Anyone with an interest in classic cars may want to plan a trip to Barkerville at the end of August where a national antique car group plans to make a stop.
From Aug. 31 – Sept. 1, the Canadian Coasters will be staying at the Forest Rose Campground at Barkerville. They encourage the local communities to give them a wave as they pass through or visit them at their campsites and are welcome to bring their own special vehicle if they like.
“We love nothing better than having the locals stop by and “kick the tires,” talk about our vehicles and our adventures across this vast land,” the Canadian Coasters said. “We want to learn more about Canada and the small towns and cities we visit from the locals, and we want to share our adventures with other Canadians.”
With members from every province, the Canadian Coasters have 55 vehicles registered, all being 25 years or older, and many pulling trailers. This epic journey will cover coast to coast in 68 days. Their tour began on Friday, July 1, by dipping their wheels in the Atlantic Ocean in Cupids, N.L., and will end on Tuesday, Sept. 6, with a wheel dipping in the Pacific Ocean in Victoria, B.C.
Their last tour was in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday that coincided with the Canadian Coasters 50th anniversary.
Throughout this latest journey, they will be exploring not only the back roads and scenic beauty that Canada has to offer but also as much of the cultural diversity within each community and province. They will visit many of the national parks, museums and historical sites and will also enjoy the hospitality of local car enthusiasts and clubs who have arranged side trips showcasing their hometowns, private collections of automobiles and many other stops of interest.
The history of the Canadian Coasters began early in 1966.
A group from Ontario, the Historical Automobile Club of Canada (HASC) started to promote the idea of having an antique car tour that traveled across Canada. Canada’s Centennial was coming up in 1967, and what better way to promote the old car hobby and the Centennial. Most antique car clubs in Canada were contacted and invited to take part. The tour started in Victoria, B.C. and travelled to St. John’s N.L. This tour was hosted by various clubs as it passed through their areas. Hobbyists joined the tour where they wanted and stayed on tour as long as their holidays allowed. There were 125 official registrations. Of all registrations, nine cars covered the total distance under their own power. This tour unified the car clubs coast to coast and was a big step in the formation of a Canadian chartered organization.
The “Coasters” as they were originally named, decreed that the tour should be repeated every decade or so. Despite the massive, multi-year volunteer effort involved each time, the “Canadian Coasters,” as they are now called, are on their eighth tour.
One of the founders’ initial intentions was to unify antique car clubs across every province. The result was the establishment of the first chartered organization, now the National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada (NAACC).
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