In September of 1997, Tracy and Regan Lewis were eagerly anticipating being part of the first Langley Good Times Cruise-In.
Regan was classic car restorer and hot rod builder and the couple was pleased that a large show was coming to their home town.
“We strapped our new daughter, six-month-old Rebecca, into a car seat and fastened it into our 1931 Model A, slant window Town sedan, and off we went to the show,” Tracy recalled.
“It is an original unrestored car,” Regan added.
“It previously belonged to Fred Loucks of Aldergrove, so it has a lot of local history and it is still in our family. We attend many shows throughout the Lower Mainland and that car has been to most of them.”
Since that day, all of the Lewis family — or sometimes part of the family — have attended the Langley Cruise-In. Tracy attends the car shows with Regan and notes that they are always great family events.
“We have been taking our kids, Rebecca and her brother, Graham, to the Cruise-In and other shows since they were babies and everybody gets to know you like an extended family.”
Rebecca agrees: “It’s very cool. I have many extra sets of grandparents that I have met at show over the years and we have all enjoyed riding in the cars since we were little kids.
I even went to my high school grad in the Model A and I plan to ride to my wedding in one as well, whenever that happens.”
Cars have long been a major part of Regan’s life. A mechanic by trade, he admits that he started very young.
“I have been hanging around shops and working on cars since I was six or seven,” he said.
Tracy knew what she was getting into.
“We started dating when we were 16, so I have been around the car life ever since. Regan had so many different cars that my neighbours thought I had dozens of boyfriends, because every time he came to pick me up there was a different car driving up the drive way.”
“My dad was a mechanic and our son, Graham, graduated recently and is in his first year apprenticeship as a mechanic, so we’ll see where that leads.”
The family has shown many different vehicles at Cruise-In over the years.
One year might be the Model A or a ’23 T-bucket that Regan is working on. They have displayed a 1966 family Mustang and Regan’s father has shown his Model A Ford Victoria in the Concours d’ Elegance in Douglas Park over the years.
“One year I took a 1986 Mercury Grand Marquis station wagon with wood grain paneling I had bought for parts, but it was a nice car,” said Regan.
“To my surprise, a guy who has a collection of cars for the movies, liked my wagon and bought it at the Cruise-In that day.”
“The Good Times Cruise-In is one of the favorite shows they attend, ranking high on Regan’s list.
“It is the number one car show in B.C for sure, we have enjoyed the Friday cruises to the drive-in and the cruise used to go right past our house, so that was a real treat.
“It’s nice to see cars from other states and provinces on display and the swap meet the next day is second to none.”
The Lewis family currently has a stable of eight or more vehicles — some are ready to run, others are projects in progress. All are displayed in their well-equipped shop.
Tracy puts it into perspective: “You know you’re a car family when you live in a 1,300-square foot house, but have a 2,400-square foot shop.”
Regan says the Lewis family will be represented in Aldergrove again this year.
“We enjoyed the interest and enthusiasm last year in Aldergrove and we’re looking forward to being there again this year.
The only negative thought I have about the Good Times Cruise-In is when you are heading out there on that chilly September morning, you realize that the car show season is almost over.”