As you read this article, there’s a good chance there are many people working away in their garages and shops, cleaning and polishing their favourite cars. They’re getting ready for the 24th annual Prospectors Steak-Out this weekend, and organizers expect there could be up to 200 cars, trucks and motorcycles at this year’s car show.
Hosted by the Quesnel Prospectors Car Club, the Steak-Out features three days of cruising and showing for car enthusiasts from near and far.
Everything kicks off Friday evening with registration and a meet and greet barbecue from 5-7 p.m. at The Lodge, followed by an evening cruise.
There will be registration at the Maple Park Mall Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, and then the Rod Run leaves the mall at noon. The run goes until 2 p.m., and this year’s route tours through the residential areas of Red Bluff, Richbar, Dragon Lake, Southills and North Quesnel. Residents living in those areas are being encouraged to dress up in costumes and cheer the cars on as they pass by. The day will end with a Steak-Out Dinner and Dance at The Lodge, starting at 6 p.m.
The Steak-Out Show and Shine will be held Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in LeBourdais Park. Gates open at 7:30 a.m. There will be food and refreshments available during the Show and Shine, and this year, there are 36 trophy categories and 24 special picks.
Depending on the weather, Quesnel Prospectors Car Club president Cory Delves says there could be 200 cars at the Show and Shine. He says there is probably a greater number of cars from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, but there are also some 1920s vintage cars, and there will probably be some more current vehicles as well.
Delves says awards are given out for categories such as Best Ford and Best Chev, as well as Best Import, and they have People’s Choice and Quesnel City Council’s Choice trophies as well. They have trophies for best stock and best modified vehicle in every decade, right up to the 1990s, which they added this year because 1994 vehicles are now eligible for collectors’ plates, he explained.
“There’s a wide range, which pretty much covers it all,” he said. “We do have something called Special Picks — that could be somebody’s put a lot of offers into their car but for some reason didn’t get first or second.”
Delves says the vast majority of the cars in the show are from Quesnel and the surrounding area, but he does know of some coming from Fort Nelson and Calgary this year.
“There’s a full range of cars that are basically a daily driver through to cars that are very modified with special paint and performance products, but it’s all about the passion of the automobile that brings everybody out,” said Delves. “It’s not about how fancy your car is. It’s about getting out and enjoying it and sharing information about your car with others. It’s just the passion of the automobile.
Delves says the car show generally attracts a lot of interest.
“There’s normally a steady flow of people wandering through and looking at the cars,” he said. “The park is such a nice site for that. We have food vendors and a DJ, and we have a pin-up contest happening.”
This is the fifth year for the pin-up contest, and Delves says they have seven contestants signed up.
Delves says the Prospectors Car Club normally makes a charitable donation after the event, and this year, they will once again be donating to Quesnel Special Olympics, and they will also be supporting the Quesnel School District’s school nutrition program.
“There’s a lot of costs involved, but we try to give back to the community as well,” said Delves. “We solicit businesses sponsors in town, and we get good support from local businesses, and that helps us to put on the show.”
Delves says this year, they are really trying to encourage people to get out and watch the Saturday afternoon Rod Run.
“One thing members have seen in other communities and we’re trying to develop here is [the cruise] becomes a real event,” he said. “We started that last year, and we’ve taken it up a notch this year with a lot more publicity. The other thing we are trying is to encourage the viewers to dress up in costumes, and there’s a prize involved.”
Delves says the Rod Run will be going down Reid Street around 1 p.m., and they’ll be doing a drive by Dunrovin Park Lodge so the residents can see the cars as well.
Delves, who will be showing his 1954 Chev in the Show and Shine, thinks the appeal of cars shows has a lot to do with nostalgia.
“I think it’s the step back in time, the memories of a person’s youth or perhaps a vehicle that your parents had,” he said. “It’s that nostalgia and memories of the days gone by.”
Delves says the Quesnel Prospectors Car Club has between 35 to 70 members.
“We try to get out as a club once a week and go for a cruise — it’s not always possible because of the weather — but traditionally, in the 1950s and 1960s, everybody cruised to the local in this case A&W and met there and went off and did whatever they did, but that was the meeting place, and everybody has memories of that, and that’s what keeps everything going,” he said.
Delves encourages people who love their vehicles to get involved in the car show.
“Sometimes, there’s a belief that it’s just the cars of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and while an individual’s personal interest may not be in a more modern Honda Civic or what have you, it’s the passion of the car and the upgrades and the performance that it has, so I would encourage anybody who has an import-type car — it’s just not about the cars of days gone by,” he said. “A lot of times, they call them tuners because kids or people of a different demographic, you tend to go for a vehicle that maybe you couldn’t afford when you were just starting out, and as we all get older, the next group that’s coming along, we may not think a 2000 Honda Civic is a very appealing vehicle, but for somebody who was drooling over them when they were young, or a Subaru WRX, it’s not something you would personally want, but people are getting into those for the same reasons you got into your muscle car.”