The Cactus Jalopies car show hummed like a finely tuned engine Saturday as thousands of car enthusiasts, lovers of automobile artistry and the just plain curious flooded the lakefront from the Osoyoos Trestle Bridge to the sailing club.
Francine Launier, promotional coordinator for Cactus Jalopies and the mother of famed local car restoration craftsman JF Launier, said a record 687 cars were on display at today's event.
"I think it's amazing. We're so, so happy! We thought 600 would be good but 687 is a major event, it's fantastic she," she said.
She's hopeful there will be recognition of the benefit this event brings to Osoyoos, with hotels full, lineups at local restaurants and pubs, and substantial human traffic up and down Main St.
Launier had earlier estimated that with 600 cars, that meant nearly 1,200 people along with up to 10,000 visitors were in town for the event. In all, she says they estimate a direct economic input of $1.5 million for the four-day event.
Car lovers were in seventh heaven given the sheer diversity of meticulously restored automobiles from across at least a century - covering everything from early 20th century Ford Model T's to latest generation sports cars and even a 1950s era truck that is now powered by an electric motor.
Motorcycle stunt riders were also on hand enthralling the audience with literally death-defying aerial stunts.
Chip Foose, the legendary American automobile designer, artist, and star of Velocity’s reality television series Overhaulin’, signed autographs and the Rust Valley Restorers' Avery Shoaf was also on hand.
The Rotary Club of Osoyoos also hosted a beer garden, which helped cool the crowd on a day the mercury hit 27 C. With an exuberant crowd, the only significant complaints revolved around the need for more food trucks as eating options were limited.
The Wine Country Racing Association will feature its second drag racing event of the year Sunday at the Richter Pass Motorplex (Osoyoos Airport). Entrance is $10 per person and time-trials start at 10 a.m. with elimination rounds from 1-4 p.m.