Alison Csanyi jokes that her late husband, Tom, liked her right away because she could get him car parts.
The two met in Edmonton when Csanyi was 18, working as a parts girl for a heavy-duty mechanic shop, and her future husband was restoring a 1962 Acadian.
Tom told Alison he actually had a nicer car at his parents home in B.C., in Nanaimo, a 1966 Beaumont.
“He restored it and he let me drive it. I knew it was love,” laughed Csanyi, who lost Tom to liver disease in 2008, and who moved to the North Okanagan a few years ago.
Her love of old cars — Csanyi’s dream job was to be a full-time parts apprentice — led to her join the North Okanagan Chapter of the Vintage Car Club of Canada upon arrival.
She has two vintage cars: one is her self-proclaimed mid-life crisis, a 1965 Mustang Fastback 2+2, bought in 1993 after her twin girls were born — “I was driving a mini-van.”
The other? Well, you’ve heard of rescue animals. The silver 1965 Corvette Stingray convertible is her and Tom’s rescue vehicle.
“We rescued it from somebody in Ottawa,” said Csanyi, who is president of her own consulting group, DAJE. “Tom bought it 18 years ago and he brought it back to its original look.
“It’s the thrill of the hunt, trying to find the original parts to make it authentic. He did everything on it. He restored the motor, using only parts still on the project.”
Csanyi takes a reporter for a drive in the Stingray, from her BX home, down 27th Street, and pulling a midday ‘mainer,’ (up and down Main Street, ie, 30th Avenue), and throughout the 20-minute excursion, heads turn toward the vintage vehicle. Several pedestrians offer their approval of the wheels with thumbs up to Csanyi. Others shout ‘nice car.’
Csanyi’s Corvette Stingray convertible — which will be used this summer in her son’s upcoming wedding — will be part of the cars on display inside and outside as the North Okanagan Chapter of the Vintage Car Club of Canada hosts its 24th annual Father’s Day Car Show Sunday, June 17, at the north end of the Village Green Centre.
Antiques, classics, customs and trucks will be on display from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vehicle registration runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Admission is by donation with proceeds being returned to the community by the club, which has helped local high school auto shop classes purchase equipment and tools.
There will also be food and music available.
Prior to the show, starting Thursday, June 14, several cars — including the Corvette Stingray — will be on display at centre court inside Village Green Centre.