The Sooke Car Show is coming back for a fourth year, and this year’s event will be a car enthusiast’s version of paradise.
The event started years ago when Sooke Fall Fair organizer Ellen Lewers was approached by a few “car guys” who suggested bringing their vehicles down to the fair as an added attraction. Before Lewers knew it, she found herself with more than 100 cars and it was obvious a separate event was needed.
The Sooke Car Show was born.
On Sunday, July 14, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Sooke River Campground will host the 2019 version of the event.
The car show will feature about 250 antique, classic and just cool cars. There’ll be a swap and shop feature where car lovers can search for that perfect part or accessory, a variety of food trucks, and more than 20 vendors selling everything you can imagine for that perfect car project.
For some, however, the love of old cars is a bit befuddling.
“I love the way they look and the way they sound,” said Jason Dumont, a local car enthusiast who’s entered the car show in the past.
“A lot of it revolves around the friendships you make and the shared love of the vehicles.”
His voice drops as he speaks of the 1972 Cougar that he once owned and to his everlasting regret, sold.
But that voice rises again as he describes the Boss 429, 1990 Mustang that is working on these days. It’s a car he hopes to have restored by August.
For Kieth van Ek, another local whose love for cars virtually assures that he’ll be at the show, his love for classic vehicles is apparent as he describes his 1965 GTO– the one with three carburetors.
“The cars today just don’t have that roar,” van Ek said.
“I’ve restored a lot of cars … a ‘67 Sport Deluxe Beaumont, a ‘49 Chevy pickup … but my dream car – the one I really want to restore – is a ‘67 Corvette Coupe. It has to be the coupe,” he said with a chuckle.
van Ek said he views cars as an art form rooted in the beauty of the designs and the power they exude. But in the end, his voice trails off and it’s obvious that he has difficulty explaining his love of cars.
And that’s the thing about car enthusiasts.
They may not know exactly why they love cars, but there are certain aspects of that love affair that are common.
For one thing, cars are never gender-neutral. Car lovers always refer to their favourite cars as a he orshe.
For another, never try to compare your modern vehicle to their cars. Car guys don’t care about crash test results, aerodynamic drag coefficients, fuel efficiencies, or comfort. Modern cars might be better – but they just aren’t.
And don’t forget about the nostalgia factor. Classic cars sometimes accompanied their owners on the road to major life events, and have become indelibly linked with those events and that time.
But all of that will become apparent for the folks who make their way to the Sooke Car Show. Memories will resurface, stories will come to mind and, deep inside, the love of classic cars will take root. Count on it.