to be drawing the most interest this year. What's more important, many cars here carry warm and memorable stories of their owners' old days.
"I think people go back to their youth, so the first car I had when I was 17, or the car my mom and dad drove me in when I was a youngster, and people look for those kinds of cars, so they go back to what they had originally, and that's what a lot of them do," Heard told Xinhua at the show.
Spike Contini's 1960 Chevrolet Impala convertible quickly became one of the show's highlights. He bought this car in 1992 for 9,500 dollars because it was virtually identical to the car he used to drive around Vancouver when he was young.
"When I was 22-years-old, I bought a 1960 Chevy Impala convertible, same color as this, and I always loved that car. A year after I bought it I got married and four months after we were married my wife was pregnant with our first child. The little boy came, and I would have to sell the car to buy a buggy for the kid. So that's what I had to do. I had to sell the car. And you know I never ever forgot that car."
Seven years after Contini bought this car, he took it to get painted. The body shop found severe rust throughout the body of the car. Four months after getting it back on the road, the engine quit.
In all, Contini spent nearly 100,000 dollars on his Impala. He said it's been a labor of love - and it could pay off, as several car lovers recently offered to buy it for around 125,000 dollars. But Contini said he had no plans to sell it because he loves showing it off.
"From 2002, I started showing this car, and up until last year, the last car show last year, I had 107 wins. About 50 wall plaques and about 50 trophies. It's done very well for me," Contini said proudly.
Tar Mattu, another classic car collector, is showing off his 1967 Chevelle Malibu. He had a similar car that he used to race around Vancouver back when he was a teenager, but that one was stolen.
Mattu said he would never forget his Chevelle and decided to find another version of it a few years ago and was lucky to get one.
"Well, it's exactly the same model I had. It's a little different motor, but not much. And mine had a four-speed in it. We're going to change this one over to a four-speed then it will be almost identical," Muttu said by the side of his lovely car.
Mattu's wife, Rita, remembers riding around the city in the original Chevelle. She joked that if it were not for that car, she may never have agreed to go out on a date with the man who would eventually become her husband.
"Well, it was pretty, yeah, it was pretty cool to see him drive up in this pretty, fancy car with the big tires in the back and it was pretty beefy. But it didn't take long for me to realize it wasn't just the car. But it didn't hurt," the charming old lady said while still indulging in the good old days.