Bothwell Car Show & Sale
by Festival Correspondent, Chris Spraakman
Does 1000 collector cars in one location sound like automotive paradise? Then Bothwell Ontario, on its’ annual weekend car show should be on your yearly to-do list.
This year’s event was held August 9th 2013, under a perfect sun, as the field at Bothwell’s Victoria Park swelled with thousands of visitors. This small Ontario town, with a full-time population of less than a thousand is 250km south-west of Toronto and 125km north-east of Windsor.
Having started over 30 years ago, this show is a two-day event with the many vendors open Friday and the car show taking place on Saturday. The cars are mainly North-American made and come from all over southern Ontario with owners obviously happy to display their prides and joy and discuss with onlookers.
The show is organized by Old Autos Newspaper and the Bothwell and District Optimist Club. Old Autos is a Canadian newspaper dedicated to the automotive hobbyist which is published twice a month throughout the year and headquartered in the town.
Even if old cars are not your passion, the show includes music, a food vendor area, many vehicles for sale, and an extensive sales area with sellers offering automotive parts, paraphernalia, and varied items. Here enthusiasts find many of the necessary parts that keep their hobby alive, however, along with these, many eccentric items that you would never expect to see at a car show are also found. Alas, there seems to be a market for all of it.
General admission to the event is $5 each day and children under 12 are free. Those entering vehicles into the car show pay a $10 entrant fee. Every year there is a special focus of the show. During this year’s show the focus was the ‘Late Super 60’s’. Cars from the 1966-1970 era were given free admission to the event and were able to participate for regular car show gifts, plaques, and prizes.
Major draws take place at the event throughout Saturday and this includes a 50/50 draw where the winner can take home up to $15,000. For the car lovers, the money is an afterthought, the thrill is to see this many collector cars in one location. My personal favourites were the early car’s from 1914-1918 and a heavily customized 1991 Ford Ranger made up to look like a hillbilly train complete with bed frame, etc. (see pictures)