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Willy's Garage with Paul Williamson

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Final Sunday night cruise at Pony Corral

The final cruise event of the season takes place Sunday at the Pony Corral's Grant Park location. Organizers anticipate more than 500 antique, classic and special interest vehicles, as well as a sweet lineup of motorcycles, will pack the lot. Hosted by the Fabulous 50's Ford Club of Manitoba and Willy's Garage, the event runs from 4 p.m to 10 p.m. In addition to all the beautiful vehicles, you can also expect great food, classic music and a sea of smiling faces. For the final event of the season the front parking lot will feature vehicles owned by members of the Fabulous 50's Ford Club of Manitoba. This legendary local car club has done a terrific job organizing Sunday night cruises at the Pony Corral all summer long. To cap off the season thousands of dollars worth of great prizes donated by sponsors that include Rondex and Piston Ring will be given away at 9 p.m.

For more details check out ponycorral.ca or fabulous50sford.com

 

--Willy …

Ready, set, GO!

Tomorrow evening Red River College will host its annual alumni banquet, aptly titled GO! This year the theme is transportation and the event will be held at the college's Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC), located at the Notre Dame campus.

Tickets are $75 per person with proceeds being donated to HETC. The doors open at 6 p.m., and the bash is open to all RRC alumni. Highlights will include live music performed by RRC students and alumni, dinner stations featuring food prepared by RRC Chefs of Distinction and a slider competition where guests can vote on their favourite mini burger created by industry and culinary professionals.

The Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre, one of RRC's newest training facilities, will be decked out for the evening in a transportation theme that promises to deliver a fun-filled night.

For more information call 204-632-2359 or email alumni@rrc.ca .

Tickets can be purchased online at www.rrc.ca/alumnigo.

--Willy …

Wide Open House

Tomorrow the crew at Harley-Davidson Winnipeg, located at 1377 Niakwa Rd. East, is hosting their annual Wide Open House from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to an opportunity to tour the dealership, the event will also feature a live band and a show and shine that is open to all makes and models of motorcycles. Owners of classic and special interest vehicles are also encouraged to attend. The entire day is free for both spectators and show and shine participants. Everyone entered in the bike show has a chance to win trophies in more than a dozen categories. Voting is done by the crowd. Free participant dash plaques will also be handed out to the first 100 entries. For more details call 204-254-3974.

--Willy …

Paws to the Pedal

Anh Ly, at left with German Shepard puppy Bruno, is the brainchild behind Paws to the Pedal, a car show that is encouraging vehicle owners and spectators to bring along their furry friends for a day of fun. "So many people in the local car scene have pets, so it just seemed like a natural fit to create an event where people can show off their amazing cars and their beautiful pets while raising money for the Winnipeg Humane Society," said Ly. The show takes place tomorrow at the parking grounds between Ikea and Cabela's on Kenaston Blvd. The fun starts at 9 a.m., when vehicle owners and their pets roll in for registration. The gates officially open to the public at 11 a.m. and the show runs until 6 p.m. Car owners wishing to participate are asked to bring $10 for the registration fee, 100 per cent of which will be donated to the Winnipeg Humane Society. There will also be a donation box on site in support of the Winnipeg Humane Society. Car owners and spectators are encouraged to bring pets of all shapes, sizes and species out for the day. "The show and shine is also open to any and all makes of classic or special interest vehicles," added Ly, who owns this pristine 1983 Sprinter Trueno.

--Willy …

Riding for a reason

Ride for the Breath of Life is an annual motorcycle event in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Riders from all backgrounds participate in rides that take place all across Canada throughout the summer months.

Funds raised by participants of the Ride for the Breath of Life support life-changing cystic fibrosis research, clinical care and advocacy. This support has resulted in outstanding progress in the quality of life for Canadians with cystic fibrosis.

The local leg of the Ride for the Breath of Life will take place this Saturday and departs from the Flying J truck stop in Headingley. Registration is from 9:30-10:30 a.m. This year the ride will make stops in Carman, at Gaslight Harley-Davidson in Morden and at Morris. The day features poker hands, breakfast, a barbecue at the end of the ride, a silent auction and 50/50 draw. Registration is $25 per rider. For further information please contact: …

Flying high, AGAIN

Cruising season is finally here!

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This spectacular custom Jeep YJ, owned by Harry Kettler, has been a mainstay in the Manitoba cruising scene for several years.

The grass is green, the streets are clean, the sun is shining and MOST of the potholes have been filled. All this can mean only one thing: cruising season is finally here!

Although cruise nights at the Canad Inns Transcona and the Grant Park Pony Corral restaurant officially kicked off May 18, thanks to cool temperatures and one rainy Sunday, local cruisers hit the streets with more of a fizzle than a bang.

All that changed last Sunday when city streets roared to life with an amazing assortment of motorcycles, muscle cars, street rods and customs cruisers.

The sun was shining so I opted to ride my Harley-Davidson Road King to the Grant Park Pony Corral for the weekly Sunday night cruise. As I rolled down Main Street under the hot sun with the radio on my bike tuned to Power97 and the soothing sounds of Ozzy Osbourne's Flying High Again blaring through the speakers, a bright red '69 Camaro pulled up beside me with Ozzy bellowing at an even louder volume. As I looked over at the driver we both gave one another the thumbs up at precisely the same moment and then we both broke into laughter, maniacal laughter that carried on for far too long. Cabin fever will do that to a guy, and you sure don't need me to remind you of the atrocity that was last winter.

Nope, from here on in it's all about seeing and being seen in the greatest cruising scene this vast nation has to …

Wheels in motion

Ride for Dad rolls next Saturday

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Ed Johner, a prostate cancer survivor and Ride for Dad spokesperson, says a simple three-minute test can save your life.

One of the greatest things about riding a motorcycle is sharing the experience with friends and family. Next Saturday, May 24, more than 1,000 local motorcycle enthusiasts will band together for the sixth annual Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad in support of prostate cancer research and education. To date, the local leg of this national event has raised more than $560,000, with all proceeds staying right here in Manitoba.

The first Ride for Dad took place in Ottawa in 2000 and has since grown to become the biggest motorcycle fundraising event of its kind. This year, local volunteer committees will organize annual Ride for Dad events in more than 30 Canadian cities.

The first Manitoba ride took place in 2009 when 487 riders raised $69,000 in support of prostate cancer research and education. In recent years, thanks in large part to former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicking legend and public-relations guru Trevor Kennerd, who is in charge of promoting the ride, the annual event has been kicked into high gear.

The 2013 Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad was the most successful to date, with 1,002 registered riders helping to raise more than $225,000 to fight prostate cancer. Nationally, more than 265,000 men, women and children have raised nearly $10 million to fight prostate cancer.

The Motorcycle Ride for Dad is spearheaded by the Winnipeg Police Association, and the organizing committee is led by veteran police officers and all-around great guys Kirk Van Alstyne and Moe Sabourin. Registered riders, donors, volunteers and sponsors come from all …

Start your engines

MSRA's Rodarama car show brings the heat

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Last week, Willy wrongly identified Drew McRae's 1956 Ford Customline as a 1958 model. Rest assured he took his lumps for the blunder throughout the weekend at the Rodarama car show. Willy is reasonably certain this black beauty, owned by David Gray of Harley-Davidson Winnipeg, is a 1953 Ford.

Transcona was the place to be last weekend when the Manitoba Street Rod Association hosted its 15th annual Rondex Rodarama car show at the East End Arena.

More than 100 classic and special-interest vehicles packed both of the arena's ice surfaces. While Rondex Rodarama may lack the glitz and star power of Piston Ring's annual World of Wheels, the quality of the vehicles on display at the MSRA show is always top-notch.

When the awards were presented on Sunday, Julius Eugene took home best-of-show honours and best street rod (1935-1948) for his stunning 1941 Ford Coupe. Built right here in Manitoba, this beauty is among the nicest cars in the country. Eugene credits SanDale Fabrication with transforming his old Ford into the rolling masterpiece it has become.

Thanks to the MSRA members who volunteer their time, the vendors who service and support the hobby, the dedicated auto buffs who built and displayed their amazing vehicles and the thousands of spectators who took a step back in time to enjoy the show, the 15th annual Rondex Rodarama proves yet again that Winnipeg is the cruising capital of Canada!

 

2014 Rondex Rodarama Car Show Awards

(First Place awards sponsored by Outboard Rebore Alline Supply. Second Place awards sponsored by South Beach Casino & Resort.)

 

Street Rod (1934 & older)

1st Place: Ron Sweeney, 1932 Ford 5 window coupe

2nd Place: Duane Evans, 1932 Ford 3 window coupe

 

Street Rod (1935 - 1948)

1st Place: Julius Eugene, 1941 Ford Coupe

2nd Place: Larry Hosaluk, 1936 Nash 400 Deluxe

 

Classic Restored (25 years & older)

1st Place: …

Rink rat

Rondex Rodarama show goes this weekend at East End Arena

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Drew McRae with his 1958 Ford Customline. McRae's car will be on display alongside more than 100 local classic and special interest vehicles this weekend at the MSRA's annual Rondex Rodarama.

This weekend, Drew McRae's 1958 Ford Customline will be on display alongside more than a hundred classic and special-interest vehicles at the Manitoba Street Rod Association's 15th annual Rondex Rodarama car show, being held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the East End Arena in Transcona.

The 24-year-old McRae can be forgiven for having only faint memories of the first big indoor show the MSRA put on way back in the spring of 1999 -- he was only nine.

"For pretty much as long as I can remember, Rodarama has been my favourite car show," said McRae, who lives in Transcona and is the son of local auto buffs Tim and Jo McRae. "There's just something about the atmosphere inside the arena that makes the old cars look amazing, and everyone is always super-friendly. It's the perfect way to kick off the car-show season."

The countless hours McRae has spent getting his old Ford ready for the annual show is a true testament to just how hard MSRA members have worked to not only preserve the old-car hobby, but also to make it appealing to a younger demographic.

I've known Drew McRae since he was a kid, watching as his interest in vehicles has shifted from import-tuner cars to old iron. McRae bought his '58 Ford a couple of years back from another local auto buff, John Ducharme. The car was complete but needed some serious rust repair. With help from his dad and a few friends, the car was brought back to life …

Rating the rolling stock

Are your tires up to the challenges brought on by heat and speed?

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Carey Hull, Kal Tire's director of retail products, checks tire temperature with a handheld pyrometer. "Heat is your tire's number-one enemy," Hull said.

When the invite arrived from Kal Tire to jet off to Toronto and ride shotgun around a closed course with regular Free Press Autos contributor and advanced driver Alan Sidorov behind the wheel, my mind's eye quickly raced.

I imagined Sidorov masterfully motoring an exotic supercar around the track at blinding speeds while I gleefully squealed under a hot Ontario sun.

Turns out the reality was a much less-exciting but abundantly informative event designed to help educate drivers about one of the most important and least-understood aspects of a vehicle's safety: tire speed rating.

"Speed rating isn't just about speed," said Carey Hull, Kal Tire's director of retail products. "It's also about handling -- how your tires help your vehicle to swerve and miss a deer, or stay on a highway ramp in the rain.

"The way your tires perform in those situations could save your life. That's why we should think of tire speed rating as a tire's 'performance rating.' "

The speed ratings for tires are identified by an alphabetic code. For most passenger vehicles, the recommended rating is a letter between S and Y. This letter can be found at the end of the tire size imprinted on its sidewall. This letter indicates the maximum speed a tire can go in conjunction with a load-carrying capacity.

According to Kal Tire, speed ratings were created in the 1960s so European drivers could gauge how fast they could safely drive their vehicles without risking tire failure. Since then, they have become recognized world-wide.

The ratings indicate …

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