With summer being only 4 weeks long this year, there weren’t quite as many opportunities to go topless at 140km/h as I’d have liked. That being said, there was still plenty of four wheeled action to be had, regardless of the weather. That last summer weekend was spent soaking in the sun and breathing enough exhaust to choke even the most resilient eco-activist into submission at the annual Langley Good Times Cruise-In and the Luxury Supercar Weekend at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens. Here’s the lowdown.
When 2000+ custom hotrods and vintage collectors cars from across North America descend on Langley, the whole town literally comes to a standstill. Every available parking space and then some is occupied by thousands of shining pounds of chrome, steel and rubber. Local restaurants jack up their drink prices and the gas stations rake in a fiscal quarter’s worth of revenue literally overnight. As one of the largest mixed car shows in North America, the Cruise-In attracts auto enthusiasts from all over the world and is quickly gaining international acclaim as a premier venue showcasing the gamut of automotive history.
Speaking of top-tier, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, located smack in the old money neighborhood of Shaughnessy, was a fitting venue to display some of the worlds most exclusive and expensive examples of automotive engineering. Laid out on the VanDusen’s Great Lawn were high end representatives from almost every continent except Africa. And while many of these cars would fetch a princely sum at any auction, the undoubtedly astronomical asking prices would not reflect the sometimes questionable reliability of these machines. Especially the older, 70’s era British offerings. Hell, even the most advanced and sophisticated of the lot have been plagued with problems. Such is the price paid for exclusivity.
Between the two events that weekend, I must admit I preferred the Cruise-In. While it was much larger and far less exclusive, the overall spirit of the event reflected a love of car culture and automotive anthropology. Sure there was that one guy who so protective of his pride and joy, he would chase away any photographer who got within 5 feet of the car, but on the other hand, the Luxury Supercar weekend, with its VIP wristbands and eternal lineups for free food and drinks, felt like more of a sales pitch than a celebration of all things octane related. Next time, just put me in the driver’s seat. That’s my real happy place.
Before I forget, here’s a special shout out to my friends at the Open Road Auto Group, who helped me out with test drives and automotive events. Thanks Guys!