Ken Hoshowski, chairman of the Canada 150 Vintage Car Club tour, with his 1961 Pontiac Bonneville.                                Barbara Roden

Ken Hoshowski, chairman of the Canada 150 Vintage Car Club tour, with his 1961 Pontiac Bonneville. Barbara Roden

Vintage car tour converges on Ashcroft

Among the 200 participants was a New Zealand couple celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary.

Anyone in downtown Ashcroft around noon on Tuesday, June 13 might have thought that Graffiti Days had come to town, as several dozen vintage cars made their way down Railway Avenue to the Heritage Park. While most of the participants were from B.C., one couple had travelled several thousand miles to take part.

The event was part of the Canada 150 Vintage Car Club tour, a nine-day event in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary. “It replicates a tour that was made in B.C. in 1967, to celebrate Canada’s 100th anniversary,” says tour chairman Ken Hoshowski.

That 1967 tour to Prince George initiated the Vintage Car Club’s “May tour” tradition, which continues to this day.

Hoshowski says that numbers were fluid during the tour, with some people only able to participate in certain legs, but that there were a total of 101 cars and 203 people involved in this year’s tour. It started on June 6 in Chilliwack, then continued on with overnight stops in Kamloops, 100 Mile House, Quesnel, Barkerville, Prince George, Williams Lake, and Merritt before concluding in Abbotsford on June 14.

Ashcroft was the lunch stop for the group on day eight (Williams Lake to Merritt), and is described in the tour booklet as “the heart of Gold Country”. The Ashcroft and District Lions Club had been asked to provide a concession, and more than 100 participants (and a few residents) took advantage of the shade of the Heritage Park to enjoy lunch, while locals admired the dozens of vintage cars, which were displayed along Railway Avenue and beside the park.

At least one train driver enjoyed seeing the cars adjacent to the CP line as well. Although CP trains seldom sound their whistles while passing through town, sight of the cars prompted the driver of a passing engine to toot his appreciation as he sped past.

Hoshowski says that the Vintage Car Club has 22 chapters and 1,200 members across the province. “We hope to promote the preservation and restoration of old cars,” he says. “They’re part of our heritage.”

They are also part of the heritage of New Zealand; and Mike and Brenda Marshall of Palmerston, on the South Island of New Zealand, made the tour part of a three-week holiday in western Canada. They borrowed a car (actually three cars; “We’ve had an eventful time,” says Mike) from a friend, and thus found themselves in Ashcroft on June 13; their 47th wedding anniversary.

Mike explains that at a big vintage car rally in New Zealand he met Dick and Joy Parkes from Kamloops. “They were restoring an Austin ambulance in Kamloops, and I had lots of Austin parts from the same era. I said that every time Dick needed parts he should contact me, and I’d send them.”

It was Dick Parkes who told Mike about this year’s tour. Brenda Marshall, who was ordained as a Presbyterian minister nine years ago, says that they had had a very wet summer in New Zealand. “I had three weeks’ holidays, and wanted to go somewhere with sun. I said ‘Let’s go on this tour’.” So she and Mike decided to head to British Columbia, and make the tour part of their holiday.

The couple are no strangers to western Canada. Mike lived in Edmonton 45 years ago, and after they were married he and Brenda lived there for a time. Mike worked in a variety of places while in Canada, and had a friend in Nelson who he would visit. “I’d stay with him and we’d take tours. This was a trip down memory lane.”

Brenda says that the roads in B.C. were beautiful and wide. “We’re having a wonderful time.” Mike seconds that: “It’s been a wonderful trip, with some really generous people.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hesco baskets were first used outside the Cache Creek fire hall in 2020 (pictured), and have once again been put in place as a pre-emptive measure to safeguard the hall against possible flooding. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Cache Creek taking pre-emptive measures to prevent flooding

Sand and sandbags will soon be available for all residents who need them

Clinton council has approved a request to allow limited youth sports activity at Reg Conn Park and Elliott Park. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Clinton council okays use of playing fields for youth sports

Clinton Minor Sports Association gets green light for use of Reg Conn and Elliott Parks

The proposed site of the new Loon lake fire hall, on the site of the former provincial park. (Photo credit: TNRD)
Construction of new Loon Lake fire hall delayed because of cost

Lowest tender more than double the estimated cost of the project

Gareth Smart in April 2019 during his first treatment for cancer; without his hair, but still sporting his goatee. (Photo credit: Submitted)
‘Losing my goatee made me feel like a cancer patient’

Longtime Cache Creek resident charts his experience dealing with cancer (twice)

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom’s plant swap is on now, outside 210 Brink Street in Ashcroft. Anyone with extra plants is encouraged to bring them down (suitably boxed/bagged and labelled) and leave them, and those looking for plants can come and browse and take what they want. A donation box is at the site. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Give it your best shot: village looking for great Ashcroft pics

Plus Cache Creek market opening, weight loss boot camp, sani-dump open, and more

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards accysed

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

Most Read