Special guest at show and shine

Maple Ridge secondary grad drives in from Peachland

Jim Carpenter drove in from Peachland in his 1954 Dodge Regent.

Jim Carpenter drove in from Peachland in his 1954 Dodge Regent.

A 1975 graduate of Maple Ridge secondary made a special appearance at the school’s second annual dry grad show and shine on Sunday.

Jim Carpenter woke up early that morning to drive from Peachland to be at his former high school by 11 a.m. in his 1954 Dodge Regent – a car he received from his grandmother as a graduation present after he overhauled its motor during shop class in Grade 11.

His shop teacher at the time, Wayne Rowley, was skeptical of the project. The motor was in pieces, partly disassembled in the car with other pieces at home, a couple of blocks from the school.

“I dragged it to the school in bits and pieces,” said Carpenter.

Since high school, Carpenter has put 200,000 kilometers on the car. Its odometer has now surpassed 300,000 clicks.

Carpenter is a member of the Golden Ears Chapter of the Vintage Car Club of Canada and the Okanagan chapter.

“Not only do I have the car,” said Carpenter. “I am able to go to a car show at my high school with my high school car.”

His was one of 110 vehicles at the event, up from 40 the first year, and raised more than $6,000 for the Maple Ridge secondary dry grad festivity.

Sunny weather and solid community support helped, said Maple Ridge Secondary acting vice- principal Dylan Watt.

• Show winners: people’s choice, Logan Rodeck for his 1972 Challenger; student’s choice, Doug Speers for his 1981 Pontiac Trans Am; mayor’s choice, Jason Leemans for his 1932 Ford V Window Coupe Hot Rod; and principal’s choice, Barry Whymark for his 1958 Chevy Impala.