The show takes place March 11, 12 & 13 at The International Centre, across from Toronto’s Pearson Airport. In terms of their presence at the show, the Roadmates are going to showcase approximately a dozen of their members’ cars. They’ll also be on hand to meet fellow custom car enthusiasts and share six decades of memories. Adding to the club’s significant profile at Motorama, the Roadmates are being honoured as the Featured Club during the show.
“It’s great to be recognized for our longevity and stability,” stated club representative Richard Hill. “We’re pretty well-known in the automotive community, but to be the featured club at Motorama distinguishes us as one of the premiere clubs on the province.”
The Roadmates were founded in 1956, in a back alley in west-end Toronto. Derek ‘Duke’ Brown and his brother Tony linked up with a trio of like-minded friends and plunged into the Hot Rod car culture. Over time, the club added new members and they outgrew their laneway. Eventually, they moved into a large facility near Dixie Road and the QEW, a location they call home to this day.
The club’s fully equipped shop and storage area has room for 14 cars, offering the two-dozen (or so) current members a place to work on new project cars, trade ideas, hone their mechanical and fabricating skills, and ‘just have fun with cars.’
Credit for the club’s popularity and longevity go to its diverse membership. With such a wide range of members and vehicles, everyone brings something unique to the group.
Over the past 60 years, Roadmates Car Club members have mentored many newcomers to the hobby, allowing interested enthusiasts to learn new skills. Their combined efforts have produced numerous, award-winning cars.
While the club’s vehicular lineup for the 2016 Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo show is yet to be determined, it’s expected their display will feature a cross-section with heavy weighting toward Hot Rods. Expect to see some race cars, too. With a wide range of excellent vehicles, their biggest problem will be picking which ones are included.
The club will also be presenting a special one-time award at the show, called The Spirit Award, which will go to the club participating at Motorama that is ‘having the most fun’ at the show. This will be included in the Sunday awards presentations on the Johnsonville Stage.
Since its inception, the Roadmates Car Club has adhered to the motto, ‘The Road Well Traveled.’ When asked to define that philosophy, Hill stated, “It means we’ve been there and done that, and we’ll continue to do that, just as long as we can.”
Speaking on behalf of Motorama, the show’s car coordinator Gary Challice said, “We’re honoured that the Roadmates are going to participate at the show as our Featured Club this year. This is a very special year for the Roadmates and we’re looking forward to celebrating their 60th anniversary with them, at Motorama.”