The Steamworks Concours d’Elegance has been a well-attended event in Gastown for the last eight years. It will move to Crescent Beach this September.

Popular Gastown car show switching gears

A collector-car show that has been held in Gastown the last eight years will be leaving Vancouver and looking to make a new home in South Surrey.

The Steamworks Concours d’Elegance has been rebranded the Crescent Beach Invitational ahead of its Sept. 3 debut in Blackie Spit Park.

The change comes after the City of Vancouver – which previously allowed the event to be held on Water Street at no charge – started requiring a fee for the use of the street, according to organizer Colin Gurnsey.

The free, volunteer-run show was searching for a new location when Crescent Beach was suggested, he said.

“The City of Surrey has been very helpful – they’re letting us use the Blackie Spit green area,” Gurnsey said. “We’re very pleased with the support they’re giving us for that.”

Automobile owners are being invited from all over Greater Vancouver, the Victoria area and Seattle – “wherever we can find them and wherever they’re willing to come from,” Gurnsey added.

“People who have rare, special automobiles, quite often they spend a lot of money getting them restored. They’ve got a lot of pride in the cars; they like to show them.”

The show will feature around 80 automobiles – and 15 vintage motorbikes – grouped into various classes, including ‘55, ‘56 and ‘57 Chevys; muscle cars; and Corvettes.

The classics class will have two Packards from the ‘30s and a 1934 and 1928 Bugatti, while the small-motor class – which aims to cover 100 years of small automobiles – is to include an 1897 Leon Bollee.

“What we’re trying to do is have a cross-section of automobiles… (Spectators) will be able to just wander around and look at the various groupings of cars,” Gurnsey said, noting awards will also be handed out. “We’re suggesting if people are really happy with what they see that they might donate something to (BC) Children’s Hospital.”

The event has been in the planning since January by a group of people who donate their time to bring the show back each year.

“We’re just volunteers ourselves and we do this because we like to bring together interesting automobiles and we just see this as an opportunity to showcase them,” Gurnsey said.

And, if the location proves successful, the invitational could become a recurring celebration in South Surrey.

“That’s the sort of suggestion,” Gurnsey said. “We’re sort of treating it as a first-year trial to see how it works.”

For more information on the Crescent Beach Invitational, visit


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