Crescent Beach Invitational Car Show – A.I. was there

September 6, 2011

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.

This was towed into the show...

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.

...with this..!

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.

Gorgeous inline-6 in this exquisite Maserati 3500GT Superleggera

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.

From a guiltless era with a sense of humour

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.

An unrestored original - so nice

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.

Long-Weekend List of Car Shows/Show & Shine Events

September 3, 2011

Better late-in-the-day than never (evil technology hates me today), here is your long-weekend list of various Car Shows/Show & Shines to ponder your presence at over the Holiday in the Lower Mainland/Island region… Have a great long-weekend everyone…!


-Crescent Beach Invitational Car Show

Blackie Spit, 1316 McBride Ave., South Surrey, B.C.

Show: 10am – 4pm.   Info: (I’ll be there… Find me and yap classic motors with me… 😉

-Pemberton Lions Club Show & Shine

Pemberton Community Centre, Pemberton, B.C.

Show: noon – 4pm.   Info:

-Bob and Dan’s 13th Annual Marine Pub & Brewhouse “Raindate” Show & Shine 

5820 SE Marine Drive, Burnaby, B.C.

Reg: 9am – $15 per vehicle – Open to all specialty vehicles

Show: 11am – 3pm   Info: Tony @ 604-435-2245 or

-Tyee Chevrolet Buick GMC Show & Shine

570 13th Ave., Campbell River, B.C.

Reg: 9am – Open to all makes

Show: 9am – 2pm   Info:  John @ 1-877-287-9511


-White Rock Chrysler Mopar Show & Shine

South Surrey Automall, Surrey, B.C.

Reg: 9am – noon

Show: 11am – 3pm  Info: 604-531-9156 or

-Cat & Fiddle “Hogs & Rods” Show

1979 Brown Street, Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Reg: 10am – 11am – $20 (open to all vehicles)

Show: 11am – 3pm  Info: 604-649-4823 or

-The 33rd Annual Fifty 567 Club Picnic

Aldergrove Lake Regional Park, Aldergrove, B.C.

Show: 9am- 3pm  Info:

-The North Island Cruisers – 19th Annual Show & Shine

Tyee Plaza parking lot, Campbell River, B.C.

Reg: 8am – 11am – $10 (open to all vehicles)

Show: 9am – 2pm  Info: 250-286-1321 or


-27th Annual Canadian Falcon/Fairlane/Comet Car Club – Picnic In The Park

Langley Civic Centre, Langley, B.C.

Reg: 9am – 1pm – $15 (open to all classic and specialty vehicles)

Show: 9am – 3pm  Info: 604-589-2451 or

-ILWU Local 502 3rd Annual Show & Shine

11828 Tannery Road, Surrey, B.C.

Reg: 8am – $15 (includes burger and pop and tix for some prizes!)

Show: 10am – 3pm  Info: Rick @ 604-582-5524

By: Blake J.

Themed Hot Rods – When the Drugs Worked…?

August 26, 2011
Bespoke styles and visionary creations for the tuning crowd have evolved greatly over the decades since the techniques of vehicular customization and personalized coachbuilding companys started emerging in the 1930’s (aimed at the wealthy set). But by the time WWII ended, an exciting and youthful resurgence was brewing in Southern California for the Hot Rod and it’s openly unique possibilities for personal style and clever engineering.
Yet somewhere along the line of the ‘traditional’ Hot Rod legacy, things became a bit… odd. Enter, the ‘Themed Hot-Rod’. During the mid-to-late 60’s on into the 70’s (and to some extent, the early-80’s) the Hot Rod entered a whole new phase that at times bordered on the absolutely absurd – and that’s mostly why we’re sharing these examples with you. It’s Friday folks – have a laugh, gawp at the baffling attention-to-detail, ponder just how, exactly some of these… um, work.
-Blake J.

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