The snow around my shop is up to my waist but the end is in sight. The surest sign of spring is when the annual cavalcade of custom cars and big name stars rolls into town next weekend for Piston Ring's World of Wheels. This year marks the 39th anniversary of the big show and it's a sure bet I've never missed one.
Even though I've been there, done that and have a drawer full of T-shirts to prove it, that tinge of excitement still creeps up on me as I imagine the Winnipeg Convention Centre packed from wall to wall with amazing rides that tour with the show alongside beautiful made in Manitoba cruisers.
Show chairman Bob Chubala has been working hard all year, he pretty much starts planning for the next show the day after it ends, but as the show draws closer he's got the pedal to the metal.
"Big time busy", said Chubala. Alongside the wide variety of local cars he promises entries from far and wide, "We've got cars coming in from Minneapolis, all over North Dakota, Kansas, the Calgary area and Edmonton, there will be something for everyone."
In addition to the car show there will also be a motorcycle show, aptly dubbed CycleRama that is sponsored by Lone Star Harley-Davidson. This exhibit promises more than 30 custom and vintage bikes and the latest Harley models.
Christopher Reed, the heavy-duty prospect from the popular Sons of Anarchy TV show will be making appearances. It should be interesting to see if he's a real biker or just plays one on TV. He's already got Henry Winkler beat in my books -- turns out Fonzie couldn't even ride a motorcycle, (Google it).
Also new this year is a motorcycle stunt show featuring daredevils from Alberta that runs all three days. Bring your camera, the convention centre loading dock will be transformed into motorcycle mayhem.
There will also be a huge Batmobile display with three decades of the iconic crime fighters prized rides to treat your eyes. You can get your picture taken with your favourite Batmobile and rumour has it Adam West and Burt Ward the original Batman and Robin will make an appearance on Saturday evening.
While we all have our favourites the key to the continued success of Piston Ring's World of Wheels is a combination of variety and never before seen cars. "Of the 140 plus vehicles in this years show only two were in last year," added Chubala, "quality wise I am confident this will be a great show."
Everyone likes to gawk at the Hollywood stars, but the big news this year is surely the return of Dennis Gage, the host of My Classic Car will be at the Pony Corral booth on Friday evening. Gage is a bona-fide car star and a fan favourite. He has been here several times over the years and has made many friends in Manitoba, including Chubala.
"Dennis loves Winnipeg and Manitoba, and especially our diverse cars and their owners, Chubala said, "He is looking forward to seeing his old friends and making some new ones."
Check out next week's Free Press Autos for an early look at some of the beautiful machines that will be on display and full details on the show. And remember to mark your calendars!