Months of planning, hundreds of great cars, and a blessing from the weather God, all made the 4th annual Wheels on the Bay the place to be in Belleville Ont. July 27th-29th 2018.
As the scale of a show increases the amount of work involved increases. Planning for Wheels on the Bay 2019 has already begun. The first step is to objectively assess the success and failures of the 2018 show. Each aspect of the show is looked at: vendors, sponsors, special events, and even the choice of guest star are considered.
The evolution of the show is a slow and painful process. This year, Wheels on the Bay, demonstrated that Don Postma and his small army of volunteers had learned their lessons.
“I have never been this close to a lake without a fishing pole.”
Tom Smith of Misfit Garage was this years special guest. Wheels on the Bay has always taken pride in having their guests being accessible to car owners and spectators. Tom Smith’s personality flowed freely. Funny, knowledgeable, and genuine are all words that describe Tom.
Tom first came to Canada during a fishing trip on Lake Erie in 1978. Feeling the call-of-nature, Tom came to shore on the Canadian side of the lake and left a sample of his DNA for future reference. The second time he made an appearance at Moncton’s Radical Speedsport show in 2017.
“I love Canadian Beer,” laughed Tom.
“Beer should leave a stain on your clothes.”
Tom signed autographed photos, T-shirts, and cars, as well as appearing at all the major sponsors locations. Each autograph was worth $5, which Tom and his wife Deanna are contributing to the Texas Pit Crew (a non-for profit charity that rescues Pit Bulls).
In 1973, while living in Georgia, Tom’s uncle helped him buy his first car. A Pontiac Grand Ville with a 455 cid and changed the timing belt. It was also his first tickets, for fleeing and alluding as well as no license (he was 13).
Tim “El Camino” Durkin returned for his second year as Dee Jay for Wheels on the Bay. A long time resident of the Quinte region, Tim and his family reside in Quinte West. His first foray in to radio was in high school as a co-op student at St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School in Belleville Ont. He went on to Loyalist College for Radio Broadcasting. Tim works for Quinte Broadcasting and co-hosts the Morning Buzz on Rock 107.
“When I first took the job with Wheels on the Bay, it was going to be just another job,” said Tim. “I soon found out it was a weekend of community, Don Postma’s planing is an example of excellence of execution and allowed all involved to push away everyday worries for the weekend.”
Vendors and sponsors are an important aspect of the show. Food vendors that offer quality and value, product vendors with items of appeal to a large audience, and specialty vendors all enhance the experience of Wheels on the Bay.
“Living proof that this DYING ART is in fact very Alive,
and is doing very Well!”
Dannö Drouin has been setting up shop at Wheels on the Bay since its inception. Longtime Brantford Ont. resident, Dannö has been interested in art all his life. What began as a Christmas money project painting store windows in Woodstock Ont. has turned into a successful business, Danno’s Black Heart Designs.
“Mom regrets giving me shit for drawing on the walls
when I was little, chuckled Dannö.”
Like many vendors, Dannö , finds Wheels on the Bay is a great place to meet new contacts, do a little work, and touch base with old friends.
2018 Miss Wheels Pin Up – Little Miss Suzie Q.
Second place: Miss Mandy Mae.
Third place: Mistress Cat Solomon.
Miss Wheels 2018 Princess:
Summer with her Mom, Tammy Tea.
Celebrating the third year of Miss Wheels Pin Up, Miss Mouse Kittear, Buffalo NY. played hostess to 14 (and a half) lovely ladies competing for the coveted Miss Wheels Pin Up 2018 honour.
After being personally chauffeur driven to the stage, the ladies took a minute to strut-their-stuff for an appreciative audience and the critical eyes of the judges.
Great car shows are built on the strength of the local car scene. With several local cruise nights and car clubs, Quinte has a strong and vibrant car scene. There are many great rides to be seen on the roads or on any given night at cruise nights. The Belleville scene is uniquely blessed to have a world-class fabricator in it’s midst.
George Watson was introduced to the car scene at birth by his father Dave. George began hot-rodding cars at 14 years of age with 1946 Dodge truck. His creations have won awards at the Canadian Nationals, Good Guys, Fleetwood Cruise, and the Syracuse Nationals.
The Canadian Kid
“We want to help put Belleville on the map for car shows,” George grinned. “We appreciate all the effort Don Postma goes to make this a class event.”
From the sublime to the bizarre, Quinte has is all! Shawn Cormier’s, Carrying Place Ont. creations have been showing up at car shows in Quinte for a few years. His original creation, TANKenstein has wowwed some, amused others, and always left people wondering. Along side TANKenstein, Shawn has Black Widow (Monster Trike) and now Hell Caddy in his fleet of over-the-top creations. Hell Caddy was purpose built for one thing, BURN RUBBER in the Burn Out competition at Wheels on the Bay sponsored by Amsoil and hosted by Armdrop Drag Racing.
Hell Caddy Burn Out!!!
(you can almost smell the evil)
Sponsors and vendors play a huge part of assuring the success of a large car show. Major sponsors like Hargety Insurance, Mothers Wax, Miller Welding, and Amsoil provide much need upfront funding. In return they get the opportunity to be in front of people who may be interested in their products or services.
Great Cars at Wheels on the Bay
Great People at Wheels on the Bay
See You Next Year!
photos and story by Bill Samuel