World of Wheels show spins into town

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free PressDrag racer, Torin Gruener, 17, will be displaying his electric junior dragster, aptly named The Shocker, at the World of Wheels show, which begins today at the RBC Convention Centre.

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press

Drag racer, Torin Gruener, 17, will be displaying his electric junior dragster, aptly named The Shocker, at the World of Wheels show, which begins today at the RBC Convention Centre.

Piston Ring’s 44th annual World of Wheels rolls through town this weekend. New trends will emerge, friends will reunite and a huge variety of amazing vehicles will shine under the bright lights.

Throughout the province, local custom shops and home garages have been buzzing with activity, as vehicle owners prepare their prized rides for the big show.

On Tuesday, drag racer Torin Gruener, 17, a senior at River East Collegiate, got his first look at the new Rat Fink inspired graphics freshly applied by Nitro Graphics on his electric-powered junior dragster. Torin’s uncle, Glen Novakowski, is a longtime drag racer and has passed the bug onto Torin, who now holds the national record for junior dragsters. This past year, he piloted his electric-powered dragster, aptly named The Shocker, an eighth of a mile in 7.9 seconds at 85 m.p.h. The car runs a NetGain Warp 9 electric motor, and features a Tesla-designed Godzilla controller.

It makes 100 horsepower and100 pound-feet of torque.

“I like to go fast,” says Torin, who enjoys the World of Wheels and talking to folks about his lightning-fast electric car. “People ask lots of questions, and I love to answer them — it’s a lot of fun.”

Over at C. Brown’s Autobody and Hot Rod Shop, just south of Île-des-Chênes, owner Carol Brown and bodyman/fabricator Gerald Blair have been burning the midnight oil getting Brown’s 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8, complete with a 1969 Dodge Charger front clip, ready for the World of Wheels.

“I bought it brand new off the showroom floor and drag raced it basically stock, with a vinyl wrap that made it look like the Batmobile, until 2016,” Brown says.

“Then, I went all in and had the front conversion done — I’ve always loved old muscle cars and really like this car, so I turned it into something totally unique.”

The car is no longer road legal, and now features performance enhancements, lightweight aluminum body panels, a full roll-cage and a single race seat.

This summer, Brown hopes to improve on her best quarter-mile run at Interlake Dragways near Gimli. This past year, she ran the quarter mile in 11.64 seconds at 121 m.p.h. Brown and Blair still had plenty of work to do when we visited the shop on Monday, including some finishing touches to the car’s interior and a whole lot of polishing. But they were confident the car would be show ready just in time.

In addition to the cavalcade of local rides, we will also be treated to a bevy of beauties from out of town. There will be more than 250 show vehicles in competition for prizes and points as part of the International Show Car Association events, as well as a large variety of automotive-related booths offering products and services that cater to the special interest vehicle hobby.

Vehicles travelling with the show include the cars from the hit film Fate of the Furious 8 a Subaru BRZ, 1968 Dodge “Ice” Charger, 1966 Corvette,1971 Plymouth GTX, and a sinister looking SRT Dodge Demon, as well as some stunning customs from throughout North America that represent the very best the automotive hobby has to offer.

The celebrity showcase, presented by Pony Corral Restaurant & Bar, will feature a trio of stars. Ryan Evans from the hit TV show Counting Cars will appear on Friday night, and Karan Brar from Disney’s TV show Bunk’d and WWE wrestler Dean Ambrose will appear on Saturday.

Harley-Davidson Winnipeg is also presenting the CycleRama Motorcycle Show in conjunction with World of Wheels. Highlights will include a large display of new bikes and merchandise, as well as a custom motorcycle show. Basically, you’re getting two shows for the price of one ticket.

After a long Manitoba winter, there really is no better place to be this weekend than Piston Ring’s 44th annual World of Wheels car show.

See you there!

willy@freepress.mb.ca

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free PressBodyshop owner Carol Brown and bodyman Gerald Blair have been getting Brown’s modified 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 ready to display.

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press

Bodyshop owner Carol Brown and bodyman Gerald Blair have been getting Brown’s modified 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 ready to display.

Harley-DavidsonHarley-Davidson Winnipeg is presenting the CycleRama Motorcycle Show in conjunction with World of Wheels.

Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson Winnipeg is presenting the CycleRama Motorcycle Show in conjunction with World of Wheels.

SuppliedRobert Motkaluk from Powder FX Custom Coatings will be displaying his fully restored 1985 Honda ATC 200X in his vendor booth at the show.

Supplied

Robert Motkaluk from Powder FX Custom Coatings will be displaying his fully restored 1985 Honda ATC 200X in his vendor booth at the show.

SuppliedThe 1968 Dodge “Ice” Charger from the hit movie Fate of the Furious 8 will be on display, alongside other vehicles from the movie, at Piston Ring’s 44th annual World of Wheels.

Supplied

The 1968 Dodge “Ice” Charger from the hit movie Fate of the Furious 8 will be on display, alongside other vehicles from the movie, at Piston Ring’s 44th annual World of Wheels.

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free PressDerek Roth (from left), Frank Cicco, Mike McComb and Rob Skrobutan from Adventure Power Products will have their products on display at the show.

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press

Derek Roth (from left), Frank Cicco, Mike McComb and Rob Skrobutan from Adventure Power Products will have their products on display at the show.