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Cactus Jalopies gaining reputation as one of elite custom car shows in B.C.
Don Maisonneuve was beaming like a proud father Saturday afternoon, but the source of pride was not his daughter, but his stunning and classic 1969 Plymouth GTX.
Maisonneuve made the long drive from Golden to show off his award-winning custom car and participate in his first-ever Cactus Jalopies show.
“I’ve been to a lot of car shows over the past several years and I have to tell you that this show is starting to get a reputation as one you don’t want to miss,” said Maisonneuve, who has been collecting, refurbishing and selling classic cars for 20 years.
“The setting here is just incredible and the quality of cars and vehicles they’re attracting is incredible. I had heard about the show in Osoyoos for a few years now and I’m really glad I took the time to come down because it is a great show.”
Maisonneuve and his business partner Rick Johnson are co-owners of the Kicking Horse Ford dealership in Golden.
When they aren’t selling regular cars and trucks, they dabble heavily in purchasing, restoring and then re-selling classic cars they purchase from all over North America, said Maisonneuve.
“I bought this beauty from Ontario about six months ago,” he said. “I had it appraised because I was looking for this particular model for a long time and the dealer in Ontario had a great reputation, so I did my homework, made an offer and it was accepted.
“I’ve owned about 20 classic cars over the past 20 years and this one would be right at the top because there are very few in this kind of shape.”
The massive blown hemi engine produces more than 1,200 horsepower of power and can complete a quarter mile in nine seconds, he said.
Like many other classic car owners, Maisonneuve said he possesses a passion to own, show off and then sell his automobiles.
“You’re always looking for the right car or truck at a decent price,” he said. “Then we run it through our shop, talk to other owners and we’re always willing to sell if the price is right.”
The setting for the Cactus Jalopies show is second to none, he said.
“You just can’t get a better venue,” he said. “To be surrounded by grass and the mountains and the lake is just incredible. The crowds here today have been incredible and I can see how this show has grown so fast over the past few years.”
Maisonneuve said he “will definitely be back” next year for the 2015 Cactus Jalopies.
Several hundred people packed into Gyro Park between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday to view almost 200 classic cars and trucks.
An extreme motorcycle stunt team from Kelowna also entertained the huge crowds throughout the day.