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In the fall of 1992, Ron and Diane Fulton began thinking hard about the Antique and Classic Boat Society’s annual show for the first time. Since then they haven’t gone a day without the nautical event crossing their minds.

“The first show in Graven­hurst was ’93 and we’ve been helping ever since.” Ron said. “We start working on the next show as soon as one is over.”

As boat show facilitators, the couple’s responsibilities range from obtaining permits to filling subcontract positions, 80 per cent of which are signed locally. They also arrange for local organizations to volunteer time in exchange for an honorarium after the event.

“We fill in all the gaps that are needed to take it from the bare empty park as you see it now to the way it is when the show opens at 9 a.m. Saturday morning,” Ron said. “We do all the background behind-the-scenes stuff that everyone just takes for granted.”

Nineteen years of dedication, all from a couple without a boat.

“It’s about keeping the tradition alive and in the eyes of the local people,” Ron said, explaining his commitment to the event. “It’s something the town needs to be proud of.”

His wife echoed this passion when stating her reason for being involved.

“This is part of the heritage of this little town and it needs to be shouted out from the rooftops. This is who we are, this is what we’re about and this is a way of keeping that alive.”

Desiring a taste of this small town’s identity, the Fultons left the rapidly evolving city of Barrie in 1985. Following the footsteps of family members, the Fultons moved to Gravenhurst and immediately submerged themselves into community events.

“One of the reasons we got involved with the special events was to push the local economy, to promote Gravenhurst as a destination place and help those local merchants who, over time, you get to know personally,” Ron said. “The boat show is a community event and it’s all non-profit. It’s not some private organization coming into town and trying to take out a truckload of money and run away with it.”

Approximately 4,000 people, about one-third of Gravenhurst’s population, flood into the town for the one-day event.

“I don’t believe that there is another event in Muskoka that brings in 4,000 people in an eight-hour span,” Ron said. “We can bring the people to the wharf; it’s up to the merchants to take advantage of it.”

This is the message both the Fultons and the Antique and Classic Boat Society are trying to spread.

“What we’re working on this year is getting the involvement of more of the local merchants from the area so they’re going to feel like they own it too,” Diane said. “This is a little town that needs this economic boost (for) those lovely people that take the effort to start up a business in our town and try to make a go at it; it’d be nice to see them grow a little bit more.”

This year’s Antique and Classic Boat Society show takes place July 9 at Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst.

By John Kutcy

It’s that time of year again: in addition to this being prime boating and boat show season, there are also dozens of antique and classic car shows happening around the province on most weekends throughout the summer.
There are many parallels with people who own, get involved with or admire antique and classic cars and similar people with interests in older boats.
Over the years the Antique and Classic Boat Society chapters have realized this similarity. In recent years, that has led to various boat clubs extending their summer shows to include classic vehicles of all kinds, to broaden the base of people who are interested in attending the shows and to offer an additional feature for the regulars who have a fondness for different examples of vintage beauty.
The ACBS Toronto chapter introduced classic vehicles to their very popular ACBS Summer Boat Show three years ago, featuring a small but impressive group of beautiful cars ranging from a 1920s vintage Rolls Royce through to Amphicars from the 1960s and a range ’60s and ’70s muscle cars.
Since then, the display of quality vintage vehicles has grown and become more and more impressive. In 2009, 45 classic beauties were displayed, ranging from 1917 through 1971.
Last year, with clear blue skies and warm temperatures most of the day, the field of original and restored vehicles expanded to 82 cars and trucks spanning nine decades of automotive history.
The quality of the vehicles was terrific and included examples such as a 1927 Auburn, a few outstanding classic hot rods, two beautiful early ’50s Hudsons, a number of ’50s Chevys, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs, a few Triumphs and MGs, lots of classic muscle represented with Corvettes, Mustangs, Mopars and more, right up to a 2002 Maserati.
There was something for every antique, classic or performance car enthusiast. Attendees had a tough time picking their favourite, but after the ballots were counted, the People’s Choice trophy was awarded to Jody Brock from Midland, with her stunning 1967 black 327 Corvette convertible.
Building on the positive feedback and suggestions from previous events, we are expanding the antique and classic car show to a target of 100 vehicles for the 2011 summer show.
To build on the quality of the event to date with additional features and prizes, this year we are partnering with the Pink Slips Car Club to organize and run the show. Jody Brock, president of the Pink Slips, and her members bring a wealth of enthusiasm and experience to help us further improve upon the show, now an established additional venue to complement the Antique and Classic Boat Show.
If you enjoy antique and classic cars and trucks, that is one more reason to plan on attending the ACBS Boat Show on Saturday, July 9.
The wide range of vehicles we are expecting is sure to be a crowd pleaser again. We already have many great cars and trucks registered, including a 1937 Chrysler Airflow through to a pristine 1969 Shelby GT 500 convertible.
If you own a classic vehicle and would like to participate in the show, please contact John Kutcy at 905-889-7940 to register – or pass this information on to anyone you may know who may be interested in entering their vehicle.
We expect this event to be a full again, so only vehicles that are registered will be allowed to participate. See you at the ACBS Boat – and classic car – Show.
John Kutcy is the vice-president of ACBS Toronto.

Pink Slips: for the love of cars and children


It is with pleasure and great anticipation we introduce you to the Pink Slips Car Club. I trust that you will find that our organization is intriguing and exciting.
Pink Slips Car Club has become a household name, captivating audiences of all ages at the numerous events in which we participate. You will discover that our fellowship of dedicated members truly place their hearts into everything they do.
It is for this reason that Pink Slips Car Club has appealed to so many, and has become what we are today. A wonderful group of women, each with distinct talents, contributions and most of all, the will and heart to make a difference; our hearts go out to children suffering from life-threatening conditions.
The reality for the child and their families is overwhelming. Pink Slips Car Club works diligently to “Grant a Wish”; making a child’s dream come true. It is with this in mind that PSCC is dedicated to such a wonderful charity: the Children’s Wish Foundation.
The love of classic automobiles and our love of children is what drives us to succeed. We host and attend events in our community and beyond.
Our success and dedication is displayed in both our works of charity and in our multitude of accolades, which we hold in classic automobile competitions.
Pink Slips Car Club values our members as they are extremely knowledgeable and respected among numerous car clubs throughout Canada and the U.S.
They are viewed by many as the “Ladies in Pink.” From the softness of their uniform to the shine, condition and muscle under the hood of the cars they own, show and drive, The Pink Slips Car Club Ltd., of Midland, Ontario embodies character, knowledge and education of automobiles and their history.
They reflect strength as women, encompassing classic automobiles. The rich history and the preservation of classic automobiles is our passion.
We are competitive, we are passionate, we are strong, we are... The Pink Slips Car Club.
Jody Brock is the president of the Pink Slips Car Club.