Given the absolutely amazing winter we've had, it only seems fitting Piston Ring's 38th annual World of Wheels car show is hitting town a couple of weeks early this year. In the past, the big show has rolled through Winnipeg in the last weekend of March, but it is taking over the Winnipeg Convention Centre this weekend.
The change in dates has been met with mixed reviews by local auto enthusiasts. Some have lamented it offers them two less weeks to get their cars ready for display. Others say it's great to pull back the dates because, in past years, it made no sense to be inside the convention centre looking at cars when it was nice enough outside to cruise in their own machines. So, basically, the moral of the story is no matter how hard you try you can't please everyone.
With that mini-controversy out of the way, let's get on with the show. First off, I freaking love World of Wheels, and as much as us local car guys like to complain about what it was or wasn't every year, we would drop dead screaming if they skipped our town. It allows local builders and guys with big chequebooks to showcase the stuff they have built or bought over the past winter, and it also allows us folks on the sidelines who continue to drive the same old cars an opportunity to whisper back and forth about what we like and don't like and dream out loud about finally fixing up our rides in time for the big show next year.
New trends will emerge, summer friends will reunite, and amazing cars will shine under the bright lights.
In addition to a cavalcade of local cars, we will also be treated to a bevy of beauties from out of town. There will be more than 150 show vehicles in competition for prizes and points as part of the International Show Car Association events, as well as a number of awesome cars and truck on display in more than 50 automotive-related booths offering products and services that cater to the special-interest vehicle hobby. This year, highlights will include a stunning 1944 Chevrolet pickup, Mantaray, the legendary '60s bubble-top car, the BASF Mercedes-Benz Gull Wing designed and customized by Chip Foose, the Snake Pit, featuring vintage and current Ford muscle cars, Drag City Canada, showcasing vintage dragsters, and Direct Connection, with a selection of vintage and current Hemi-powered Mopar muscle.
In addition to all the amazing cars and trucks, the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle and ATV show will also be running hot on the second floor, with all the latest motorcycles and ATVs as well as gear and accessories. There will also be a sweet lineup of classic and custom motorcycles on display, meaning that for another year you actually get to see two shows for the price of one. There will also be fashion shows on the second floor throughout the weekend and the always popular Miss World of Wheels Pageant presented by Alive nightclub will take place on the second floor on Saturday evening at 8 p.m.
The celebrity showcase, presented by Pony Corral Restaurant and Bar, will feature a trio of Hollywood stars. The biggest buzz, pardon the pun, seems reserved for Billy Bretheron from the popular TV show Billy the Exterminator. He will appear Friday and Saturday. Deena Nicole from Jersey Shore will also make an appearance on Saturday afternoon and James Maslow from Disney's Big Time Rush will be in attendance Sunday.
Ultimately, though, and I say this every year when the big show rolls through town, the cars are the stars!
Piston Ring's World of Wheels
Winnipeg Convention Centre, 374 York Ave.
Friday: 3 p.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Ticket prices: Adults, $14.50, children (6-12), $6, children under five, free.
Stop by and say hello to Willy at the Pony Corral booth on Saturday afternoon between 2 p.m and 5 p.m. and enter to win a VIP cruise night prize package that includes a limo ride to an upcoming cruise night and dinner for four at the Grant Park Pony Corral.