Jim Pazdzierski has been coming to the D.W. Poppy school car show in Langley ever since it began, more than 30 years ago.
“The first show they had, and every one since then, that I can remember,” Pazdzierski told the Langley Advance Times.
Back then, all three of his daughters were students at D.W. Poppy.
“I just lived down the road on Robertson crescent.”
Before he had a family, Pazdzierski had a hot rod, but the practical demands of raising three children forced him to give it up.
Still, he remained a fan of old classic cars, and a regular visitor to the D.W. Poppy show.
Then, around 2004, he was walking through the annual Good Times Cruise-In car show in Langley, when he spotted a “little, beat-up pickup truck.”
It was a Ford Model A, the kind his father used to drive.
Pazdzierski could not resist.
At the Sunday, May 5, show his truck was on display at D.W. Poppy, one of hundreds of classic retro cars parked on the back lawn of the school.
After 12 years of work, it didn’t look much like the battered little truck he bought home.
Now, the Model A boasts numerous special custom features, including a concealed switch to raise an access panel in the truck bed where the battery and some other components now live, or a powder-coated 520 horsepower engine with all the wiring and plumbing hidden, and a casino chip that says “no cash value” embedded in the front bumper.
“It means it’s not for sale, Pazdzierski explained.
“It was my first build, my only build, and a keeper.”
He did all the work in the two-car garage at his home, with the exception of the lustrous paint job, applied by Jasper’s Custom Auto Refinishing in Langley.
His visit to the D.W. Poppy show came shortly after his vehicle won best in the custom truck class at the Abbotsford Tradex car show.
It was drawing a lot of looks and comments.
“It’s beautiful, one man told Pazdzierski.
“If he leaves the keys in it, it’s gone,” another joked.
It’s name, “Shorty,” is courtesy of one of his grandchildren
Marlene Yakabuski, one of the volunteer organizers, said about 750 cars and 3,500 visitors managed to squeeze into the playing fields in the back of the school, a new record.
Yakabuski said about $40,000 was raised, which was “not quite enough” enough to cover the price of a Trotec laser cutter for the school shop, which was the largest, but not the only item on the school wish list.
A Trotec cutter, considered the industry standard for engraving wood, plastic, acrylic, fabrics and foam, runs around $45,000.
— George Kozlovic (@Kozman71) May 5, 2019
At the event, Fort Langley Lions hosted a pancake breakfast and D.W. Poppy school basketball teams were hosting a concession.
It was the schools biggest fundraiser of the year.
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