We live in what is lovingly referred to as a sub-arctic climate.


Maybe we cannot see Santa’s neighborhood from our front porches, but it is a short, brisk walk in terms of climate.


Winters are long and summers are a brief fling by comparison to other parts of North America.


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The first official car show is optimistically scheduled for late April and it is still a crap shoot weather-wise.


This year we left our city, complete with the last vestiges of snow from a weekend storm, and drove 90 miles (150 km) to the first official car show in our region.


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The snow disappeared as we got closer to the Nifty Fifties car show at the Grey Eagle Casino in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Fifties was the operative word for the club name and temperature which was a modest 55 F (13 C), but it was a great day to run old iron.


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The show itself was very well-attended and offered a wide variety of car hobby tastes, from bone stock to the wildest rat rods. We did not notice any car trailers and were happy to see most of the rides were driven to the show.


Our game plan at each show is always the same: we check out the entire lineup and then we zero in on the unusual rides. Then we try to solve the mystery of the missing owner and get the story behind the vehicle.


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We were lucky to find the owner of a 1973 Volvo P-1800 ES around his sporty wagon. Those who are unfamiliar with these rare Swedish grocery-haulers will know why they are a rare sight at any car show. There were less than 2000 built in ’73, and even less in existence 42 years later.


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The ES owner called his car Crystal and he had a great story about why he wanted to own one of these stylish sport wagons since he was 16 years old. Look for his story in a future MSCC feature.


A 1960 Pontiac Strato Chief four-door sedan named Edna caught our eye because of its name and the fact it looked like it just left the factory. The car had spent its entire life with one family and had a great reason to be named Edna.


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Look for that reason to be revealed in a future MSCC story about this unique Poncho.


A beautiful 1955 Buick convertible also caught our eye and its owner explained how he took this car from a basket case to showroom condition. The car was so gone that he could stand on the garage floor while working on the dash because of the rust issues and the fact it was a convertible.


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This level of restoration takes a level of talent and patience not found in mere mortals. Look for this Buick’s story in a future MSCC story.


Ever seen a Jeep used as a firetruck? Neither had we, until we spotted this unique little firefighter at the Nifty Fifties show.


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Look for this beast’s story in a future MSCC feature, along with a few more very interesting stories from the first car show of the season from our corner of the car hobby world.


Jim Sutherland


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