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About - Chapter History

Introduction

The Kamloops Chapter of the Vintage Car Club of Canada (VCCC) was formed in 1972. It has a membership of approximately 100, and about half that number are very active in the club. Most members reside in Kamloops, with a few welcome additions from surrounding towns in the area, including Merritt, Clearwater, Westwold, Chase, Lone Butte, Sorrento, and Pritchard.

Vehicle Status

Chapter members own many vintage, antique, classic, and collectable status vehicles. To clarify, a vehicle must be at least 25 years old, and be in original stock condition, with only safety related modifications permitted. Vehicles can be restored and/or rebuilt, but they must not include any performance or appearance modifications. Such vehicles are known as custom cars, or hot rods. Chapter members all like cars of many types, so while they appreciate these vehicles, they are not the focus of the VCCC.

Club Activities - The Easter Parade

The local chapter is involved in numerous activities and events that benefit both its members, and the entire Kamloops community. The Kamloops Easter Parade has been a fixture in the town since 1972. This event inspires great community involvement from many clubs and organizations, including the VCCC.

The parade features many antique and collector status cars from all over the interior of British Columbia (most belong to club members). The number of vehicles involved has steadily grown over the last few years. Currently the regular attendance is over 100 vehicles of many makes and spanning many eras, from pre-World War One horseless carriages, to mint sixties muscle cars.

A pancake breakfast is held for the participants before the parade lineup begins. Each year a featured marque is chosen and all vehicles of that make lead the parade.

The parade runs from the Westsyde Shopping Centre to Riverside Park in downtown Kamloops, where a car show is held for a few hours on the Sunday afternoon following the parade. The event is popular; the parade route is always lined with adults and children cheering and waving. Chapter members truly appreciate their admiration because of all the hard work that goes into owning and maintaining these vehicles.

Hot Night in the City

Mike Collings' 1926 Buick at the 2008 Hot Night in the City at KamloopsAnother major happening in town is the annual "Hot Night in the City" car show, held every August. The event was originally suggested by late member, Roy Moldenhauer, after he had attended a similar event in Saskatoon. The chapter organized the event, which was held on a Thursday evening on Victoria Street in downtown Kamloops. The evening was a great time for the chapter members, for all the people displaying their vehicles, and for the larger community. It was a rare family night in downtown Kamloops and the place was jumping. Downtown businesses and the general public really appreciated what the chapter had done for the community.

Mike Collings' 1926 Buick at the 2008 Hot Night in the City at Kamloops

The event gradually became too big for the chapter to manage and a committee of various local car clubs was formed, which now works tirelessly to expand and to improve the experience. The event has changed from a Thursday evening show and shine to an inclusive weekend with several activities, starting with a poker run on Friday, a car show on Saturday, and a brunch on Sunday morning. It has become a very big event and it now attracts participants from up and down the west coast, from California to Alaska and many places in between.

Cruise Nights

During the summer, Thursday evenings are "Cruise Nights" for chapter members (tourists, visitors, and guests are welcome). Members meet at 6:00 PM in the picnic area at Riverside Park. The event is a proper picnic; participants bring their suppers with them to enjoy with fellow club members before going on a mystery cruise to a venue that has been arranged by the Cruise Night organizers. The ever-changing variety of destinations has been most enjoyable for everyone involved, with many evenings and nights filled with highlights of memorable proportions.

Public Automobile Displays

Through the years, car displays have been put together in various shopping malls in Kamloops. The Northhills Mall still has a spring show just before the Easter parade. After many years of participation with the chapter, the Sahali Mall no longer features a pre-Halloween fall show. These functions take a great deal of preparation and organization for the participating chapter members. Because of the massive effort involved, chapter members feel rewarded for these experiences and collectively feel sad for the loss of one event.

Annual Car Show and Swap Meet

Kamloops VCCC Swap Meet at Chase Arena, 2008Kamloops VCCC free Show and Shine at Chase Arena, 2008For a money raising event the chapter started a swap meet at the Kamloops Exhibition Association (KXA) grounds. For many years this was held at the KXA in early September. The expense of renting that space became a burden to the chapter, so chapter members Harry Morrow and Jack Woolard located a new venue in nearby Chase. The first VCCC swap meet at the Chase Arena was held on the first Saturday in June, 2003. In 2007, the chapter began sponsoring a free show and shine in the adjoining school field, and this part of the entire experience has continued to grow each year, attracting numerous vehicles types and many interested customers.

Kamloops VCCC free Show and Shine at the Chase Arena, 2008
Kamloops VCCC Swap Meet at the Chase Arena, 2008

The new location has been a boon for the chapter. It continues to return sufficient funding to enable the upgrade of all owned equipment, and the start of a chapter-owned vehicle restoration project: a 1952 Austin ambulance.

Chapter Restoration Project

The Austin ambulance restoration project began in the fall of 2005 when Andy Cordonier bought a large shop for his business. He offered all interested chapter members the use of a corner of the shop to start the disassembly of the vehicle. The ambulance was then moved from its storage location to the shop.

To take the vehicle apart, a crew of volunteers, under crew boss and chapter member, Dick Parkes, assembled on Thursday evenings through the fall and winter and into spring. Chapter member, Dave Dickinson, as chief photographer, began taking pictures of each item as it was dismantled, and he has accumulated about 1000 pictures to date while the ambulance nears completion. Many people have worked long and hard during the years to achieve the current status of this chapter project. All the participants await the first appearance of the finished project.

Monthly Chapter Meetings

The regular meeting night is the fourth Wednesday of the month (except July, August, and December) at 7:30 PM, at the Hal Rogers Center, 2025 Summit Drive, Kamloops.

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