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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Moncton Times and Transcript

Auto event turns stereotypes around  
Atlantic Nationals not just about men and their cars as women step on the gas when it comes to keeping up their classics



When it comes to sitting pretty in a shiny, greased-up four-wheel metal machine, men are typically pictured
in the driver's seat.
But at this week's 13th annual Atlantic Nationals women owners of hot rods are set to turn that stereotype on its wheels.
As the car show rolls into Metro Moncton July 11 to 14 many women participants will be teaching spectators how not to - or maybe how to - judge a woman by her car.
Among them will be Kelly Kelly, a member of the River Valley Vettes Corvette Club, who'll be cruising
with her cocker spaniel, Harley D. Kelly, in her 2002 torch red convertible Corvette.
And that's her car, just to be clear, not her husband's.
'Whenever somebody sees the car - if I'm just sitting somewhere near the car - people automatically expect it to belong to a man,' she said. 'When they see me working under the hood, cleaning everything 
up like the way mine is, they think I'm cleaning it up for my husband.' Kelly has been part of the River Valley Vettes Corvette Club for more than 20 years, and even before that was a member of one of the original Corvette clubs that started in the '80s, the Corvette Capers.
The Fredericton native has been coming to the show almost every year since its inception, but only with her own car since 2006.
But at this event, it doesn't really matter who's behind the wheel, as long as the car looks good.
Kelly's husband, amongst more than 2,000 other vehicles, will be with her in his 1955 Nomad. The two also have a 1970 Corvette.
Still, Kelly believes the show is a great place for women to break stereotypes and stigmas that align hot, jacked-up or blinged-out cars only with men.
Many women, she said, love cars just as much and are dedicated to making them look good.
'For me, it's because I just love Corvettes,' Kelly said. 'I've always loved cars.
'I remember when I was in high school, I used to know all the cars (but) I never, ever had one, and never thought I'd own some great-looking car or anything,' she continued.
Not a lot of work had to go into that great-looking car that she does now own, as Kelly said it came just the way she wanted it.
'If I had been ordering a brandnew car, this car had exactly every single thing on it that I would have ordered,' she said. 'Not one thing different.' 'The main thing about it was that I wanted a six-speed,' she added.
'A lot of people - men, even seem to think they want an automatic, and I just can't see that at all,' she laughed.
She said many women do go with their husbands and their cars, but even sitting in shotgun have a great time.
'They know as much about the cars as do their husbands, sometimes maybe even more,' Kelly said.
She's also excited about the social aspects of the show, meeting up with friends and fellow Corvette owners from Nova Scotia and the United States at events such as the Saturday night Rock 'n' Roll dance party at Casino New Brunswick, featuring Donnie & The Monarchs.
For a couple years she dressed up in the rock n' roll style and is thinking of donning a get-up once again, maybe a poodle skirt with cocker spaniel on it.
Ferne MacDonald, Atlantic Nationals volunteer, is currently working on restoring a 1973 Charger with her husband.
While the car won't be ready to be in the spotlight at this year's show, she's full participating in the restoration, grinding off paint and other tasks requiring some elbow grease.
'He'll get me to help with anything,' MacDonald said of her husband.
'I'd say the majority of the car guys out there, their wives are just as much involved in the cars as they are,' she added.
She said women may also first become interested in cars because their significant others are 'car nuts' and they want in on the lifestyle.
'They start to go out to car shows, and they start to get interested in building the car, seeing it come from a piece of rust to this shiny car that's really awesome to look at and drive in,' she said.
MacDonald said the show offers lots of camaraderie-driven entertainment and events for women, especially in case they do want some time away from the cars. There will be shuttles to and from the mall, a breakfast, time to explore downtown life and the Saturday night dance.
More than 2,000 vehicles will be on display in downtown Moncton and Centennial Park on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 8 a.m. and running to 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.
New attractions this year include three guest stars, Gene Winfield, Bryan Fuller and Courtney Hansen, as well as Artist Avenue in Centennial Park, which Doherty describes as 'a gathering of North American renowned automotive artists.' Hansen, the lone female guest star, is the hostess of Spike TV's PowerBlock TV . A meet and greet with her is scheduled for Saturday afternoon from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Action Car and Truck Accessories.
There's also the Cool Car College taking place in Centennial Park. This information session will give newbies several lessons on car care, paint products and pinstriping.
Admission into the park costs $10 for adults and $25 for families. 

Posted by Tom Hiltz aka redvette 


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