The Canadian Coasters Coast to Coast 50th Anniversary Tour, which kicked off in June in British Columbia, visited the Haven of Hospitality on Aug. 17. The tour participants are expected to stay in Nova Scotia until Aug. 24, when they will take the Newfoundland ferry out of North Sydney.
Garth Scott, one of the members of the tour who is also from Hantsport, said it’s all about history.
“If you don’t keep it alive, if you don’t have the past, you can’t build the future,” Scott said.
Scott is driving a vehicle he’s particularly proud of during the tour — a 1958 Plymouth Golden Fury, the car Stephen King’s Christine is based on. There are only 19 left in the world.
Scott hopped on the tour in New Brunswick, and is staying with them until Newfoundland.
“It’s like a fraternity, everybody is there for each other,” he said.
But Scott said the tour might be on its last legs if younger people don’t join in.
“If you look around, you’ll see that most of us are in our 60’s and 70’s. In 10 or 15 years, we’ll be in our 70’s and 80’s and that may change things,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for 50 years.
Scott said there are approximately 225 people who participate in the tour with more than 100 vehicles represented.
Previous cross-country tours of classic vehicles have been held in 1967, 1975, 1992, 2000, 2010 and now in 2017.
This particular cross-county tour began in Victoria, B.C. on June 28, 2017 and is expected to wrap up in Newfoundland this September.
The oldest vehicle on the tour is from the late 1920s and the newest vehicle is from the mid-1980s.
Willie Goertzen and Barb Goertzen, from Coaldale, Alberta, drove their 1971 Pontiac Catalina Convertible all the way from Victoria.
“This is the second time we’ve done the tour,” Willie Goertzen said, adding that they made the trip in 2010.
“The sense of accomplishment you get — it is stressful. Something is rattling in (my car), I don’t know what, hopefully not a bearing. But bringing these things, 60-years-old, across the country is pretty great. You have to be gentle with them.”
Barb Goertzen said the group of motorists has formed a real sense of community.
“What’s really interesting is how pretty well everybody is guaranteed to break down but there’s always friends along the way that know where a park is and how to fix the car,” she said.