A fleet of vintage vehicles met outside the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36 on July 4 for the first ever Rally in the Valley event. Hosted by Wheels in the Valley in partnership with the The Legion, the event replaced their regular summer car show with a pandemic friendly alternative.
Adding a competitive twist to summer cruising, Saturday’s event encouraged participants to explore the Elk Valley via scavenger hunt. Upon arrival, each driver and navigator duo was handed a cryptic set of directions, as well as a series of tasks to complete and questions to answer along the predetermined route.
Celebrating the Elk Valley’s passion for vintage vehicles, the event added vibrancy to city streets for hours. Obeying all signs and speed limits, challenges included taking selfies with roadside vintage vehicles, heading into Fernie Auto Parts Ltd. to pick up cards, and converting directions from miles to kilometres per hour.
The event brought out nearly 20 teams, with vehicles ranging from old school convertibles, to new sports cars, to everyday sedans. To participate, each member donated $10, with half the proceeds going towards purchasing a new tool for Fernie Secondary School’s auto shop, and the other half to prizes.
Winners were based off of challenge scores, as well as for the team coming closest to a hidden time selected by Legion staff. Points and prizes were also awarded to the best dressed racers, encouraging drivers to dress according to the era of their vehicle.
“We wanted to run this event because it falls in line with the COVID-19 rules, while allowing people to appreciate their hobby and show off a product they’ve worked hard on, but from a safe distance,” said Oscar Nielsen, the Legion’s service officer.
Further connecting gearheads, a term used to describe vintage vehicle aficionados, Wheels in the Valley hosts bi-monthly cruise nights on the first and third Wednesday of every month. Leaving the Fernie Legion at 6 p.m., participants drive around Fernie, stopping at each care home to brighten the days of residents who enjoy watching the vehicles drive by.
Wheels in the Valley encourages anyone, regardless of car model or make, to join their cruises. For more information on events, visit their Facebook page.