Every Father’s Day, volunteers of the Yorkville Exotic Car Show corral some of the finest horsepower in the Greater Toronto area.
Eight years ago, CEO Phil Downe, a Porsche enthusiast, decided with fellow compatriots that the centre of car culture needed its own show, akin to the old pull-into Mel’s drive-in to show off your canary yellow, ’32 Ford Coupe, or blood-red ’51 Mercury Coupe.
American Graffiti references aside, Downe and company have steadily built the show’s reputation as one of the finest in Toronto and worthy of a shutdown of the Bloor thoroughfare from Avenue Road to Bay Street.
This isn’t a ‘50s show though, it’s all about modern muscle, modern chrome and modern horsepower. Among the fabulous makes and models were Corvettes, Porsches, Ferraris, Aston Martins, McLarens and Lamborghinis.
My personal favourite, the Shelby Cobra also made an appearance, though I prefer the ’63 to the ’65 that was kicking the tires and lighting the fires of gearheads and grease monkey wannabes.
Executive director for the event, David Elsner, chatted with me over the phone about their plan over the last few years to help use the event as a cornerstone for charity work. They joined forces with the Prostate Cancer Canada team, buoyed by their ever-present CEO, Rocco Rossi, four years ago, and have been aiming to grow the donations number every year.
The reason for PCC being the charity of focus is simple, the car show is a Father’s Day event, and there is a need for more awareness about the ailment.
“Last year Rocco surprised us … we are now an official sponsor of the Prostate Cancer information services,” Elsner told me.
In 2016, the show raised $55,000 for the charity. This year the number rose to $60,000.
That’s pretty awesome, and great news. I brought my own father down to the festivities. He grew up in GM country, just outside of St. Catharines, and my hometown is Whitby which is right beside the City in Motion, Oshawa.
He wanted more Camaros and Corvettes, but I was in my glory seeing some of my personal favourites: Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari 328 GTS, Pontiac Firebird and of course, the aforementioned Shelby Cobra.
Still, it was a formidable show with a worthy cause driving it.
However, if Richard Dreyfuss attended, he would be hard pressed to find his ‘67 Citroen 2CV.
C’est petite domage.