Although the weather didn't exactly co-operate, the Manitoba Street Rod Association's (MSRA) 12th annual Rondex Rodarama car show was a sight to behold.
The show took place last weekend at the East End Arena in Transcona and both ice surfaces were packed with an amazing variety of classic and special-interest vehicles.
Show chairman and longtime MSRA member Frank Fazio was quick to thank everyone involved, including the show's sponsors, the folks who showed their vehicles, vendors, spectators and the tireless volunteers who keep the wheels turning at Manitoba's favourite grassroots car show.
The MSRA has been supporting the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation for a number of years and, late Sunday afternoon prior to the award presentations, MSRA president Chris Jelfs presented nine-year-old Jillian Chipilski with a Freedom Concepts tandem bicycle.
Jillian, who is from Steinbach, has special needs and this special bike will allow her to enjoy the great outdoors in a safe and fun way. It was touching to see money raised by local auto enthusiasts go to such a great kid. Have fun with your new bike, Jillian!
In addition to all the antique cars on display, it was also cool to see a few later-model vehicles coming into their own in the classic-car world. Case in point was Llew Taylor's pristine 1984 Chrysler Daytona Turbo. Taylor had his ultra-clean Daytona polished to perfection and it looked right at home alongside all of the classic beauties on display.
It was also a proud moment to see my fellow Riff Raff Car Club members, Brent Hoitink with his 1928 Chrysler and Rolly Tougas with his '47 Chevrolet, representing our club. Another popular display was Peter Meier's neat collection of vintage "pedal car" fire trucks. Apparently, this was just a small sampling of Meier's extensive stable of tin treasures. Look for a feature on these memory machines in an upcoming Willy's Garage column.
One car that had a crowd around it all weekend was Larry Hosaluk's amazing 1937 Lincoln Zephyr. Hosaluk, who was born here in Winnipeg but now calls Roseau, Minn., home did the lion's share of the work on the car himself, including the insertion of a fire-breathing Ford Triton V10 engine and stunning woodwork.
Hosaluk's handiwork certainly did not go unnoticed. In addition to winning the new Tom Milne Memorial award, he also took home trophies for the People's Choice pick and the coveted Best in Show award.
Bill Harrison, from VaVaVoom Garage in Altamont, Man., unveiled a nifty Tiki hut to display a sampling of his growing variety of vintage auto parts. Apparently the grass-and-bamboo structure was used as a prop in a Prairie Theatre Exchange production. Harrison didn't want to drag it all the way back to Altamont and, never one to pass up a good deal, I bought it. There was something ironically Manitoban about bringing home a Tiki hut in a blizzard. We're not sure where we'll put it, but my ultra-patient wife was thrilled with my purchase. At least I didn't buy a car, dear...
Although it was painful to watch folks drive their pristine cars out into the snow when the show was over, everyone seemed to take it in stride. Some participants, however, opted to keep their rides indoors until the weather cleared up on Monday. The good folks from the East End Arena should be commended for allowing owners of these fair-weather machines to keep their cars in the arena for an extra night -- you saved these guys from countless hours of cleaning and polishing.
With the 12th annual Rondex Rodarama now in our collective rear-view mirrors, it can mean only one thing: Let the cruising begin!