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Gary_Ash

Car spotting in Victoria B.C.

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After a week in Tacoma, WA for the Studebaker International Meet, we drove around the Olympic Peninsula and took the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria. Getting on the ferry, we saw a 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk getting off, must have been at the meet also, but I missed a good photo. Fortunately, we’ve seen lots of great cars in this dry climate. To name a few: a 1957 Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz convertible, a bright yellow MG BGT,  a Volvo 240DL wagon, a Mercedes 450SL, an old VW bug convertible, and a 1968 Oldsmobile Delmont 4-door sedan, all on the streets of Victoria.  We topped off the experience with a harbor tour in a little “pickle boat” water taxi and a visit to fabulous Butchart Gardens. Blue skies, 75 degrees, what could be better!

 

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Red Cad is '58. Twice as many headlights, more gaudy, more chrome than the '57s. Shhhhh........... don't tell anyone : I prefer the cleaner '57, just as I prefer the cleaner '60 over the'59. But I do understand why garish is "in". I really do.    -   Cadillac Carl 

 

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Vancouver Island has an abundance of collector cars and Victoria has always had a reputation for uncovering some low mileage gems that have been tucked away for years.  One of BC’s pioneer car collectors lived in Victoria, Phil Foster who ran Speedway Motors on Douglas.  In the 50s he saved a great deal of significant local cars that survive today after he took ill and the collection was sold to Gerry and Vern Wellburn of Duncan BC.  The collection was broken up eventually but many of the vehicles are still around Vancouver Island and Vancouver.

Some of the vehicles from the Foster/Wellburn collection that are still around are

1899 Locomobile

1902 Holley 

1907 Ford Model N

1910 Russell

1911 Stanley (owned by the Butchart family)

1912 Detroit Electric (which was stored in the basement of the Empress Hotel for decades until the 50s)

1912 Ford Model T (on display in the BC Provincial Museum)

1913 American Lafrance (the oldest known fire truck in unrestored running condition)

 

 

 

Edited by Modeleh (see edit history)

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10 hours ago, Modeleh said:

Vancouver Island has an abundance of collector cars and Victoria has always had a reputation for uncovering some low mileage gems that have been tucked away for years.  One of BC’s pioneer car collectors lived in Victoria, Phil Foster who ran Speedway Motors on Douglas.  In the 50s he saved a great deal of significant local cars that survive today after he took ill and the collection was sold to Gerry and Vern Wellburn of Duncan BC.  The collection was broken up eventually but many of the vehicles are still around Vancouver Island and Vancouver.

Some of the vehicles from the Foster/Wellburn collection that are still around are

1899 Locomobile

1902 Holley 

1907 Ford Model N

1910 Russell

1911 Stanley (owned by the Butchart family)

1912 Detroit Electric (which was stored in the basement of the Empress Hotel for decades until the 50s)

1912 Ford Model T (on display in the BC Provincial Museum)

1913 American Lafrance (the oldest known fire truck in unrestored running condition)

 

 

 

Phil Foster  was definitely a legend in our area and so was Vern Wellburn. When Vern passed away about 6 years ago we were able to buy the very original 1911 Model 62 Stanley from the estate. We are the 8th owners of this car and it now lives here Surrey BC. We've toured over 2000 miles in it. One correction though, the Stanley was never owned by the Butchart family. The Butchart connection is that one of their employees owned the Stanley and often drove it to work. It was often seen parked at the gardens.

Ken

Sam Dan-sam dan hi res jpegs-0313.jpg

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Maybe the Cadillac is this one? I doubt there is more than one 58 convertible on the Island.

One of my favourite threads

 

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11 hours ago, KLF said:

Phil Foster  was definitely a legend in our area and so was Vern Wellburn. When Vern passed away about 6 years ago we were able to buy the very original 1911 Model 62 Stanley from the estate. We are the 8th owners of this car and it now lives here Surrey BC. We've toured over 2000 miles in it. One correction though, the Stanley was never owned by the Butchart family. The Butchart connection is that one of their employees owned the Stanley and often drove it to work. It was often seen parked at the gardens.

Ken

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I had the great fortune of working with Vern when we replaced the engine in the Stanley about 8 years ago.  He was a walking encyclopedia of history on so many topics from early automobiles to logging (Wellburn Timber bought the first Stihl chainsaw used on the BC coast in 1938). I really miss hearing Vern’s stories at the local events, he was quite a guy and a great ambassador to the hobby, giving countless people rides in the Stanley, getting their first “bite” by the steam bug.  Glad the car went to a home where it’s used and loved as much as Vern did. It’s a very special car.

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Glad you enjoyed your visit to Vancouver Island, Gary.  Modeleh is correct in saying that the dry climate of southern Vancouver Island has contributed to a high number of collectable cars there, but that is not the only reason.  Until 1960 getting to and from the Island by car was difficult.  Three companies offered daily service, but their car carrying capacity and sailing frequency were both limited.  Once cars got to the Island, not only did they stay, they also continued to be used long after most vehicles would have been retired.  I credit that fact for my love of all things old, not just cars.

During the '50's, my father was rector of a small country parish just outside Victoria.  Every Sunday the parking lot was filled with an eclectic collection of cars from as far back as the 1920's.  Everything from the inevitable Model A's to a beautiful, immaculate, late '30's Cadillac convertible sedan.  Not just American cars, British cars as well.  Beginning in the mid '30's, Victoria was a haven for many British makes.  {My grade 2 teacher drove a 1937 Austin 7 Ruby saloon, which she cranked to start.). As a youngster, I was absolutely fascinated by the looks and sounds of the cars.

 

PS The haze in your lead photo was likely smoke from forest fires almost 1000 kilometres away in northern BC.

 

   

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On 9/6/2018 at 8:55 PM, bradsan said:

Maybe the Cadillac is this one? I doubt there is more than one 58 convertible on the Island.

One of my favourite threads

 

Yes, That is the same Cadillac. The owner drives the car on a regular basis. There is at least one more 58 Biarritz lurking in a garage in Victoria.There has been two 53 Eldorado's..a 55 and a number of 56,7,8 and 59s here as well.

Two 59 Bairritz convertibles were sold new here.

Cheers,Pat

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Here are a couple more cars we spotted in Victoria. A nice 1957 Buick (I think) with the divided rear windows, couldn’t count the portholes to determine the model. A 1 hp carriage. A late Model T belonging to Butchart Gardens that is parked at the ferry terminal. Getting off the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, WA, we saw a couple of original Minis in company with a modern Mini - I liked the matching trailer!  There were lots more cars we saw that I wasn’t fast enough to photograph. 

 

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Gary don’t feel bad I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of the whale either😕 but

My wife did get a lot at the gardens if that counts. 

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Gary,

 

As always nice to see you at the Intl. I know that you and Jane like to tour after the meets. It looks like you are enjoying some of the best that the PNW has to offer. I hope that you took the the time for a half day trip up to Hurricane Ridge, when you were in Port Angeles. It really puts into perspective the beauty of the Olympic mountains.

 

As Gary points out lots of, what most would call, collector cars in the PNW, but typically we just call them transportation. We dive them a long time because we can. As everywhere things deteriorate, just not as fast where we live.

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Long shot here but since we’re on the topic of Victoria cars, is there anyone out there that remembers a 62 Lincoln Convertible in town.  Originally White with beige interior then painted light green metallic.  Supposedly it was bought new by an NHL hockey player but the guy I bought the car from 9 years ago didn’t have much history on it.  I’m not even sure if it was sold new in Victoria or not but would love to hear from someone who remembers the car.

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