What would a hot summer be without hot cars?
The Public Market in Chemainus has them — plenty of them — coming every Tuesday from 5:30-7 p.m. through the summer. Vancouver Island Hot Rods has made a commitment to be there for the enjoyment of classic and vintage car lovers to see. The car meets are just that, a chance to meet up with some folks who share the same interests and make a summer evening in the Little Town That Did even more memorable, as restrictions ease from COVID and more people are looking for fun things to do.
Dan Dertien and Lyndon Sayler mobilized the VIHR fleet for interested car owners to make the trek to the Public Market in Chemainus parking lot.
“A lot of the guys come all the way from as far as Victoria and Nanaimo,” pointed out Patricia Berry, managing director and marketing executive for the Public Market in Chemainus and also for Berry Music Company Ltd. and Osborne Bay Pub Ltd.
The car owners are happy to be there to display their fantastic collectibles to the public. It all started two weeks ago with a fabulous turnout of vehicles and the public for the debut and dropped off a little last week, but the weather had a lot to do with that.
“We were still in that heat wave,” said Dertien. “We’re hoping now it’s cooled off a bit, people will show up.”
Word is also just getting around about the regular car meets that popped up suddenly. Once more people find out about it, that’s sure to increase both the number of car owners attending and the public response.
Dertien and Sayler are just happy to provide a boost to small business in the community. If the response warrants it, extra space may be utilized in the adjacent Waterwheel Park parking lot.
Dertien thinks it’s a perfect union of VIHR and the public market with a nostalgic vibe.
“They’ve got that little retro diner in there, too, that’s kind of cool,” he added.
There’s no actual time limit on how long the cars will be there or how long folks can mingle.
“People can stay as long as they want,” said Dertien.
The VIHR is not a car club, but a showcase for the hot rod, classic car and muscle car culture on the Island, and it continues to grow, he noted.
“It’s quite well-known and we have a pretty good following.”
Dertien calls the website at www.vihr.ca a place to share their passions.
There are some 150,000 photos to be viewed there.
Dertien has loved cars since he was a kid in the 1960s. He’s been going to show ‘n’ shines and taking pictures since the days of the indoor SpeedSport Shows at the PNE that began in the late 1970s.
“My passion for cars and nostalgia runs deep and every show season I take thousands of pictures and am so happy to be able to share what I take with all my friends and all the owners. I love hanging with the car show/cruisin’ crowd, best people ever!”
Dertien has amassed quite a collection of car photos from every conceivable angle.
“I’m not really trained in photography, but I work hard at it,” he indicated.
“In a normal year I go to almost all the car shows that are on the Island. The past two years with COVID we’ve been reduced to socials and car meets.”
Now that things have opened up again it’s an exciting time to rejuvenate spirits.
“One of the things that make car meets fun is you never know who’s going to show up,” Dertien enthused.