Wayne Dalby (left) and Al Clark check under the hood of Dalby’s deuce set to show in what’s touted as the largest showcase of deuce cars in Victoria this weekend.

Oak Bay Deuce destined to be part of the party of Deuce Days

Northwest Deuce Days is a free event for entrants and spectators with the largest gathering Sunday at Victoria's Inner Harbour

Oak Bay resident Wayne Dalby finished his little deuce in short order and has it shined and ready for Deuce Days this weekend.

“We built it as quickly as possible. It took us 11 months, because at my age there aren’t many years left,” Dalby said with a chuckle.

He and wife Helen finished the 1932 Ford in 2008 with help from thae Carson family at Suburban Motors as well as Northwest Deuce Days organizer Al Clark.

Just as rapidly he entered and won multiple car shows including the prestigious “pro pick” at Pacific Northwest Nationals.

“I went in a lot of major shows,” he said. “It’s somebody else’s turn now.”

Cars are in the blood for Dalby. His dad Alan, a noted race car builder and designer, was inducted to the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1999 alongside his brother John Dalby. Wayne and his brother John also cars their dad built at Western Speedway.

The driving will be a lot slower this weekend as Dalby will be among the 1,000 or so participants showing off around Greater Victoria this weekend in Clark’s Northwest Deuce Days.

“The cars are great but it’s the people, chatting about cars, people doing different things (with their cars). It’s just a party,” Dalby said.

Clark started organizing the gatherings in 1998.

The first Northwest Deuce Days event was held in Kinsmen Gorge Park with 33 Deuce’s and 72 other vehicles dating up to 1951. This ninth Northwest Deuce Days sold out in February with 1,148 vehicles registered and is the largest gathering of 1932 Ford cars in the world. More than half are 1932s, the rest are collector cars dating up to 1951.

“It’s a passion I guess,” Clark said, standing before his polished pair in his Fairfield driveway. “I think every car person would like to won this year of car. They only made these for nine months.”

The Deuce, 1932 Ford, is considered to be the most popular year of vehicle Henry Ford ever made. It was the first V-8, the first to have a grill in front of the radiator. They came in 14 body styles, the more common 5-window and the rarer 3-window De-Luxe coupe that featured rear-hinged suicide doors. Each will be represented at the Deuce Days show.

Clark, also a former racer, builds about two custom Deuce cars per year for clients all over North America and much of his work will be in the show July 21 to 24.

With more than 1,100 welcome kits complete with signature license plates, window decals and more, the expectation is a lot of people will be in town.

“Once everything is done we’ll do a full economic review after,” said Paul Nursey, president and CEO of Tourism Victoria. He noted that the qualitative is as important as the economic impact.

“It’s such a beautiful event. It adds a vibe to the whole region,” Nursey said, noting events are planned for West Shore and Saanich Peninsula as well. “It really helps bring everyone together. It’s really special. Everyone involved with the event are such nice people … it makes it easy to support.”

Events on Friday include the Hotrodders Golf Tournament at Bear Mountain Golf Resort and a tour to Butchart Gardens. Saturday a poker run will see cars around Victoria. Setup starts as early as 5:30 a.m. for Sunday’s largest gathering in the three-day event, in the Inner Harbour area including space behind the legislative buildings. Northwest Deuce Days is a free event for entrants and spectators.

“You can’t beat the venue, people keep coming back because this is the only show like this,” Clark said. “It’s been getting bigger every year.”

 

Awards take place Sunday, July 24 on the steps of the legislative buildings.