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Rink rat

Rondex Rodarama show goes this weekend at East End Arena

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Drew McRae with his 1958 Ford Customline. McRae's car will be on display alongside more than 100 local classic and special interest vehicles this weekend at the MSRA's annual Rondex Rodarama.

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Drew McRae with his 1958 Ford Customline. McRae's car will be on display alongside more than 100 local classic and special interest vehicles this weekend at the MSRA's annual Rondex Rodarama.

This weekend, Drew McRae's 1958 Ford Customline will be on display alongside more than a hundred classic and special-interest vehicles at the Manitoba Street Rod Association's 15th annual Rondex Rodarama car show, being held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the East End Arena in Transcona.

The 24-year-old McRae can be forgiven for having only faint memories of the first big indoor show the MSRA put on way back in the spring of 1999 -- he was only nine.

"For pretty much as long as I can remember, Rodarama has been my favourite car show," said McRae, who lives in Transcona and is the son of local auto buffs Tim and Jo McRae. "There's just something about the atmosphere inside the arena that makes the old cars look amazing, and everyone is always super-friendly. It's the perfect way to kick off the car-show season."

The countless hours McRae has spent getting his old Ford ready for the annual show is a true testament to just how hard MSRA members have worked to not only preserve the old-car hobby, but also to make it appealing to a younger demographic.

I've known Drew McRae since he was a kid, watching as his interest in vehicles has shifted from import-tuner cars to old iron. McRae bought his '58 Ford a couple of years back from another local auto buff, John Ducharme. The car was complete but needed some serious rust repair. With help from his dad and a few friends, the car was brought back to life in McRae's backyard garage last July.

"I wanted to build it rat-rod style because every rat-rod you see is unique," McCrae said. "That's the best thing about old cars -- every vehicle expresses the character of the person who owns it."

"I like that it is a 4-door and it's a Ford. You often see '56, '57 or '58 Chevy 2-door cars, but the sedans -- especially old Fords -- there aren't many of them left."

Listening to a young man carry on about his old Ford is like music to our ears. Congratulations Drew, you're now officially a 'car guy'.

McRae's Ford Customline will be displayed alongside some of the finest vehicles our local scene has to offer. Generally referred to as a traditional car show, Rodarama brings spectators and participants back in time with a healthy dose of classic cars, nostalgic rock 'n' roll and a distinct focus on family fun.

Both ice surfaces will be packed with a spectacular selection of classic and special-interest vehicles. In addition to a large number of pre-1949 modified street rods, the show always manages to feature something for everyone, including customs, muscle cars, restored classics and modified late-model machines. And Rodarama also features an eclectic group of local vendors who cater to the automotive hobby.

The doors open tonight at 6 p.m. and there will be a social for the participants and volunteers later in the evening that will feature a silent auction in support of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children Foundation, beneficiary of this year's Rodarama.

willy@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 25, 2014 F7

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