There was a record-breaking 300 “hot” cars and trucks at the Cactus Jalopies show in Osoyoos on June 4, but all eyes appeared to be glued on Glenn Scott’s 1946 Chrysler “Woodie.”
The “Town & Country” model, made even more rare with an 8-cylinder engine, drew much attention at the 12th annual show and shine in Gyro Park.
Check this out: The doors are made of solid white ash from Arkansas, and the insert panels are made from Honduran mahogany. There’s even carpeting on the floor, and you can practically eat off the dashboard because it is so shiny.
There are several vintage suitcases on the roof rack, and a pair of wooden water skis.
The “Woodie” has 77,000 kilometres on it, and travel from Kelowna to Okanagan Falls demands only four imperial gallons of gas.
One time a truck driver notified Scott that he had metal rods sticking out from behind his white wall tires. But Scott quickly explained that those things are “curb alarms” to ensure you don’t park too close to the curb.
The 76-year-old vintage car buff was one of many who attended the event to the joy of co-organizer Francine Launier.
“People are so happy to come here . . . it’s like a big family, ” she said.
Launier noted that vintage car enthusiasts come from all over BC, Alberta and parts of the U.S. to show off their wheels.
Last year the event attracted approximately 215 vehicles, she pointed out. But this year the number was around 300.
“It’s because we put on a great show, with lots of gifts. Dinner at Spirit Ridge, a Friday wine tour . . . it fills our hotels and campgrounds.”
Launier said the highlight this year was the support shown for high school grads and the proposed independent school in Osoyoos. Part of the proceeds from the show go towards funding the new school, she stated.
In addition, JF Launier from JF Kustoms donated a BMW for a special raffle for the cause. More tickets will be sold on July 1 in Osoyoos.
Francine made special mention of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association that donated wine for the Cactus Jalopies awards.
Scott, who lives in Kelowna, loves showing off his 1946 Chrysler, which he has had in his possession for 60 years.
He acquired it in 1956 at the young age of 16.
He was working in an autobody shop in Winnipeg when he saw it and immediately fell in love.
“It was so unique I had to have it,” he said. But the owner, a co-worker, wouldn’t sell it, which was a real heartbreaker to Scott.
But after buying a 1951 Mercury, he asked his co-worker if he would trade for the Woodie, since his car was newer than the Chrysler.
The deal was made.
“My mother nearly killed me,” Scott recalled. But damn, he was happy.
What makes the Woodie particularly rare, he said, is the fact it was built with an 8-cylinder engine. (Most were built with six cylinders.)
According to Scott, only 50 to 100 Woodies were made with that engine.
When asked if he will ever sell it, Scott shook his head in the negative.
“My son will get it when I croak, or I’ll use it as my coffin,” he joked.
The show and shine featured so many amazing cars and trucks, including a 1942 Ford “pug” pickup truck and a 1939 Ford Roadster.
But one of the standouts was Laurie Peterson’s 1963 Studebaker Avanti, which had a low production run in 1963-64.
He admits the car is not everyone’s cup of tea. But when you learn it has 724 horsepower, you might change your mind.
“It has a face only a mother could love,” the Vancouverite chuckled.
Peterson said the car was designed to save Studebaker in its dying years. It has a very unique body style – a Coke bottle design, he pointed out. With deep wheel openings and aircraft-inspired controls, it is definitely different.
“I knew the car had potential,” said Peterson, who bought it on Ebay from a fellow in Los Angeles.
The seats are orange, but the car has a “good bedside manner,” he pointed out. And you’ve got to love all that power, courtesy of a supercharger and some methanol injection.
By Lyonel Doherty