Ryan Gobeil’s dad, Mike, started taking him to World of Wheels when he was a toddler.
“I really look forward to seeing what everyone has been spending their long winter nights burning the midnight oil on,” Gobeil says. “It’s nice that the organizers bring in new stuff every year and that first walk around the show is always a thrill.”
If you find yourself worrying about who will take over the car hobby when us old guys are busy trying to make our mobility scooters go faster, fear not — according to Gobeil, the hobby is in good hands.
“I see it now at our store with the younger generation, there’s kids who aren’t afraid to modify and tinker and go outside of the rules and instructions and always add that unique touch to what they build,” he says. “They are going to bring that same creativity and enthusiasm to full-size vehicles in the future.”
Gobeil will be displaying his mighty Malibu alongside a few other local builds owned by his fellow members in Manitoba LSX, a dedicated group of enthusiasts who run General Motors LS series engines in a variety of different makes and models.
In addition to the always-stellar selection of local rides, a nice variety of show cars from out of town will also be on display. In the past, there has been more than 250 show vehicles on display in competition for prizes and points as part of the International Show Car Association (ISCA) events. The show also features a large variety of automotive-related booths offering products and services that cater to the special-interest vehicle hobby, as well as representation from the motorsports community.
Other attractions include the Manitoba’s Best award presented by Rondex; Maple Leaf Cup presented by Space Age Tire and Kal Tire; White Out Winnipeg, a display of all-white vehicles presented by Hawk Auto and Truck Accessories (on Saturday, organizers are asking everyone to wear white to show support for the Winnipeg Jets); a Barn Find display featuring cool original vehicles found in the “barn”; a Muscle Car Café presented by Head Turnerz Restoration; and Mid-Canada’s Finest 5 street-driven vehicles presented by Total Performance; as well as the ISCA Rising Star award; the F.R.E.S.H. award for female entrants presented by C.C. Customs; Most Outstanding Manitoba entries from General Motors, Chrysler and Ford presented by the Gauthier Auto Group; the Master Builder award presented by Steele Rubber Products; and the CASI Cup presented by Chevrolet Performance.
The celebrity showcase, hosted by Pony Corral Restaurant and Bar, will feature stars from the world of wrestling, Hollywood hockey heroes and a talented vehicle designer and television personality. Dave Kindig from Kindig-It Designs will appear tonight, the Hanson Brothers from the classic hockey movie Slap Shot will appear on Saturday and WWE superstar Seth Rollins will appear Sunday.
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.
If you run into Ryan Gobeil, maybe buy him a cup of coffee.
“World of Wheels is known in our family as the weekend of no sleep,” Gobeil says with a smile. “If we are lucky, we’ll get a few hours of sleep throughout the weekend — but it’s totally worth it when we see the smiles on everyone’s faces, it really is a great time.”
Harley-Davidson Winnipeg is also presenting the CycleRama Motorcycle Show in conjunction with World of Wheels.
Show cars from across North America will be on display at World of Wheels this weekend.
Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press
Ryan Gobeil, 29, has owned his 1980 Chevrolet Malibu, complete with a late-model Chevrolet LS 6.0-litre motor and a turbocharger, since he was 17.
Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press
Ryan Gobeil’s 1980 Chevrolet Malibu has seen several changes over the many years he’s owned it — more than two decades now — but this winter, he went all-in to have his prized ride ready for World of Wheels.