“We look to established clubs; the organizations with a history of supporting the car club culture,” explained Challice. “We want to put them in the spotlight to thank them for their contributions to the community.”
For this year’s show, which takes place March 8, 9 & 10 at Toronto’s International Centre, the Kitchener, Ontario-based Highwaymen Car Club will enjoy the designation of being the 2019’s featured club.
Reacting to the news, Highwaymen Car Club spokesman Clare Pomeroy said, “We’re a club that is made up of a bunch of pretty low-key guys, so this honour came as a bit of a surprise. But it is one of those offers that we simply had to accept. Everybody in the club is really proud and excited to be able to show off the history of our club at Motorama.”
Founded in 1961 by six high school friends, the Highwaymen went from meeting in the Treasurer’s basement to inhabiting a former firehouse before ultimately taking ownership of a refurbished church as the club membership increased.
Now boasting 30 active club members, their centrally located clubhouse features a spacious meeting area complete with a fully-equipped kitchen. On the lower level of the building is a room for tools, toolboxes and accessories. A separate, connected warehouse encompasses a wash bay, a hoist and room for up to nine of the club members’ vehicles.
“We have twice-per-month meetings, and one of those will be a dinner meeting,” continued Pomeroy. “But any day, you will find someone working on their car in the warehouse, with other club members lending a hand.”
At Motorama, the Highwaymen will display upwards of a dozen vehicles. Although the final list of automotive attendees has yet to be finalized, expected cars include a 1934 Ford pickup, a two-door 1937 Chevy, a 1966 Valiant convertible, a 1973 ‘Cuda, a pair of classic El Caminos, a 1963 Mercury pick-up truck, a 1923 Ford four-door touring antique, a 1949 Ford panel truck, Jerry Kay’s 1932 Ford 5-window Coupe. Kay was a founding member of the club and served as its president for ten years.
“Our members own everything from antique cars to customs and hot rods. It makes it difficult to chose just a few to bring to the Motorama show,” commented Pomeroy.
The Highwaymen Car Club has built a strong reputation for supporting the local community, hosting the annual Canadian Graffiti Car Show, plus various rallies and cruise nights. Any funds raised by the club are donated back into the community to benefit the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Although the Highwaymen will be feted as this year’s featured car club, they will not be alone at the show as nearly a dozen other clubs will be represented throughout the show, mostly throughout Hall 2.
Among the other car clubs expected to attend are (in alphabetical order): the Barrie Mustang Cruisers, the Brampton Street Rods, the Corvettes of Durham, the Golden Horseshoe Mustang Club, the Grand National Buick Club, the Oldsmobile Car Club, the Ontario Camaro Club, the Ontario Mustang Club and the Ontario Vintage Mopars.
“We’re very happy to welcome the Highwaymen as the featured car club at this year’s Motorama show,” said Gary Challice. “And we’re excited about the other clubs who are coming to the show, as well. There’s a lot of variety and excellent equipment. We’re also looking forward to seeing some neat club displays. That used to be a big part of their exhibits at car shows and we’re encouraging them to bring component back again.”
ABOUT THE HIGHWAYMEN CAR CLUB: Founded in 1961, the Highwaymen Car Club is dedicated to the preservation of Street Rods, Vintage and Classic vehicles. The club is a community-based, non-profit organization that hosts car shows, rallies and cruise nights and presents the annual Canadian Graffiti Car Show. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of each month in the Highwaymen clubhouse at 606 Lancaster Street W, in Kitchener, Ontario.