The SVAO: Dedicated to the protection and preservation of Specialty Vehicles
Attention: (Car Club
recipients) Please ensure that this newsletter is forwarded to your club editor
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Since our formation in 1995 the SVAO has been blessed with a number
of hardworking volunteers who have given untold hours of time and effort
to the association. Now for some that has been a steady nine years
of work and we are going to be saying
New members to the executive of the SVAO are Bob Klowak and Frank Malfara. Frank has been on the SVAO executive before and has been invovled with street rodding for a long time. "Big" Bob is the current President of the Canadian Street Rod Association and is well known in the old car world. The SVAO welcomes both volunteers on board.
As noted this edition is being put together by your chairman who is not the most computer savy retiree in the world so any mistakes, screw-ups, etc are mine. Yes, I have recently joined the wonderful world of retirement and already notice that there are not enough hours in the day to get all of my projects done. How did I ever manage to find time for paid employment before and get other things done?
This seems to be a constant call but the SVAO cannot exist without a core of people to monitor the various government agencies and levels (provincial and municipal). Many of the executive have been here since the beginning nine years ago and would like some relief. They are for the most part people who are already on the executive of their clubs and so are very involved in the hobby. This does not mean that they won't be around for advice and guidance but there is plenty of room for new blood.
The tasks at hand are, for the moment, mainly ones of keeping in touch with various officials at the different government offices and making sure that these officials remember that the SVAO is out here available for consultation before rules and regulations are developed into law. Officials are often transferred, promoted or not re-elected and so just keeping in touch can take some effort.These tasks can usually be done by e-mail or telephone. The executive meets once a month in the Toronto area but not everyone can do this so some report in by phone or computer.
The SVAO is in need of concerned individuals who will take the time to let us know of situations which they hear about that are not helping our hobby. A call to one of the executive would be appreciated if you have an area of concern because often that is how the SVAO first hears about trouble spots. The more eyes and ears that are out there, the sooner the SVAO can try to help out.
News Around the Hobby
Spring seems to be struggling but it has finally arrived. The SVAO rminds you to make sure that your vehicle is top notch when it comes to safety. We want the public to view our vehicles as the neat things that they are, not sitting on the shoulder of the road broken down or involved in an accident. Remember that in the public's eyes, we are only as good as our weakest link!
The SVAO, as a stakeholder with the Ministry of Transportation, has
been informed that there will be changes to the rules and regulations
of the Highway Traffic Act coming from our new government but at this
time we have not seen these changes. One change will be that licensed
truck mechanics will only be able to certify trucks and that licensed
automobile mechanics will only be able to certify automobiles. Let's
keep our eyes
The USA continues to have areas that propose laws that concern the old car hobbyist and they have had areas of success in battling these misinformed efforts. Keep an eye on these developments as sometimes these things head north and let us know of your concerns.Their law making system is considerably different the ours and most of the time that is to our benefit. In the USA, most legislators can propose a law if they can find a seconder for their suggested legislation. This can lead to a whole bunch of nonsense if close tabs aren't kept on the respective legislatures. In Canada most legislation comes from the governing party so that is why it is important groups like the SVAO have access to the initial consulting process. If we can point out the problems early, they hopefully won't show up later as legislation or rules and regulations..
Our annual general meeting was not held this spring for a number of
From Your Directors
Jean-Pierre Matte is a member of the Z Car Club and has been an executive member of the SVAO for a good few years. Here is an article by him for your enjoyment:
Adventures in the Automotive Realm
Let’s go back to October 18th 2003. The weekend before, we had just gotten back from an incredible drive from the National Z Car convention in Nashua New Hampshire. A squadron of Zs racing northwards on the sun drenched Interstate. A timeless moment. October is winding down, and the "Z Season" is nearing the end. A big finish is planned, and the following weekend is shaping up to be a busy one.
Mark Michael MacKew, the club’s legal expert, had organized
a Wine Tour in the Lake Erie region just east of Windsor. Everyone
was to meet at his place at 9am. The night before, Nigel and I discuss
what time to leave at. We figure if we are rolling by 7:30 am there
should be lots of time. The next Saturday morning the alarm goes off
shortly before 7am. I am getting ready to go, and Patricia, still comfortably
nestled in bed, asks me what time Nigel and I intend on getting to
Chatham. I answer 9am. In looking at Pat’s face, I could see
the wheels turning, not always a good sign. In case you haven’t
guessed it yet, here is where the clever tie in about not having enough
time comes in. Incredulously, she asks me if I really think that is
enough time to get there? You know what? It isn’t. If I had come
up with this timeline on my own I could understand being so
Nigel’s fuel injected Turbocharged ‘73 can be electronically
configured on the fly to get decent gas mileage when operating in the "closed
loop" mode. My ‘71 triple Weber’d, 3:90’d mobile
fuel crisis, does not have that luxury. I had to fuel up in Scarborough
shortly after leaving and again at the Sunoco in London, to ensure
I had enough fuel for wine touring. We were definitely playing a losing
game of beat the clock. Even so, we
It was a great day of wine touring, sampling wine, loading up on complimentary
cheese and breadsticks to stave off hunger. We toured three wineries
that day. All very different, all very interesting, all equipped with
a vast array of stainless steel plumbing. I think an auto enthusiast
finds comfort when in the presence of all that stainless. Even though
we are in a winery, the business end of these establishments have a
There was a dinner planned at the end of the day, that I unfortunately
would not be able to attend. I had festivities I needed to attend that
evening. I mentioned to Michael that I would not tour the last winery
as I had to get back to Pickering in time for my plans that evening.
Michael convinced me to stick around because he wanted to have the
group photographed by an Oil Well on the Erie shoreline. We find the
Oil Well, we take the
First things first, Chris and I bid farewell to the horde of Zs at
the Oil well site and head back towards Michael’s place in Chatham
so I can drop Chris off. After a day of wine touring I am nearly on
empty. I need to find gas and I need to find it fast. We drive through
small town after small town, most of these don’t have much of
anything in them, let alone gas stations. Matter of fact the towns
have the appearance of being closed
The sun was setting, the motor was humming, conditions were perfect.
At this pace I should make pretty good time. Before long it was dark,
and traffic was not particularly heavy and I come upon a white early
VW Passat. I’m cruising at 120 and closing in on him.
I pull out to the left and ease past him, takes a while, but I eventually
pull back in front when I am safe distance ahead of him. Moments later
he comes rushing
Next up was the mid 90’s Honda sedan. The crowd in the Honda
had a different take on livening up people’s night driving experience.
I had caught up to this Honda, it had at least 5 people jammed in it.
Either they liked my car or couldn’t figure out what it was,
because once I had passed them, they stayed in my blind spot for at
least ten miles. Once again the speed limit was disregarded in order
to lose this car. It was shortly after this that the rain began to
fall. Up ‘til then
the only thing hitting my windshield were thousands of hapless insects.
The windshield was plastered with them, but visibility wasn’t
affected. Although annoying, the light rain was beading up and rolling
off. It wasn’t
until I had caught up to a transport that things got exciting. By that
point the rain had increased, and the mist coming off the truck forces
me to start the wipers. Big
Rolling once more. I am approaching Mississauga, and the rain has
picked up. All summer I had managed to keep the car out of the rain.
I was paying for it now. The real fun was about to begin, as Sweden
was about to make its contribution to the evening’s shennanigans.
raining pretty hard now, I am in the express lanes moving through traffic
rather efficiently, but the density of traffic is increasing. It’s
going to be close,
I am not particularly proud of the "driving tactics" I exhibited to get around my "friend" in the Saab, regardless, I was past him and shooting for home, both hands welded to the steering wheel. Pickering is now in my sights and it’s going to be close. A familiar exit ramp beckons. I could feel the rage and tension draining from my body as I pulled into the driveway. I pried my fingers from the wheel. The transformation was complete. With 7 minutes to spare, I was once again human. Good thing too, as a night of merriment and excess was waiting to be had by all. Into the wee hours we go.
At this point you must figure the story is just about over. To be
honest with you, I thought it was too. But things don’t always
work out the way you had planned. Earlier that summer, I had committed
to showing up at Mosport International Speedway on Sunday, to do some
work for the
I am snuggled in bed, it’s nice and warm, I am right where I want to be. Life is good....but I hear this incessant knocking, and it won’t stop. I open my eyes, and fall out of bed. It’s 7:30 Sunday morning. The sun is out and the road is partly dry, and there are contractors at my next door neighbours, installing new windows??? I cannot sleep through this. I stagger over to the phone and call my contact re the Mosport event. "It can’t possibly still be on can it?" It is. I’m told to forget the Driver’s Meeting and get down there. On 4 1/2 hours of sleep, I hit the road once more.
It turned out to be a wonderful Sunday. The sun was out, it was fairly
warm for late October, and the track was waiting. I got signed in and
got the car lined up in the Pit Lane. A huge lineup of really excited
youngsters were there. Boys and girls of all ages, tall ones, short
ones. The parents were there too, and they all couldn’t wait
to get strapped into a car and go out on the track. Harnessed into
the Z, I felt like an antique piece of furniture that had just tumbled
down a flight of stairs. I was considerably less than razor sharp,
yet I could still appreciate the paradox before me. It was such a happy
scene, with so many happy people, on such a beautiful day. Underneath
it all, completely out of sight, was incredible pain and sadness. I
am still moved when I think about it. When I was asked if I wanted
to participate in this event, thoughts of driving the big road
All manner of cars were lined up, a variety of Ferraris and Porsches
an Alfa, a Subaru WRX and many more. There were many real race cars
there, as well as my 240, which was masquerading as one. It was such
a thrill to see these little kids being asked which car they wanted
a ride in, and having them point to your vehicle. The attendants there
would strap them in tight, and you could see the look of anticipation