There's nothing quite like the joy of owning and restoring a vintage vehicle.

For some of us older cats, it's a chance to visit a time when you could open the hood of your car and honestly know every component.

For others, like Ryley Jackson, it was a chance to work on a vehicle built well before his time.

COVID-19 provided some inspiration for the co-owner of Cochrane's NAPA Auto Parts to take on the project of restoring a 1987 Monte Carlo. 

"It's a fun little project. I figured I needed something to do with all this COVID stuff going on."

He started to make it roadworthy in May  It was a labour of love that taught him much about older vehicles.

"There was lots of stuff that needed work. I tinkered away at it after work."

Filters, coolants, body repair and accents and other miscellaneous tasks were completed when time permitted. That included finetuning its four-barrel (after market) carburetor, something  many mechanics are no longer familiar with.

"Half the mechanics in town are under the age of 30 and they'd never worked on a carburetor before, so I had to find some of the older mechanics."

"It's kind of out of my date, so I had to learn how they work, and how to adjust it, and clean it."

The knowledge gained will come in handy for his work in auto parts.

"I hadn't worked on a vehicle before, so it was a learning experience for me, and it helps me work at the automotive store here."

Ryley inspired his dad, Gerry, to purchasing his own vintage vehicle. 

"When I got this car, he was little jealous, and then he went and one-upped me and bought this truck," he says point to the red Chev truck parked beside him.

The difference is, the truck didn't need any work.

At a glance, you wouldn't know the Monte Carlo was Chevrolet. It widely displays a distinct knight and crest logo both on the exterior and interior. 

It was introduced in 1970 as a luxury car, and the body of the two-door coupe is similar to those of the Buick Regal and Pontiac Grand Prix of the day.

The last Monte Carlo rolled off the assembly line at the GM plant in Oshawa, ON on June 19, 2007.

Ryley's car was included in the latest mini-event of the Cochrane Classics Car Club.

Club president Ray Kaczmer says they've held about four so far this year, and more are in the works.

The locations vary and it has proven to be a great way for vintage vehicle owners to socialize. The events also attract a number of spectators.

Due to COVID-19, Cochrane Classics and the Village of Cremona have had to cancelled their popular back-to-back Fall Colours Show and Shines held in early September. They traditionally attract hundreds of exhibitors and huge crowds of spectators.