Every year, my current hometown of Camrose, AB hosts an event that puts an interesting spin on your standard-fare car show. I attended for the first time last summer, and I have a huge backlog of photos that I think I should share out, if only as a bit of sunny-weather-and-shiny-objects eye-candy to help us all make it through the cold days of winter.
This Cruise Night, as they call it, starts out as any other car show. They take over the whole downtown core of the town, block it off, and fill it with some pretty cars. We, the spectators, then walk up and down and drool over the awesome shiny iron. Then, at about 5:30PM, everyone trades places. The classic cars all fire up and pull into the streets, and then begin a slow cruise around the downtown grid. The spectators move into all the parking spaces that had previously been occupied by the car show participants, and you get to watch all these classic cars on the move. There’s something about the fact that you get to hear each of the vehicles running, hear the engine burbling and popping, and actually see it move and function, that makes the show seem more — I don’t know — more organic, more real somehow. All these beautiful lumps of curved steel come alive, they seem more real. These first two may have been chosen because I’ve spent the past two weekends putting a new-ish MINI Cooper S through its paces, and it has reminded me of my childhood. My aunt, when I was about four years old, had an original Mini Cooper, and it always struck me as something very special. Perhaps it was because it seemed, when contrasted against my father’s ’73 Oldsmobile Cutlass, to be a car that was scaled down to my size, relative to my father. Or perhaps it was because every other vehicle I had been a passenger in had needed to downshift and slow to about 50 km/h to make it safely down the twisting spaghetti-like highway that linked my hometown of Rossland with the neighbouring town of Trail. My auntie had seen no such need to downshift or slow. That little Mini was able to take it at over twice the speed of any other car on the road, and it did it so easily it never seemed dangerous. I think that was the point where I learned that a fast car did not simply mean a big V8 and a set of wheels. Got car show stories or photos? Send them on in to us here at firstname.lastname@example.org! I can pretty much guarantee there will be something in there that will tickle the fancy of someone in our community!