Historic Downtown Cochrane continues to be a magnet for the annual Fall Colours Show and Shine of the Cochrane Classic Cars Club
Club president Waylon Pye says it was an absolutely great turnout that saw auto enthusiasts from across Southern Alberta fill the streets with 255 vehicles, the most ever, on Sept. 10. Encouraged by fine weather, thousands of spectators came to enjoy the vibe created.
Pye says they had plenty of time to prepare and several volunteers stepped forward to make it happen.
"We just had some great vehicles turn up from fairly far away all over southern Alberta and just appreciate everybody who came out and those who volunteered to make this a great day."
He believes its location in the Historic Downtown makes it a popular draw.
"We make that part of our advertising. There's some great shopping, some great restaurants, and I think people do enjoy their day here."
There's also live music in Centennial Plaza, thanks to the organizers of Cochrane Culture Days. He believes this also makes a significant contribution to the event.
"There's live music, so you don't necessarily have to be a car enthusiast to come down and check it out. You can be somebody who appreciates music. You can bring your family down, there's face painting for the kids, there are balloon animals, there's just all sorts of things going on that anybody can find something to get enjoyment out of."
Three awards are presented at the show that quickly become a prized possession of the recipients.
Brett Braaten, owner of Alberta Metal Works, began creating the metal art wall hangings for the show last year.
"It is a neat design that Brett came up," says Pye, "and certainly people like them. We did them last year as well, of course, different designs, but the same concept."
The Participants' Choice Award went to a 1986 Suzuki Samurai, the People's Choice Award went to a 1968 Camaro, and the Rocky View Choice Award was presented to a 1939 Jaguar. Rocky View Brewing is the main sponsor of the event and its owners get to pick their favourite.
"I think it (the Jag) originally came from Poland. It's right-hand drive and there's no windshield or roof or anything, so he had a bit of a brisk drive in the morning."
No matter your taste in vehicles, chances are there was something that caught your fancy.
"We had a Henry J, we had another sort of antique Jaguar, we had model A's of muscle cars, and, even my car is a bit of a unique car that I put in, a 63 Studebaker Avanti. And we had the 4x4 club show up and they had six or seven units parked side by side. There was a great variety and there's something for everybody to see."
The club also debuted its first t-shirt at the show, which was a hit with participants.
Grant Vessey was participating in the show for the second time and has also taken in some of the rides of Cruise Cochrane. He brought his finned 1960 Chevrolet Impala that he stumbled upon 27 years ago while on a business trip in Sterling, Colorado.
"I drove it for 17 years and it was getting old and tired, so I decided I'd invest in it and I totally rebuilt it. I tore it completely apart."
He says there aren't a lot of the 1960 model around, although you do see many from 1961 and up.
"It's a great show," says Vessey. "I love it out here. It's down on the main street, and you've got lots of venues here to go and have a bit to eat. The guys do a great job every year."
Perfect weather helps to draw a crowd, but even when it's not postcard-perfect, the show goes on.
"We hope for good weather every year, but you know, regardless of the weather, it seems to get some kind of turnout. it's been not so favorable in past years, and I remember still seeing 50-plus cars in -6 weather and rain. That shows you that people are willing to come out and participate to some extent regardless of weather."