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Promoting the 18th Annual Columbia Valley Classsics Car Show

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September 7, 2007

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By Cayla Gabruck Pioneer Staff The Columbia Valley Classics Car Club is getting revved up for their annual Show and Shine in Radium Hot Springs, on Saturday, September 15th at The Springs driving range. This is the show’s 18th year in Radium and car club president Mitch Jopp is hoping for good weather and a great turnout. “If it weren’t for the volunteers and the work put in, it would not be the success it is,” Mitch said. Last year, even in the midst of the chilly weather, the car show had more than 400 registrants and Mitch said they have had up to 600 registrants. The Columbia Valley Classics was launched 18 years ago by a group of locals, including Mitch. “We all have old cars,” Mitch said. “We thought it was something we would give a try to and see what happened.” Mitch’s prize automobile is a 1940 Plymouth Coupe that he has owned for 20 years. He bought the car, which he has now painted an eye-catching “purple passion,” from Mickey Maione of Edgewater. “He used it as a hunting buggy,” Mitch said. “I just liked the look of it.” When he first set eyes on his future pride and joy, Mitch said he was looking for something older than 1950. He took the car apart twice - once so he could drive it, and again so he could paint it. After he put it back together for the second time, the car spent a year in the upholstery shop. It took him twoand-a-half years in

total to turn his car from a rusty old hunting buggy to the sleek piece of machinery you will see if you visit the car show. Mitch has lived in the valley for 40 years. “I was 15 years old when I came here,” he said. Along with building a new house outside Edgewater, Mitch is employed as an excavating contractor “at this particular time in my life.” He lives there with his wife Kerry and has two children - Virginia, 31, and Blaine, 26. He also has two stepchildren, Jesse, 19; and Jaik, 17. Mitch said Jaik is a very talented artist and recently showed his work at Pynelogs Cultural Centre. The car club has around 40 members. That’s 30 more than the original 10 who started the club back in 1989. “It’s just socializing with people who have similar interests,” Mitch said. “We have a wide variety of members.” The club has members from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan - even some in the United States. The best thing about the car club is that you do not even have to own a classic car to be a member. Mitch is adamant about the fact that if it were not for the hard work of the members, the car show would not happen. The 18th annual Columbia Classics car show is to be held on September 15th at The Springs golf course driving range in Radium Hot Springs. If you would like to register your car, go to the Radium Hall on Friday, September 14th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; or Saturday morning at The Springs driving range, where the event will be held starting at 9 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend the car show and there will be door prizes and various vendors present. For more information, call Mitch at 342-1245.

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Car club member Mitch Jopp shows off his 1940 Plymouth Coupe.

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September 7, 2007

So you think you want a classic car! Owning and operating a classic car isn’t for everyone. Here are a few tips to help you decide if you have what it takes. • Determine what you’ll be using the classic car for. If it’ll be used as a daily driver there is no need to find a “show condition” vehicle. If you plan on entering classic car competitions you’ll have to find something all original and spend slightly more. If you know the model you are interested in, narrow it down to two or three years (e.g., Corvette 1963-1965). This will help with your search. If you don’t know, research what changes were made each year and what suits your needs/wants best. • Know the classic you are interested in, and research what “problem areas” the vehicle may have and check if the problem has been resolved (e.g., many European classics have electrical problems so check that the components are in working order). • Check with local classic car clubs for any people who own, or have owned the type of classic you are interested in. They may be able to help you determine what to buy and what to avoid. • Have a vehicle appraiser look at the car. They may be able to tell if it’s been in an accident, or if the engine, transmission and other vital components are not original. This will alter the value of the vehicle. • Do a used vehicle history report on the car to make sure it has not been stolen and to check how many people owned the car previously. This can be completed online. Don’t sell your wife and buy the classic car, because the car is very expensive! • Try to buy something with full service records. This will give you some peace of mind. • If you buy something rare, be prepared to pay more for parts. In many cases you’ll have to get parts custom made which can be very expensive. You may also be able to buy used parts from someone who is “chopping” up a similar model. You can check online auctions for general availability of such parts. • Check that the VINs (Vehicle Identification Number) match. Check that the VIN on the car’s title matches the official VIN tag. The official VIN tag is typically located at base of the windshield, but in older cars may be in the driver’s side door sill or the in the engine compartment. If they do not match, then the vehicle may have been in a severe accident. VIN problems are also signs of bogus classics and stolen cars. Be very careful in this part of the buying process. • Be aware that classic vehicles require effort to stay in the shape they are. Many people buy a classic with the thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to drive that after work every day.” Realistically, there will always be something that needs fixing.

Keeping your classic car in peak condition means many hours of work and repair, which is not for everyone.


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September 7, 2007

Bryan’s car a special memento By Cayla Gabruck Pioneer Staff Bryan Barkley saved up for years to buy the rusty, midnight blue 1965 Pontiac GTO. Bryan knew he loved that car from the first time he saw it parked in a yard in Wilmer when he was ten years old. “He knew it was a muscle car and that was what attracted him to it,” said Bryan’s father Cliff Barkley, who lives in Juniper Heights. “It was a chick magnet for him,” said his mother, Linda. He finally saved up enough money and bought it when he was 14. His older sister Tia had to drive him around in it until he got his driver’s licence. “His car was his baby. I got in trouble many times for not driving it correctly,” Tia said. After he got his licence, he owned the car for another two years. “In that period of time he put 42,000 miles on it,” said Cliff. Cliff and Bryan worked on the car in their garage in Athalmer every night for five months to get the car in working order. “There were lots of fights, because Dad knew

better, and Bryan thought he did,” Tia said. “He always used to complain about how it wouldn’t go,” Cliff said, chuckling. “It has a fivepower set-up, a three-carb multiple carb setup, and I jimmied it so only one carb would ever work. He never knew that.” Even though they put a lot of work into that GTO, Bryan never had a very good battery in it and was always pushing it to start it. He painted it a new shade of blue, a little lighter than the original midnight blue, but suits the car just as well, if not better. He named his car “Wild Thing.” “He used to think he wanted a Dukes of Hazzard car,” Tia said, with a laugh. “He went through this phase where you could only get in his car if you went through the window. That was until he broke the armrest off and found out that armrests are really expensive and hard to find. We were allowed to use the doors after that.” One day, Bryan had a realization. “He said to me: ‘Ma, next year I am going to take it in the car show,’” Linda said. A week later, on September 26, 1992, Bryan was killed in a car accident outside

of Radium Hot Springs. He wasn’t driving his favourite car. The blue GTO sitting in their yard is a physical memory of the hopes and dreams of a brother, a son and a friend. Bryan’s family remembers him as having a way with people, and most of all for the laughter he brought. “It was Bryan’s car,” Cliff said. “It will always be Bryan’s car.” Every year, the Barkleys put the car in the Columbia Valley Classic’s Show and Shine in memory of Bryan. The Show and Shine is on September 15 at The Springs driving range. Brian got his love for cars from his father, who also has two other classic cars - a yellow 1930 Chevrolet Coupe, and a white 1959 Mercury. Every year they lend their rusty-red 1956 GMC pickup to The Pioneer staff to drive in the Santa Claus parade. “Growing up in this family, you have no choice but to be into cars,” Tia laughs. “Otherwise, you’re sort of on an iceberg, afloat, all by yourself because nobody will talk to you!”

Car club member Cliff Barkley and his daughter Tia pose with Bryan Barkley’s beloved 1965 Pontiac GTO.

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September 7, 2007

Always a Class Act

The Pioneer brings the quality of yesteryear to the newspaper of today. The community’s FREE weekly newspaper containing local news, events, valley history, shopping, dining and real estate information.

SPIT AND POLISH - The weather hasn’t always cooperated, but rain doesn’t deter hundreds of car buffs who turn out to admire the gleaming finish on these beauties.


E-mail: Phone: 341-6299




WE LOVE CARS TOO!! For more information contact: Dan McConnell, Daniel Powell or Rick Prasad. We would be pleased to help.

KIMBERLEY 427-4895 CRANBROOK 489-2525 OUT OF TOWN 1-800-388-1156

VISIT OUR PARTS & SERVICE DEPARTMENT MONDAY - FRIDAY 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. SATURDAY 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. “The Preferred Service Providers”

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September 7, 2007

A labour of mechanical love By Cayla Gabruck Pioneer Staff David Murray loves cars. He has always loved cars. That’s one of the reasons he owned nine wouldbe classic cars when he was young. “This was in 1967, when you could buy them cheap,” David said. “I wish you could do that now.” David has lived in Wilmer for most of his life. His parents moved here from Saskatchewan when he was eight years old. He has worked at the sawmill in Radium for almost 36 years. He and his wife Kathy have a son named Shawn. But Kathy and Shawn are not the only loves in David’s life. He also has a 1955 Chevrolet Belair that he built from the ground up. The car is complete with a V8 engine and in fact, was the

first everyday car with a V8 engine that Chevy ever manufactured. A beautiful car, the Chevy took David five years to get into the peak condition it is in now. “I had every nut and bolt off it,” he said. The car is built with original parts and is painted a glowing “harvest gold” and “Indy ivory.” David overcame a terrible injury he suffered in a car accident just before his 20th birthday, when he lost the use of one arm. In the early 1990s, he decided he wanted to fix up an old car again, and so he began searching for his perfect candidate. In 1995 he found it. Well, them.

David bought two identical cars, one from Calgary and one from Golden, and took parts off each so he could assemble one fantastic two-door hardtop. “I never had a hardtop before,” David said, “and I was always looking.” After the initial purchase of the cars, he collected parts from as far away as Florida to make sure that his completed car was 100-percent original. Day and night he worked on his masterpiece, taking the occasional month-long break when he would get frustrated. “I spend a lot of hours working on that car,” David said. “Lots of people do not realize what’s involved in fixing up a car.” Continued on Page 7

Car club member David Murray with his 1955 Chevrolet Belair.


’s y n a f f Ti





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Show & Shine 2007 • 7

September 7, 2007

WIN A 2007 YAMAHA GRIZZLY 700FI Even the dashboard of David Murray’s car is beautiful. Continued from Page 6 The hard work, time and love put into the reconstruction is apparent in his vehicle. You can see it for yourself at the Columbia Valley Classics Show and Shine in Radium Hot Springs on Saturday, September 15.

David has recently purchased another classic car. It is a 1940 Plymouth Convertible that he plans to paint burnt orange. “It’s a really odd-looking car,” David said. Watch out for it too at the Show and Shine . . . when he’s finished working on it, in about five years.



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September 7, 2007

Moments from Show & Shine 2007

This is the scene you can expect to enjoy at the Show and Shine on Saturday, September 15. Photos by Elinor Florence


Promoting the 18 th Annual Columbia Valley Classsics Car Show Promoting the 18 th Annual Columbia Valley Classsics Car Show COLUMBIA VALLE Y...