The rumours on the road are true: Northwest Deuce Days will continue next year in Victoria under the auspices of its new owner, Destination Greater Victoria.
The destination marketing organization announced the purchase of the legendary classic car show from its now-retired founding organizer, Al Clark, at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Thursday (July 8). The hotel has already sold out rooms during the dates of the next confirmed Deuce Days, July 14 to 17, 2022.
“Enthusiasm is really high. We have already been receiving calls from car clubs across North America, hotel reservations are happening, and we’re currently working on a website to launch registration in mid- to late August,” said Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey.
The last Deuce Days event in 2019 was the largest in its 22-year history; it attracted 1,400 classic cars from across the continent (600 of which were Deuces; roadsters built in 1932), fully booked two sailings of the M.V. Coho from Washington state and pumped $2 million into Victoria’s local economy.
Following the “best year yet,” Clark, who organized the first Deuce Days show ‘n’ shine in 1998 and subsequent editions, announced his retirement, which seemed to mark the end of the tri-annual event.
Word got out, however, about the continuation of Deuce Days on social media about a month ago, he said.
“Rumours were just flying. Everyone had the wrong information and dates, and they were phoning me about how to book a hotel. It was all wrong,” he said with a laugh during the conference. “But anyhow, today it’s all right.”
Reaching emotion, Clark said he believes the legacy of his car show is in good hands with Destination Greater Victoria. “I have all of my faith that they will make this just as good, if not better,” he said.
The role of lead event organizer under the contract of Destination Greater Victoria was handed to 27-year-old and decade-long custom motorcycle builder Jay Donovan – along with the leather sachel used by Clark throughout the last two decades. Donovan was also a volunteer with the last two Northwest Deuce Days and grew up around the corner from Clark’s garage, he said.
The most important consideration for the new organizers, Clark noted, is staying in contact with other car clubs across North America.
“I travelled all the way across Canada three summers ago. I joined a group from Toronto. I go down to the clubs in Los Angeles … They’re all coming up (in 2022), but if you don’t do those sorts of things, they won’t reciprocate,” he said.
“You don’t want people leaving here saying ‘it wasn’t as good as last time.’ That’s never happened.”
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