Classic cars, classic movie, classic country music

A 1934 Chevy 5-Window Coupe, owned by Dorothy and Wayne Hartley, Hickson, Ont. on display at the Woodstock Streetfest Cruise, Aug. 11, 2019. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN

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Step back in time Saturday, August 24th at the 2nd Annual Car Show and Drive-In Movie Night in Tillsonburg, featuring classic cars, live music, and American Graffiti played on an outdoor movie screen. – Tillsonburg Cars Inc. at 7 Rouse Street West, Tillsonburg, has plenty of room for the fundraiser benefiting Annandale National Historic Site.

“The way I see it… Annandale National Historic Site, they are guardians of history,” said Calum Nairn from Tillsonburg. “And we spend a lot of time restoring classic cars.”

So it was only natural, he said, that the two guardians of history could work together to bring Tillsonburg its second Car Show and Drive-In Movie Night.

“It’s a perfect match. We were all gung ho for it last year when they approached us. This year we approached Annandale House and said, ‘Do you want to do it again this year?’ They said, ‘Absolutely.’”


Cruise on over to 7 Rouse Street West, Tillsonburg, Saturday night at dusk to watch American Graffiti on an outdoor movie screen. Admission is free! Or go a bit earlier to see the car show 5-8 p.m. and Small Town Girls 7-8 p.m. Proceeds go to Annandale National Historic Site. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN


Other local businesses sponsoring the event include East Elgin Concrete, Sobeys Tillsonburg, and M&J Tire, and their donations will go to ANHS.

This year’s movie is American Graffiti, a 1973 classic directed and co-written by George Lucas and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Some of its well-known actors included Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfuss, Candy Clark, and Wolfman Jack.

“It’s now become a historical movie of note,” said Nairn. “There are some cars featured in the movie – the Chevy Bel Air ’55 and there’s a yellow one, a 1932 Ford (Deuce Coupe) – and we will have examples of those two main cars on display, so that’s kind of super cool. They are beautiful machines!”

In a nutshell the “culturally significant” movie is a ‘coming of age’ comedy/drama about a group of California teenagers set in 1962… it’s about the music of the 50s and early 60s featuring 40-plus songs… and, of course, their classic cars.

“We’ve got a 40-foot screen this time which is bigger than the last one,” Nairn said, excited to watch the movie which starts at dusk. “It’s a massive screen. We’ve got speakers, or you can listen on your radio. We’ll tell you what station you can tune in on your car radio.”

It’s free to watch the movie, he noted, and open to the community. Bring lawn chairs to get up closer to the screen if you want.

The car show portion of the evening runs 5-8 p.m. with car show registration from 4-7 p.m. ($10 per vehicle), which guarantees a reserved spot for the drive-in movie. There is no judging at the car show – just appreciation.

Food vendors are on site 5-8:30 p.m.

Special guests include junior dragsters who have been competing at Grand Bend.


Small Town Girls will be playing at the Car Show and Drive-in Saturday night at 7 p.m. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN


New at this year’s Car Show and Drive-In Movie Night, there will be live music from 7-8 p.m. featuring local country band The Small Town Girls.
“It was Pat Buyse’s idea, he’s the ( Tillsonburg) owner. He suggested getting The Small Town Girls and I said, ‘I would love that to happen’ because I know they are local, they are successful, and they’ve got a fan base – they tick all the right boxes.

“Dealing with them, they were super nice. So it was a pleasure to get them here. We’re looking forward to them being here, being at the show.”

Partnering with Tillsonburg as a sponsor is Tillsonburg Cruisers, who on average get 120-150 cars for their weekly cruise nights.

“Tillsonburg Cruisers are sponsoring with their time, their effort, their expertise and their equipment. They will be guiding the cars in, lining them up, and that’s super important.

“We’re hoping this event brings in at least that number,” said Nairn, anticipating about 200 cars, including anyone from the community who would like to watch American Graffiti on a big screen. “We have room for at least 400, and we have room available if there is overflow, so we could have room for 500 cars if needed.

“It should be a fun event… a really good night. I want to try to keep on building on that – hopefully it will continue to grow and grow and become a big event for Tillsonburg. I think the more events Tillsonburg has, the better off Tillsonburg will be.”


Proceeds from Saturday’s Car Show and Drive-In Movie Night at 7 Rouse Street West, Tillsonburg, go to Annandale National Historic Site. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN

Grease 2018

Last year’s Car Show & Drive-In, which had been scheduled for August 27th, had to be postponed due to weather. Pushed back two weeks to a September rain date, it got cold… fast.

“It was a freak weekend,” Nairn said, recalling a bitterly cold day. “It was like it was the coldest weekend of the entire year. It just dipped for that Saturday, then it went back up.”

Classic car enthusiasts – and fans of the movie Grease which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year – came out in considerable numbers.

“We had 70 classic cars,” said Nairn. “And we had another 40-50 cars for the movie night, so it was still a success, as far as we were concerned, and Annandale House.”