| Posted: Sunday, Aug 05, 2012 06:00 am
Like any classic car owner with a true passion for automobiles, Gary Poff isn't content to just admire his pride and joy in the protection of the garage.
The local collector has put a lot of work into upgrading his classic 1952 Lincoln convertible, including the body, paint, motor, transmission and power steering. The result is a beauty with sparkling chrome, flawless black paint job and gleaming white interior.
While some car owners would reserve the Lincoln for only the driest, sunniest Sundays, that's not Poff's style.
"I drive it as much as I can," he says.
Poff bought the car from a friend in Devon five years ago and is a longtime classic car owner.
"I've owned several over the years," he said. "I have a passion for them all but can only afford one at a time."
Poff's Lincoln will be one of hundreds of retro rides to roll around the city August 7 to 11 during Rock'n August. The 16th annual event is a celebration of classic cars and classic music – for a good cause.
The area Cosmopolitan Clubs, St. Albert Chamber of Commerce and St. Albert Cruisers all partner to put on the annual event to raise money for the Alberta Diabetes Foundation.
Rock'n August typically generates around $100,000 for the foundation according to event president Roger Bradley. Bad weather last year kept away car owners and their pledge dollars, resulting in a $70,000 donation, but this year event organizers hope to bring in more than double that amount.
"Our goal for this year is $150,000," Bradley said. "With the addition of the rock concert on Saturday night, that is certainly achievable if we can sell some more concert tickets."
With activities planned for all five evenings, local residents will have plenty of opportunities to catch vintage vehicles cruising around St. Albert. Rock'n August kicks off with a pancake breakfast on Tuesday morning at the St. Albert Inn & Suites.
Among the most popular events of the week are the Friday Night Cruise and the Show and Shine in the Sturgeon River Valley from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
New to Rock'n August this year is a concert at Servus Credit Union Place on Saturday night featuring classic rock bands Harlequin and Doug & the Slugs.
Bradley expects in the neighbourhood of 700 classic car entries this year, with just under 100 entries already registered.
"We're way ahead of previous years' levels for registrants to this point in the week so we're very happy with that," he said.
The classic cars will be 1987 models or older. With a variety of categories, "there's truly something for everybody," he said.
You don't need a driver's license to appreciate a nice set of wheels.
Among Bradley's favourite sounds and sights at Rock'n August are the wows he hears and the big smiles he sees on children's faces.
"I get the biggest kick out of little kids walking through the park," said the Rock'n August president. "They know these are special cars. They don't have to be told that these antiques are unique and that they look neat."
Ford Model Ts are traditionally part of the show-and-shine as is a Second World War vehicle club that shows Jeeps and troop carriers, Bradley said.
The Saturday display will also feature popular muscle cars like Camaros and pony cars, including Mustangs, along with everything from motorcycles to convertibles to pick-up trucks, and even some less traditional vehicles.
"We regularly have a hearse club come in from Saskatchewan and there's several hearse owners in the Edmonton area," Bradley said. "They get together as a club or clubs and show their vehicles and they do them up really nice."
The biggest single category of entries last year was "classics of the future" which this year will mean cars from 1980 to 2012.