Canada News: 2011’s Spring Thaw Adventure

How often does a historic vehicle event come along that is not only amazing fun for the participants but also great PR for the hobby—an event that promotes and celebrates the joy of owning historic vehicles while attracting others to the historic vehicle community by demonstrating in a big way exactly what these vehicles can do?

British Columbia’s annual Spring Thaw Adventure is just such an event.

Billed as a budget-minded driving adventure through British Columbia for pre-1979 touring and sports cars, Spring Thaw kicked off its third year last month.  Organized by Squamish Classic Car Adventures, this three day, 750 mile road trip has grown in popularity so much that there’s now a waiting list to be accepted as one of the 60 participants.

This year’s drivers came from Alberta, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and as far away as Utah, as in the case of John Calvin and his daughter Megan, who traveled the 2,000 mile round trip from Salt Lake City in a 1978 BMW 635 CSI Alpina.

The Spring Thaw is not a race, but it’s still an adventure.  For starters, the only information given out prior to the event is the time and location of the starting point with a very detailed route book handed out to drivers 15 minutes before the field heads North on Day One.

This year, drivers started in Vancouver and headed north to Squamish on the Sea-to-Sky Highway (Highway 99), considered one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in North America. Day One took us through Whistler, up the Duffy Lake Road, to the evening finishing point in 100 Mile House.  Day Two concluded at the Sun Peaks Ski Resort and, finally, to the finish on Day Three in the beautiful mountain town of Hope.

Spring Thaw drivers come from all walks of life.  But one thing they share is a passion for driving historic vehicles.

This was clearly evident by the amazing collection of vehicles that turned out.  These included a 1953 Aston Martin DB2, 1956 Porsche 356, two 1959 Alfa Romeos, a 1964 Porsche 356 Carrera 4-Cam and an array of “practical classic” marques such as BMW, Fiat, Lancia, Lotus, MG, Opel, Porsche, Saab, VW, Volvo, and at least five north American cars.

How to best describe the energy and fun of Spring Thaw?  First, try to imagine an annual reunion of some of your greatest car-nut friends, couples, and families.  The vibe is welcoming and the adventure is exciting from the word go.  Just pick a point on the map and drive.  Now you’re getting the picture.   

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