When first hearing about a Classic Car Show being held down in Crescent Beach at Blackie Spit, I’ll admit that my immediate presumptions of the intended theme and vehicular contents would have easily leaned towards the usual American Muscle cars with a few 50’s and pre-war classics thrown in for good measure – you know… a bunch of Vettes, Mustangs, Mopars and some Hot-Rodded Chevys to whet the appetites of the usual weekend Car Show sort… But after learning that this particular show was a relocation spot for the yearly Invitational that usually happens in downtown Vancouver’s Gastown district, I was a bit more hopeful for an intriguingly diverse display.
The quietly beautiful and serene Blackie Spit/Crescent Beach locale already had me locked-into place for my eagered attendance on the Saturday morning as it’s actually the very place of my youth – I learned how to breakdance and regularily skin my knees via my BMX in the Crescent Beach/Ocean Park region – so the trek out to South Surrey was, as always is, a welcomed one.
I purposely parked my trusty 22-year-old ‘pipe ‘n slippers’ BMW a fair distance away from the Spit itself so as to take-in a morning stroll down the sleepy lanes of Crescent Beach en route to the Show. There’s a rustic ambiance and a cozy charm about this (thankfully) unaffected-by-mass-industry region that all-to-easily takes me back to when I was 12 years old, downing a drippy ice-cream cone during one of the many epic sunsets I gazed out upon. I inevitably encounter a moment similar to every other time I visit here – that being, I dearly miss it.
Walking down McBride Ave towards the Spit, it became immediately clear that this was going to be a rather good day. The weather was incredible. The sun was shining. A light breeze tickled your (slightly sunburnt) neck as the grassy Park area within the Spit gradually came into view… Well that, and a menacingly black Ford GT and silver Porsche Carrera GT greeting you on the front lawn of a local’s house – quite the entry piece.
Like every Car Show I attend, I never know where to start. My senses are frenzied with visual overload and I needlessly remind myself (in a motherly fashion) that none of the cars are leaving anytime soon, as the show has just started. So I head over to where my eyes are first drawn-in… there’s a sweet little red Isetta microcar parked up on the northern tip of the lawn. After initiating a chat with the Isetta owner, he reminds me that the top speed of the microcar is a mere 35 mph (or so), so highway journeys are a bit off the map as far as driving abilities go. His Solution..? Tow it in – with his old-school Mini…! He said that he’d never received so much attention from passer-bys than on this particular occasion. I could see why. An old-school Mini towing an Isetta microcar… ? It doesn’t get much cooler than that.
This being an Invitational, there was an attempt at diversity amongst the throngs of motor cars – all of them Concours-spec. Gorgeous Bentleys from the 20’s and 30’s (a particular 1928 Bugatti Type 44 roadracer was a personal fave) and even a ’39 Lagonda Rapide were strewn along the lawn, all nestled-in together. Cars were bunched-in with their respective catagories though, so you had the usual array of Mustangs, Vettes and Mopars along with 50’s-era Chevys, but you were also treated to some rare metal (and ash wood – hello Morgan) from Britain. A Lotus Elan. A Jaguar XK120. Some MG’s. A nice collection of motorbikes were also in attendance. Oddly though, I saw only one Italian offering – a stunning Maserati 3500 GT. There may have been another Italian about, but I don’t remember seeing one. Pity, that.
All in all, a great 1st-attempt at holding this yearly Invitational down in the beautifully tranquil coastline setting of Crescent Beach. And I hope it comes back next year, as one noted aspect of it that I appreciated about this out-of-the-way location was that almost everyone that was there, was there to see and enjoy the actual show… You didn’t have people straggling-in by default just because they happened to be shopping in the Downtown core on that particular afternoon. It felt like a community of motoring enthusiasts – friendly ones as well.
A heightened diversity in Marques for next year would be excellent though (there was only one Italian, no BMWs and maybe one Mercedes… yet bunches of Mustangs, Corvettes and 50’s era Chevys). But seriously, a very minor quibble. The show was a huge success with an interesting array of motoring delectables on display… Smiles everywhere – even on this mug. (Even persuaded my Pops to come down and enjoy the sights) I look forward to attending this show next year… Let’s hope they keep it in Crescent Beach.
words and photos: Blake J.