Plenty of events fill classic car fest calendar

There isn't one weekend all summer without several classic-car events taking place somewhere in Ontario, hosted by local car clubs and community groups. Here are the highlights.

  • FleetwoodCruize-in

There isn’t one weekend all summer without several classic-car events taking place somewhere in Ontario, hosted by local car clubs and community groups. Here are the highlights.

May 30-June 1 (Barrie): The Georgian College Auto Show at the Barrie campus is the largest student-run outdoor auto show in North America. More than 20 automakers show off their new vehicles, but Sunday is dedicated to vintage and classic cars. Produced by the college?s Automotive Business School of Canada, this is the 29th annual show. Daily admission is $7, or you can get a three-day pass for $15.

June 1 (Toronto): Centennial Show and Shine will feature TV hosts Dan Woods of Chop Cut Rebuild and David Grainger of Restoration Garage at Centennial College. On display will be vintage, custom and tuner cars, trucks and motorcycles. The college is celebrating the opening of its new gateway building at the Ashtonbee Campus. Admission is free, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 75 Ashtonbee Rd., north of Eglinton Ave. E. and Warden Ave.

June 7-8 (London): The Fleetwood Country Cruize-in features 110 acres of classic and custom cars, hot rods and specialty vehicles, making it a major summer draw in the London area. It?s all at a private estate with four stone homes, ponds, bridges, fountains, a 10,000-square-foot showroom of memorabilia and an 8,000-square-foot Cadillac Salon. This year?s event includes a Ford exhibit celebrating the Mustang?s 50th anniversary and celebrity guests George Barris, Candy Clark, Courtney Hansen, Bo Hopkins, Gene Winfield and ?Miss Hurst? Linda Vaughn.

June 14 (Muskoka): The Gravenhurst Car Show is one of the biggest shows in cottage country. More than 500 classic cars and trucks, hot rods, dragsters and motorcycles are expected at Gull Lake Rotary Park. Events include a poker run around town, a Big Wheel race for kids, live entertainment and BBQ lunch and dinners. Admission is $5.

June 20-22 (Orangeville): Hockley Antiques and Automotive Fair is launching its first weekend event (the second is Sept. 12-14) by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of classic cars on Saturday, June 21. The event has enough space for 2,000 classic cars, trucks and motorcycles, 300 vendor spots and parking for 5,000 at the Orangeville Fairgrounds, near Highways 9 and 10. Admission is $10.

June 29 (Chesley): Party in the Park along the Saugeen River in this picturesque town north of Walkerton on Bruce Road 19. Hosted by the Kinsmen and Kinettes, the event features antique and classic vehicles, custom cars, trucks, bikes and big rigs. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is $10.

July 5-6 (Mansfield): Silver Willow Classic Country Cruisin? is an annual outdoor show featuring camping and live country music at Silver Willow Farm in Mansfield, about an hour northeast of Toronto, where all types of trucks, classic, custom and modified cars, hot rods and bikes converge. From the mud pit to the Corvette corral, there are more than 100 judged trophy classes. Daily admission is $20.

July 6 (Owen Sound): The Wings and Wheels show at Owen Sound?s Billy Bishop Regional Airport, on Highway 26 east of town, expects more than 400 classic North American and British cars and trucks, plus more than 60 visiting aircraft. You can take a flier on a vintage DC-3 or check out the B-52 Billy Mitchell Bomber, among other displays. There?s live music by Frankie ?D? and the Dreamers, food, draws and cash prizes. Admission is $8.

July 6 (Kawartha Lakes): The Victoria British Car Club, which is based in Lindsay, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a two-hour car run through the Kawartha Lakes region featuring 30 or more vintage British cars.

July 12 (Orangeville): The Classic Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet offers fun for the whole family, with trails and mazes to explore at the Mount Alverno Retreat Centre, 20704 Heart Lake Rd., just south of Highway 9 near Orangeville. The show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is $5.

July 18-20 (Havelock): The RPM Show stands for Recreation and Performance Motor show, but it embraces everything that moves, from classic cars, rat rods and hot rods to tractors, big rigs, RVs and boats. It?s also a three-day swap meet and flea market, and a place where you can park and camp out, all on the grounds of the Havelock Country Jamboree. Admission is $10 per day. The car show is on Saturday.

July 27 (Welland): The Tony Valerio Memorial Car Show in support of McMaster?s Children?s Hospital closes a section of downtown Division St. around Market Square, as 300 classic, muscle cars, street rods, dragsters and trucks gather in honor of the local racer who died in 2008. Family and friends organized the event, featuring food, music and trophies. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no entry fee but a $20 donation gets you a cool T-shirt.

Aug. 2 (Simcoe): The Simcoe Festival Car Show is held every summer on the Saturday of the August long weekend. Although it is presented by Corvettes of Southern Ontario and is a Quad C event, it is open to all classes of classic cars. But you?ll definitely see a lot of Vettes among the more than 200 vehicles that roll into Lynnwood Park, in the centre of town along the Lynn River. Admission is free.

Aug. 10 (Vandorf): The 41st annual Antique and Classic Car Show at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum and Community Centre attracted more than 300 classic cars and 1,600 visitors last year. Live entertainment, a barbeque, heritage demonstrations and children?s activities make this a perfect family event. It runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is $5, or $15 for a family of four. On Woodbine Avenue west of Aurora. The rain date is Aug. 17.

Aug. 16 (Wasaga Beach): The 24th annual Beach Cruize is all about sun, surf, sand and Ontario?s greatest gathering of Corvettes in one place. Organized by the Wasaga Beach Corvette Club, it all begins at 9 a.m. and features a massive Vette-centric show and shine at Wasaga?s Playland parking lot. A parade of Vettes sets out on a scenic cruise at 4 p.m.

Aug. 16 (Detroit): The Woodward Dream Cruise may not be in Ontario, but it is the world?s largest one-day automotive event, drawing more than 1 million people and 40,000 muscle cars, street rods and specialty vehicles from across North America to Woodward Avenue, just north of Detroit.

Aug. 22-24 (Oshawa): Autofest at Lakeview Park is the place to see hundreds of classic and custom cars and trucks, hot rods and motorcycles from across Ontario and the U.S. Hosted by the Motor City Car Club, the event starts Friday night as hundreds of classic wheels and fans jam downtown Oshawa for a mega street party.

Aug. 31 (Kingsville): The Festival of Cars may be a three-hour drive from Toronto, but The Canadian Transportation Museum and Heritage Village?s 24th-annual event features 600 classic and custom cars and hot rods. Fun for the whole family, with $5 hair cuts in the 1890s barber shop, face painting, a car sale corral and awards in six categories. Admission is $5.

Sept. 4-7 (Barrie): The Barrie Automotive Flea Market has been taking place for about 40 years, boasting ?cars & parts as far as the eye can see,? with vendors and events spread over Burl?s Creek Park north of Barrie. There?s everything from classic cars and jalopies to parts, collectibles, a car sales corral, live entertainment, food and camping. The event goes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Sept. 13-14 (Cobble Beach): The second-annual Concours d?Elegance is Ontario?s grand season-ending event, where magnificent and rarely seen automobiles grace the shores of Georgian Bay. On Saturday, the Participant Tour is a 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. cruise by vintage and classic car owners, local car clubs, judges and sponsors meandering through picturesque Grey County. On Sunday, the Concours is held on the 18th fairway of the Cobble Beach golf resort. Last year?s inaugural event drew more than 4,000 car lovers and 2,000 vehicles.

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