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Behind The Wheel At Ultimate Car Show

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Coquitlam, B.C. was the place to be this past weekend for owners and fans of vintage exotic cars. Not a cloud in the sky this past weekend only made so many lovingly restored vehicles even more beckoning to a casual visitor. It was row upon row of eye candy for car lovers, including a custom 1957 VW Beetle, a 1928 Ford Coupe and a 1950 customized bread truck. The event was the 3rd annual Ultimate Car Show, held at the front parking lot of the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver. Whether you are a fan or a collector; those exotic, rolling things of beauty were more than just dressed up for show. There were hot rods, muscle cars and a Lincoln valued at one million dollars. This free family event drew thousands of car lovers of every age group who had the chance to view some of the world's finest cars. It was a showcase of the many types of cars from the 1920's to the most recent.

In an interview with Rick Francoeur of Canada's premiere custom car company 360 Fabrication Inc., he said, "Thshe car culture is bigger in B.C. than anywhere. There are several Cadillacs that are amazing. There are vehicles here that you wouldn't normally see," he said, adding, "We have a vintage truck White and Peters collaborated with us (360) 'bread truck' and it will be the last time you will ever see it." In the 1950's this type of vehicle delivered milk and bread, leaving behind a baked goods smell.
"It's a 60-year-old collector's item that is bound to capture a lot of attention at our show this year," said Francoeur, who was also show host of the Hard Rock event, Saturday morning. Later Saturday, the bread truck, which will be auctioned in October at the iconic Las Vegas Barrett Jackson collector car auction, indeed, drew many people to take photos.

Proceeds of the bread truck sale will go to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which has been providing hope and healing to children from across the US, Mexico and Canada for more than 90 years. The bread truck appraised value as of today is $248,000. The design concept was unique in that inside the back was a seating area with a built-in kitchen. Right beside it was the one million dollar Lincoln. It was the most expensive car on display and was roped off. The black beauty, with a sound system alone that is valued at $100,000, drew crowds. "You can imagine going back into time and driving one of these specialty cars," Francoeur said.

Raj Mutti, executive director of the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver says, "Last year, we had over 10,000 people and we are expecting at least this many this year. This event builds momentum every single year. There are beautiful cars here and it has been built out to be a really nice event over the years." A reporter asked Mutti which car was his favorite? Without hesitation he referred to the million dollar Lincoln. "Definitely yes, my favorite car here is the prestigious 1963 Lincoln and it won a People's Choice award in the past."

The community event had something to offer everyone from a charity pancake breakfast to a strong man contest for a chance to win a stereo. Mutti noted, "We wanted to get the local community out and have fun." There was also a kids' play area, a beer garden and a barbecue area.

Francoeur says all proceeds from the Ultimate Car Show will go to SHARE, which is a family and community services society.

Christine Blanchette - Writer and John Moe Editor

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