Record-breaking numbers at Customs and Classics show and shine

Sylvan Lake Customs and Classics show and shine saw a record-breaking 216 vehicles old and new take their places

Sylvan Lake Customs and Classics show and shine saw a record-breaking 216 vehicles old and new take their places on the grass at Meadowlands Golf Club Saturday.

That was up from last year’s 173, and was accompanied by a steady stream of spectators throughout the day.

Customs and Classics president Gord Bredo said he and fellow club members strive to improve the show each year. This year’s success, he feels, was a result of those efforts.

“We’re doing everything we can to make it a better show,” he said. “We travel around to quite a few shows with our club, and it’s just kind of our way of paying back to the car enthusiast hobby.”

Now in its eighth year, the show has been held at Meadowlands for about half of that time.

The benefits the golf course affords are perfectly suited to a show of its type, feels Bredo.

“A lot of towns will have them on a main street, and it gets quite warm,” he said. “We have been at a few shows — like Radium, which has it on a golf course — and we thought we would try this.”

Given the weekend’s warm weather, Bredo feels the heat would have been “unbearable” had the show been held on pavement, as it used to be in its early years.

It’s grown steadily since those early years, with numbers in recent years frequently sitting around the 200 mark. And while it may continue to grow in the future, Bredo feels its current size is ideal.

“We’ve increased every year, and the 200 mark is just a nice size,” he said. “You can see all the vehicles and have a chat with the people, who are just as interesting as the vehicles are.”

As has been typical in recent years, the show’s entries travelled from all over Western Canada, including Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, Rocky Mountain House, Eckville and Invermere. In previous years, some have come from as far away as the United States.

The strong reputation the show has built is evident in the abundance of positive feedback organizers frequently receive.

“We’ve had nothing but good reviews from our shows,” said Bredo, adding there were plenty of first-timers at Saturday’s event — some as the result of positive word-of-mouth advertising.

“A few said they’ve heard nothing but great stuff about the show — that’s a real pat on the back.”

Every car entered into the show is parked using the utmost care, and in a way that leaves plenty of space for doors opening.

Bredo notes much of the show’s success is down to the many people involved with organizing and running it — all of whom have their own role to play.

Not all of them are club members, however. Knights of Columbus was just one of the groups that offered help at the event, cooking breakfast and lunch. Others, such as sponsors, contributed in other ways.

A silent auction was held in conjunction with the show, and about 70 door prizes and cash were handed out.

Handmade custom trophies were awarded to the top ten entries, as decided by their peers.

They went to: Wayne Russell, Red Deer – 1950 Ford Woodie; Patsy Kacharoski, Fairmont Hot Springs – 1948 Chevrolet Cab-Over; R. Lee Cofield, Caroline – 1950 Mercury Monarch; Kent Stormoen, Sylvan Lake – 1949 Mercury Coupe; Judy and Terry McCaw, Rocky Mountain House – 1954 Meteor Rideau Convertible; Trevor Burge, Red Deer County – 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS; Mervyn Pidherney, Rocky Mountain House – 1957 Olds 88 Convertible; Carol MacDougall, High River – 1956 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; Dave Popovitch, Sylvan Lake – 1961 Chevrolet Impala; and Dan and Diane Hawken, High River – 1953 Monarch Custom.

The show and shine is Sylvan Lake Customs and Classics’ primary annual event, although members meet at the Legion Hall the first Wednesday of every month in the summer.

Those interested in joining the club’s current group of 35 members are encouraged to contact Bredo at 403-887-7047.