Car buffs find local spot to get together

Every Wednesday night (weather permitting) from May to September, the parking lot of Ladner’s Trenant Park Square comes alive with a blast from the past.

Started about four years ago, a group of vintage car enthusiasts gets together to show off their babies, swap stories and have some fun. It’s just a bunch of locals sharing a common love for the automobile.

“My buddy Vic and I were just talking one day and said we should start something up,” recalls Ladner’s Jack Degraaf. “Thursday had a Richmond show and there are shows in other areas, so we decided to come out on a Wednesday and see what happens. It was all through word of mouth, no real formal advertising.”

The gathering is made up mostly of car owners from Ladner and Tsawwassen, but they do get guys coming from Richmond from time to time.

“We sometimes get up to 50 cars,” Degraaf says. “It’s just a casual gathering. We come after supper, so most of the stores are closed. We try not to disrupt the businesses and bother anyone.”

Degraaf has been the proud owner of a 1923 Ford T-Bucket for the past six years. Last Wednesday when the Optimist dropped by, his friend Loren Goodlet from Ladner was also on hand with his 1923 Ford T-Bucket, while Mike Austin from Ladner was there with his ’56 Chevy that he found about a year ago in Missouri.

“When you get old you want to go back and the way you can go back is to play with toys,” Austin says on why he loves vintage cars and coming out every Wednesday to the gathering.

Tsawwassen’s Paul Wittenberg pulled up later in the evening with his 1927 Ford Roadster, a completely restored beauty he’s had for 10 years.

“In the late ’50s when I was in high school that’s what guys had, but they were never finished. They had nice wheels on them, but it was always next year I’ll get to this or that,” he says. “It was always my dream to have a car like that someday. It’s a sweetheart, for sure. It’s a nice group of guys. There’s a common interest here. Everyone likes the old cars.”

Many of the cars on display weekly will also be at the Quilt Walk and Car Show presented by the Ladner Business Association on Sunday, Aug. 20.

Editor’s note: The Optimist is hoping to feature some local car enthusiasts in a preview section for the Quilt Walk and Car show. To get involved, email reporter Ian Jacques at ijacques@delta-optimist. com or call 604-998-3616.

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