© File photo
SPRINGHILL – Car culture can be a funny thing. Some enthusiasts are hardcore about their likes. For some, it's all about the muscle cars or British imports. Others, it’s vintage American steel. Then there is the new generation, who aren’t afraid to mess around with the computers inside their relatively newer hatchbacks from the Far East.
Sometimes, when there is a car show, the dividing lines between these tribes are pretty evident. But not when it’s an Old Time Friday Night in Springhill.
“If someone’s got something they worked on and they’re proud of, bring it,” organizer Fred Chapman says.
This week marks the fifth year for the Old Time Friday Night in Springhill and if the trend for the past four continues, it will be the biggest one to date.
“Sixty-six cars came to the first one. The second, it was 80. I started to get more every year,” Chapman said. “Last year we had 106.”
And that doesn’t include the motorcycles.
Chapman encourages an “all-inclusive” mindset with the Old Time Friday Night. No car should be turned away if the owners have put some effort into making it a standout. Two years ago, it was a great venue for the Springhill Police Service to unveil their new police cruiser – a new Dodge Charger decked out for serving, protecting and getting to the scene without delay – and show off what it was carrying under the hood.
So, when he was approached about featuring some late 1970 and early 1980 motorcycles, the obvious answer was yes.
“Why not? We don’t want to turn anybody down,” Chapman said.
Can enthusiasts and owners from Fredericton, Truro, the valley and further abroad have made the Old Time Friday Night a destination to feature their vintage vehicles and this year Chapman is particularly impressed with some of the younger car buffs looking to show off the cars they’ve been working on. Most people wouldn’t get excited by the idea of a Dodge Neon sitting next to a vintage Corvette, Chapman said, but the work these young enthusiasts are doing to turn their vehicles into show pieces is impressive.
“We have one Dodge Neon coming – man, it’s loaded. It’s all done up,” Chapman said. “We want the young fellas coming, too. It’s like mentoring.”
The citizens of Springhill have played a large role in making the night a success, too. In this small community, where people often complain there’s nothing to do, the Old Time Friday Night gets a lot of people downtown to look at the cars lining Main Street, prompting discussions about cars from their past and the good times they had. Kids look for the life size version of their favourite toy cars at home and lots of pictures are taken while barbecue is being served and music is pumped through the air.
This year, Main Street will be shut down on Friday, August 9th, at 5 p.m. to organize the incoming cars and the car show will begin at 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.