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Scope some radical street rods

Rondex Rodarama show goes this weekend at East End Arena

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Perry Catton with his 1930 Ford Model Tudor sedan, the MSRA Street Rod of the Year for 2010.

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Bill Dixon with his 1957 Chevrolet, the MSRA Custom Cruiser of the year for 2010.

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A 1937 Ford two-door convertible street rod.


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The Manitoba Street Rod Association's 12th annual Rondex Rodarama Car Show is ready to rumble this weekend at the East End Arena in Transcona. Both ice surfaces will be packed with Manitoba's finest antique, custom and special-interest vehicles.

Regarded by many as Winnipeg's favourite traditional car show, Rodarama will offer fans a huge variety of more than 100 locally owned special-interest vehicles, including street rods, muscle cars, customs, classics and trucks. The majority of the vehicles on display were built in Manitoba by owners in their backyard garages and represent countless hours of hard work and dedication.

Feature cars will include Bill Dixon's 1957 Chevrolet, the MSRA's 2010 Custom Cruiser of the Year. Dixon purchased the car from his pal Doug Hart in 2006 and spent two solid years transforming it into a pavement-pounding cruiser of epic proportions. Highlights include a beefed up Chevrolet 350 engine that makes more than 400 horsepower, a custom interior crafted by Jack Krause and a flawless red paint job applied by Bryant Stevens of J-Max Autobody.

Dixon's heavy Chevy will be displayed alongside Perry Catton's retro-inspired 1930 Ford Model A Tudor sedan. This army-green mean machine won the MSRA's coveted Street Rod of the Year award in 2010. Like many street rods, Catton's Ford was built using parts from a variety of different vehicles, including a Chevrolet small-block V-8 engine, the rear end out of a Chevy S-10 truck, and Acura seats. Even the horn was "borrowed" from another car, a Toyota Echo.

Both Dixon and Catton, who live a stone's throw away from one another in Transcona, did the lion's share of the work on their cars in their well-equipped home garages, which leads me to believe that if Winnipeg is the cruising capital of Canada, then Transcona must surely be the cruising capital of Winnipeg.

In addition to the fantastic variety of vehicles, Rodarama features a wide assortment of vendors who cater to the automotive hobby.

The show's title sponsor, Rondex Ltd., is Manitoba's favourite automotive paint and body supply company. Though most of the business Rondex does is with professional body shops, they've earned a great reputation as the place to go for local do-it-yourselfers in the automotive hobby. All the vendors involved with Rodarama always go above and beyond the call of duty and it's a real treat to see the latest products and services they are offering.

Rodarama offers fun for the entire family. Kids 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult, and the Take a Kid to a Car Show promotion is back again this year. By simply clipping the coupon from this article, future auto enthusiasts between the ages of 13 and 16 receive free entry when accompanied by an adult.

Another great thing about Rodarama is the magnificent variety of cool cars that pack the East End Arena's parking lot during the show. For many local auto buffs, this weekend represents the first opportunity to hit the streets in their custom cruisers and kicks off another great summer of cruising in Manitoba, with fun-filled events around the city and throughout the province, including the Sunday-night cruises at the popular Pony Corral Restaurant on Grant Avenue or the Tavern United on Regent.

Whether you're a hard-core auto enthusiast or simply want to check out some amazing cars and spend a few hours with some nice folks, the 12th annual Manitoba Street Rod Association Rondex Rodarama promises to be an awesome show. Did we mention Rodarama supports the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation? Be there or be square!

Just the facts

Hours: Friday: 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: East End Arena, 517 Pandora Ave. East

Admission: $9; children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Teens 13 to 16 free when accompanied by an adult when they present the Take a Kid to a Car Show coupon