Sponsored by the folks who put on the largest indoor car show in Canada, the Performance World Custom Car and Truck Show Road Tour marked the first time that the Road Tour has traveled out of the United States. Starting in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the NSRA Nationals North and then traveling on to the NSRA Northeast Nationals in Burlington I knew we would see some beautiful scenery in Canada. What I had not realized was that the beauty and warmth of the folks who greeted us on our trip though Canada was just as spectacular as the scenery.
.The Road Tour participants all gathered at the Street Rodder tent at Kalamazoo over the weekend. It gave everyone a chance to get to know each other. As has been the case all summer there were a number of folks who were participating in their second or third Road Tour. It is good to know that people have a great time on the Tours and want to sign up for another fun week on the road.
After the awards ceremonies on Sunday we rolled out of the Kalamazoo Fairgrounds and started on the three hour trip to the border crossing into Canada at Port Huron, Michigan. There were 21 cars that were registered for the Performance World Tour with 16 leaving from the Nationals North and five more cars joining us along the route. The afternoon trip to Port Huron went smoothly and we reached the border check point by 6:30. Crossing the border into Canada went fine and we were asked just a few questions and presented a picture ID.
We had reservations at a hotel in Sarnia, Ontario which is right across the border from Port Huron. A few weeks ago I had received an E mail from Bob McMillan of the Sarnia Street Machine Car Club. They wanted to meet us at the hotel and have a cook-out for our group. It sounded like a great way to start the Tour so we made the plans. When we pulled into the parking lot that Sunday evening I was not prepared for the wonderful greeting that we were given. The parking lot was filled with over 50 street rods, street machines, customs and antique cars, and hundreds of smiling faces. What a welcome to Canada! There were hot dogs , hamburgers and sausage cooking on the grill and a DJ playing music. We were all given goodie packets and treated like visiting Royalty. The Sarnia Street Machines is a 70 family club that has been around since the early 80's and does some wonderful charity fund raising while having fun with their vehicles. Thanks folks, it was a great way to start our visit to Canada.
Monday morning were were up and rolling by 7:45. Our first stop in the morning was at Lowdown Hot Rods in Cambridge. The folks at Lowdown have been building high quality street rods and show cars for a number of years and gave us a look at their latest projects along with some coffee and donuts. It was then on to our noontime stop at Legendary Motor Cars near Toronto. Legendary is the home of the Dream Car Garage TV show and has a number of high performance cars on display for sale. We were given a tour of there restoration facility and repair shop also.
At Legendary we were met by Brenda Brough and Gary Chalice of the Performance World Custom Car and Truck Show. Brenda is the show manager and with Gary and a dedicated team of helpers put on the largest indoor car show in Canada each March. The Performance World group along with Legendary provided box lunches for everyone. We were also greeted at Legendary by members of the Motor City Car Club of Oshawa, Ontario. The Motor City folks were our hosts for the day and had planned a fantastic afternoon for our stay in the Toronto - Oshawa area. We made the trip around the busy Toronto area on the 407 freeway. While it is a toll road, the Motor City members had a local company pick up the tabs for the tolls.
After checking into our hotel we made the short drive to Parkwood Estates, the mansion built by the founder of General Motors of Canada. It was a great tour of the beautiful estate and gardens. Again it was all complimentary courtesy of the Motor City Car Club. After some tea and snacks at Parkwood, it was time to head to the Motor City Clubhouse for a dinner in our honor. When we pulled in we were greeted by an entire field filled with club members,their cars, a huge party tent and 80 pounds of beef cooking on grills. It was an incredible evening with the fantastic Motor City Car Club. Brenda and the Performance World team provided door prizes that had been contributed and each and every Road Tour participant received a door prize. It was an amazing evening with the Motor City folks. Their hospitality and generosity was incredible. There are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2009 and I am already making plans for the Road Tour to come to Oshawa and help them celebrate. What a great group of folks!!
WOW, all that was just the first day of the Tour. Check back as we head to the beautiful 1,000 Island area and tour on to Lake Placid in upstate New York on our way to Burlington.