It was a great day and evening in the Toronto and Oshawa area with our hosts The Motor City Car Club. Tuesday found us headed to the 1,000 Island area for a day of sight seeing. After the two hour drive to the Gananaqua area on the St Lawrence Seaway everyone made their own decision as to how to spend the afternoon. Many of us chose to take the three hour boat trip up and down the river to explore the 1,000 Island area. It was a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon as our boat trip navigated us around the area and we got a close look at the incredible Boldt Castle on one of the islands.
After our afternoon on the river it was time to cross over the border and back into the United States. The lines at the border checkpoint were not too long and we all had our photo IDs ready. I pulled up when it was my turn. I handed the young American border guard my ID and he paused and smiled. "My Dad has a chopped '32 Chevy Coupe. Your Deuce looks great! Have a great trip." We had a wonderful time in Canada but it was great to be back in America!
After our border crossing we made the short trip to Alexandria Bay to spend the evening. Wednesday morning we made a stop at the Antique Boat Museum in nearby Clayton, New York. The museum was very, very cool. We saw some amazing classic wooden boats that ranged from canoes to world record Gold Cup racing boats. I am not necessarily a boating fan but after seeing the quality and craftsmanship in these beautiful rigs, I could see how someone could become involved in the hobby.
From Clayton we took a beautiful three hour drive through the Adirondack Mountains to Lake Placid, New York. The winding drive through the mountains was fantastic. We arrived in Lake Placid, freshened up and all headed into town for dinner. It had been another great day on the Road Tour and now we were enjoying it with good folks that had become great friends.
Thursday it was time to head to Burlington and the NSRA Northeast Nationals. We did have a few more stops to make. About an hour east of Lake Placid we stopped at the Ausable Chasm, known as the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. It was a spectacular view into the river far below. From the Ausable Chasm it was a very short trip to Port Kent to load onto the ferry for the one hour boat ride across Lake Champlain to the waterfront in downtown Burlington. It was quite a sight to see all twenty Road Tour rides loaded onto the ferry. The captain even invited me up in the pilot area to sit behind the wheel.
We landed in Burlington and headed to the headquarters hotel for registration. It has been a fantastic week on the Performance World Road Tour. We were part of the first Road Tour to travel beyond the borders of the United States. We found great folks north of the border and saw some of the most picturesque parts of the United States and Canada. It is going to be a fun weekend at the NSRA Nationals and all of the Road Tourians have memories and have forged friendships that will last a lifetime.
Watch for the upcoming announcement of the 2008 Road Tour schedule. We have eight Tours planned and we are heading to some very cool events and locations. How about a run to Bonneville for Speedweek, a cruise to Back to the 50's in St Paul, the NHRA Hot Rod Reunions in both Ohio and California, the Syracuse Nationals and three or four of the best NSRA events on their schedule? It is going to be a great 2008!
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.