Hot rods heat up the Inner Harbour

New appreciation for hot rods


Having not grown up in North America, I was not reared on hot rods.

But making a living for more than two decades as a licensed automotive technician and restorer, I appreciate the creative work that goes into building some of these four-wheel masterpieces.

Last weekend I attended the seventh Northwest Deuce Days in Victoria, an event which takes place every three years. This was my first visit and if the event returns in 2016, so will I. It is a must-attend automotive extravaganza for any car enthusiast and a great family outing.

Deuce Days is the highlight summer event for the Garden City and without question, it must bring in millions of tourist dollars.

Car enthusiasts travel from all over the western provinces and just about every U.S. state; some of the international participants come from as far away as Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand.

The hot rod royalty who attended the Hagerty-sponsored gala dinner included Andy Brisio (the ‘Rodfather’) Vic Edelbrock Jr., Roy Brisio, Steve Moal and Bruce Meyer. It was quite fitting that in a city so familiar with royalty, the evening entertainer was Elizabeth Richard, the Queen Elizabeth impersonator who had everyone in attendance splitting their sides with laughter.

The weather could not have been better for the 1,000 spectacular hot rods, custom, classics and vintage vehicles that filled every street in the Inner Harbour and the grounds in front of the Legislature.

I was told by many regular attendees the event gets bigger and better every three years, largely as a result of the outstanding work of event organizer Al Clark and his team of dedicated volunteers.

If you were one of the passengers stepping off a cruise ship in Victoria thinking you were going to nip into the Empress Hotel for a quiet afternoon cup of tea and then a leisurely walk up Government Street looking for souvenirs, your day was about to change. The most photographed car in North America, Tevie Smith’s Termite Taxi, had a line of people waiting to snap a photograph.

I overhead many people saying, “That is my favourite car here today.”

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