Garry Foster knows exactly when he became a car guy.
He was four.
Instead of the snow fort other dads in his Ottawa neighbourhood crafted for their children, little Garry got a snow car. It was complete – doors, wheels, windshield and the all-important steering wheel. The youngster loved it, though parents had a heck of a time getting him in the house. But anytime he disappeared, they knew where to find him.
It’s fitting he’ll have a front seat for the tradition of gathering and watching as waves of classic cars roll off the Black Ball Ferry and into the city for Northwest Deuce Days, with 1,200 cars expected. Foster has a booth at the terminal and copies of his book Chrome and Colour – stories of craftsmanship and automotive design for sale.
The event is featured among the glossy pages of the coffee table tome where Foster tells 20 tales of people, cars and connection cultivated over more than a decade of writing.
He started writing for newspapers and magazines 15 or 20 years ago, covering North America and Australia. Someone suggested compiling the vast knowledge into a book and he got started a couple years ago.
“I just wanted to honour the huge creative talents of the men and women who spent their lives restoring these rolling works of art.”
The pages are filled with stories of people as much as cars.
For example, the grandma who took over when her eight-year-old grandson inherited a highly modified car after the death of his father, the builder.
Octogenarian Ollie Hodges simply shipped the car to Cobble Hill and finished the restoration. She started winning trophy after trophy with no interest or knowledge of automobiles, and found a way to use it to fundraise for cancer causes.
As a weaver of the true tales surrounding classic cars worldwide, it’s a question Foster has posed to many: “When did you become a car person?” He’ll likely pose the question again when Deuce Days descends on Victoria’s Inner Harbour, with car owners and visitors travelling from across the world. Vehicles cruising the city are pre-1952 with usually about 500 of the 1932 Deuces.
Find details on the 10th Northwest Deuce Days events around the region July 14 to 17 online at tourismvictoria.com.
Chrome and Colour – stories of craftsmanship and automotive design is available at Bolen Books in Victoria, Volume One in Duncan and online at encomm.ca/chromeandcolour.html.