Car show favourites

by Bob Truman on September 12, 2018

in Vintage cars

Post image for Car show favourites

This 1953 Ford is the same age as I am, but in much better shape

Skiing is still a few weeks away(unless this snow in the forecast materializes in a big way), so how am I spending my summer?

As a boy, one quick glance and I could name the make and year of any car from the fifties and early sixties. While growing up on the farm, my dad would have preferred that I took some interest in the farm animals rather than cars. My two older brothers both had calves in the 4H club, but I couldn’t get interested. 

My oldest brother Ken and our ’46 Chev. Photo was taken around 1954.

Dad always bought the most basic models of unremarkable, boring cars. To this day I can still remember the few interesting cars that belonged to people in our small town of Midale, SK. The day after oil was discovered on Max Connelly’s farm, he went to Estevan and bought a ’54 Lincoln. When he came to visit, I couldn’t take my eyes off the black beauty.

Some of the Truman clan with our ’53 Pontiac. That’s me standing on the bumper. Photo was taken in 1958 or ’59.

When dad took machinery for welding repairs to Charlie Scharnatta, I would get to see his ’57 Chrysler. The rig workers had lots of money and we took in boarders who always had nice cars, including George Dalgleish who had a ’59 Ford Galaxie 500. Town folk would drive out to our farm to buy milk and eggs and I recall the Frasers had a ’58 Dodge Custom Royal 4-door hardtop. Even Ewald Holtz’ old black ’47 Ford coupe was interesting. 

That’s me with our ’58 Chev DelRay. Dad bought this car in 1962 so the photo is probably from ’62 or ’63. Do I look ten years old?

My fascination with old cars lay dormant for many years until I started attending the occasional car show a few years ago. This summer I became fanatical, attending 28 car shows. The final tally will be upwards of 30 as there are still a few more on the schedule. 

I couldn’t restrict my favourites to a top 10, or even a top 20. How about a top 200? Rather than overwhelm with an album of 200, I’ve sorted them into six categories.

Racing cars was the most fun a person could have with their clothes on.

All the shows I attended were in Calgary and environs. I started seeing some of the same exhibitors at each show, and got to know a few of them. All have an interesting story to tell about their ride. I saw Bob Ingalls and his ’49 Ford at about half-a-dozen shows. Dick and Bill were regulars at most shows with their remarkable 48 DeSoto. 

Kurt with his ’32 Chev at the Foster’s Garden Chapel car show on Aug 6, 2018

I talked to numerous exhibitors who were showing their cars for the first time this summer, after years and years of working on them. After sitting dormant in his back yard for 18 years, Kerry started restoring his 59 DeSoto two years ago. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s looking good already. Kurt took a rusted out shell of a ’32 Chev and turned it into a magnificent, award-winning showpiece.

The biggest surprise of the summer was running into some former residents of my home town, Diane and Bob Swenson, who were showing their beautiful ’57 Chevy. Yes, they live in Calgary now. 

The most interesting venue for a car show had to be Foster’s Garden Chapel, a funeral home. Everyone attending was remarking on how well-organized and accommodating the hosts were. The only complaint was directed at the guy who started up his noisy muscle car and revved the motor. Someone mentioned that it could wake the dead!

Click on the album to see the photos:

In addition to seeing all the vintage cars and trucks, there were other attractions

I enjoyed meeting and getting to know the owners of these amazing vehicles. 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Herbert Kruschke September 13, 2018 at 6:00 pm

What kind of a car were you racing in the Enduro 150? Tell me it was a Ford Cortina, like my dear departed Opa used to drive…
It’s almost time to tar the old woodies again (why does anything to do with my skis always sound vaguely dirty?). I can’t wait to get back on the boards, which is one of the main things that makes living in this part of the world bearable in the deep freeze.

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2 Bob Truman September 13, 2018 at 6:11 pm

It was an ’80 Malibu. The secret to my success(in addition to being an awesome driver) was installing a 3.23 rear end(still stock) while most of those cars were sold with a 2.73. I could pass five cars on a restart because of the quicker acceleration.

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3 Peter Neumann September 12, 2018 at 11:13 pm

Nice headlights on the ’51 Studebaker 🙂

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