Surrey’s Harvey McEwan (above) and Arnie Schwab (below) will be inducted by the Greater Vancouver Motorsport Pioneers Society this weekend in Vancouver.

They know their classic cars

Two Surrey experts to be inducted by the Greater Vancouver Motorsports Pioneers Society.

Two Surrey classic car experts – restorer, appraiser and author Harvey McEwen and legendary custom car upholsterer Arnie Schwab – will be honored by being inducted by the Greater Vancouver Motorsports Pioneers Society (GVMPS) at its 11th-annual induction ceremony on Oct. 9.

The afternoon of history and camaraderie runs from 12-4 p.m. at Vancouver’s Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive.

Cars that McEwen, a Surrey resident, has restored over the years include a 1930 Packard 745 phaeton, a 1953 Mercedes 300 S roadster, a 1947 Ford Sportsman woody convertible, a Ferrari GT 330 GT 2+2, a Jaguar E-Type roadster, a 1969 Plymouth GTX Hemi convertible, a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, a 1929 Packard Larkins convertible sedan and a 1953 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon.

A leading authority on classic cars, McEwen has spent six decades involved in every facet of the classic car hobby.

Surrey resident Arnie Schwab was a teenager when he started doing pick up and deliveries for a Vancouver auto upholstery company which led to him learning the craft of doing seats, carpets and tops for automobiles, custom cars, hot rods, boats and airplanes.

Over the next 40 years, the master upholsterer has been working with collectors and restorers to make older vehicles into showpieces.

The GVMPS ceremony will honor 15 individuals who made major contributions in the early days of motorsports in the region. This includes hot rodding, custom car building, drag racing and land speed racing, sports car and road racing, motorcycling, power boat racing as well as car collecting and restoration.

Keynote speakers will be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame disc jockey Red Robinson, a one time member of the Igniters Car Club, and Red’s uncle Chuck Robinson from Surrey, the first president of the BC Custom Car Club.

The GVMPS, which has already inducted 165 pioneers, is a group of enthusiasts from various motorsports activities whose goal is to recognize and record the accomplishments of people who have made major contributions beginning four decades ago..

Other pioneers being recognized this year are Bob Underhill and Alec Bennett for motorcycling, John Carlson for collector and restoration, Taylor, Soon and McNicol Racing Team, Bill Phillips and Roger Manson for hot rod, custom car and drag racing and Tom Burgess, Taisto Heinonen, Leslie and Kevin Skinner for sports car road racing.

“It is important to recognize the people involved in motorsports activities that started years ago and continue today,” says GVMPS president Jim Greenwood, a pioneer custom car striper and race organizer.

The event which includes lunch is open to everyone who is interested in motorsports. A $10 donation will be requested at the door.

For more information, visit www. gvmps.org

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