Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hot wheels

MSRA's Rodarama car show kicks off a summer of cruising

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The sun wasn't the only thing shining in Transcona last weekend when the Manitoba Street Rod Association hosted its annual Rondex Rodarama car show at the East End Arena.

A chrome-laden cavalcade of more than 100 classic and special-interest vehicles packed both of the arena's ice surfaces and, by all accounts, the entire weekend was a tremendous success.

"We had great crowds all weekend and the owners really went all-out getting their cars ready," said MSRA member Brian Jackson, the man responsible for wrangling all the vehicles for the show.

"It was really busy on Saturday afternoon and everyone I've spoken to really enjoyed the variety of cars on display."

When the awards were presented on Sunday, no one in the room was shocked when Harry Prokop's 1949 Anglia took home best-in-show honours. Built right here in Manitoba, this masterpiece is among the nicest cars you will ever lay eyes on. Prokop calls his latest creation Zombie, and more than a few local auto buffs were similarly transfixed by it. Look for a full feature on Prokop's Anglia in an upcoming Willy's Garage.

Randy and Sandy Klym took home the coveted People's Choice Award for their super-cool school bus. Although the body still wears the original patina, the interior is decked out like a '50s diner. Judging by all the smiles, it's easy to see why the thousands of spectators who attended Rodarama picked it as their favourite. If you haven't checked out this amazing rig, be sure to take a close look the next time you spot it at a local car show. Bob Vockeroth, a long-time MSRA member, was proudly showing off his mint 1952 GMC truck. It was a special weekend for Vockeroth, since he just got out of jail last Monday. Don't let the gangster hat he's sporting in the photo fool you -- he was on the good side of the bars. Vockeroth just retired last week from the Manitoba Department of Justice after 30-plus years of service.

Back in the '90s when I was a rookie corrections officer, Vockeroth was my unit manager in the special handling unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. Although the big guy had high expectations for all of his troops, over the nearly 15 years I worked for him he always treated officers and inmates with a level of kindness and respect that was unprecedented.

The fact that Vockeroth and I share a passion for old cars and trucks made us fast friends. While it's a sure bet he will be missed at the jail, local cruisers are happy to have him with us full-time at area car shows. Have a great retirement Bob, and keep on truckin'.

Roadarama also showcased a nice selection of vendors catering to the automotive hobby, and MSRA member Rob Swaffer should be commended for doing a great job organizing the booths.

Reg Walker of Walker Auto Parts magically transformed a dark hallway into one of the niftiest-looking T-shirt and hat stores ever seen in these parts. All of the vendors really stepped up this year with nice displays and great deals on parts and service.

Another display that caught my eye was that of local artist Paul Salinowski from 1320 Art. Salinowski displayed his unique pencil drawings that chronicle the gritty roots of drag racing and promoted an upcoming mixed media art show called "The Creative Collective" on May 25 at Urban Autobody on Stapleton St. For more information, you can email or call Kevin at 204.799-2265.

From the many MSRA volunteers to the vendors and the auto buffs who built and displayed such amazing vehicles, all deserve huge thanks for their hard work in making it a great Rodarama weekend. Although all those cars looked great inside East End Arena, the real treat came on Sunday evening when they all rolled out into the fresh spring air and kicked off another great summer of cruising!

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2013 A1

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