Spring Thaw 2011 Photos & Thank You!

…and with that, the latest edition of the Spring Thaw Classic Car Adventure is in the books!

Despite the months of planning, the days of prep and lack of sleep throughout…the hardest part of the event is sitting down to write this post. How do you compress three incredible days into a few mere paragraphs? 2011 will definitely be a year to remember!

Leading up to the event, every town was experiencing heavy rains. Were we going to experience crazy weather like in 2010? Thursday morning was pouring, and while I was mentally preparing for an indoor registration…the sun popped out! If cruising twisting roads in your classic is appealing, our three days of beautiful sunshine was certainly icing on the cake!

While the weather was striking, the ‘competition’ for Hard Luck Award was unfortunately fierce. The Opko’s started us off,  with a failed wheel bearing early on Friday morning. Dave Koszegi wasn’t to be outdone, and soon discovered a used motor wasn’t the bargain he was hoping for. With the 356 heading home on a trailer, we had high hopes that was the end. Matt and Lee’s BMW 2002, however, had different plans. The connecting rod was curious to see what was on the “other side”…so out through a hole it went!  We weren’t finished there either. A couple of cars spat out their generator pulleys in pieces, a Sprite slowly ate it’s rear differential for lunch, and just when we thought it was all over, a Beaumont transmission pan discovered rocks are much harder then steel.

Losing your car to a mechanical failure is not fun (trust me, as 2010’s Hard Luck winner I know), but it did highlight the best part about the Spring Thaw. With each failure came a group of fellow entrants eager to assist with repairs, transport and other options. Back seats were made available, trucks and trailers offered for retrieval, and perhaps the best part…a chance to drive other classics throughout the weekend. A motor failure might be the end of your weekend in other events, but in the Spring Thaw you might just be tossed the keys to something else!

The best part, for me as an organizer, was when I walked over to the Friday Night Bonfire. When you host an event which invites cars of all marques, you’re used to seeing the italians, british and german enthusiasts hanging out in smaller groups. Upon arriving to the bonfire, however, I could see the entire group was mixed. We are no longer enthusiasts of a particular marque meeting for a weekend of fun together. We are the Spring Thaw. Enthusiasts of fantastic roads, classic cars and above all else, great people.

I commented in our first Driver’s meeting that this no longer feels like hosting an event, but rather an annual reunion of some of my greatest car-nut friends. As I sit here sifting through the photos, looking out my window at a Volkswagen desperate for a wash, I find myself drifting back to conversations at dinner with new friends, road-side wrenching sessions, twisting corners and ribbons of blacktop. You’d expect after a weekend event for 126 people that I’d need a rest, but I’m simply filled with an overwhelming urge to do it all over again. 2011 will certainly be memorable, but 2012 is going to be even better!
– Dave Hord

[As for me (Warwick) it was an odd experience watching the event take place from afar...but I've heard many stories over the past two days and it sounds like I missed a doozy! Andrew Snucins Photography came out on Friday and Sunday to capture the scenery and adventure and his photos and commentary kept me in the loop over the course of the weekend. Here is a sample of his images, and he'll have a full selection available soon...]

Tags: , , ,

7 Responses to “Spring Thaw 2011 Photos & Thank You!”

  1. David B May 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    A great event as always! (We can say that after 3 events can’t we?)
    I felt really sorry for Warwick not being there but I also felt very sorry for the people who had mechanical failures-Matt and Lee’s being the most spectacular probably! 2002 engines just don’t do THAT.
    The only improvement I could see came as a result of my navigator saying “I don’t have enough to do!”. Perhaps a running quiz or treasure hunt? We don’t want to make it serious do we? Relationships get damaged that way.
    Many thanks Dave and Warwick!

  2. Nigel Matthews May 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    What an incredible weekend, I hope you all liked the weather I ordered for it! The DNF score was Germany 4, England 2 and Canada 1. This event tempts me to roll up my sleves and get my Alfa ready for next year, but driving the sweep vehicle is more important and comfortable! Would the person who spoke to me about their Grandfather reading my column every week please send me an e-mail nmatthews@hagerty.com

    Dave and Warwick thank you so much for dedication and the hard work you both put into this fun filled gathering of gearheads

    Cheers, Nigel

  3. Kathy May 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    We missed you Warwick but Dave did a great job as “host”. Fabulous route and route book as usual.

    You took your Dad on the Thaw last year and I think Sue deserves a drive for 2012. :) That woman is amazing.

    I continue to be amazed that two guys from back east have shown me more of my home province in three years than I’ve seen my entire life. Well done!

  4. Duncan May 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Gents, once again, a stunning success. One of the things I love about the Thaw is that there’s so much more to offer than a “one marque” outing. Last year I learned that Alfas may look high to the uninitiated (me!) compared to many other sports cars, but they excel in the twisties when you add in a bump or two – as in, “real roads.” This year, one of the things I learned is just how much power a 6 cylinder Jaguar has, on the long hill climbing out of Merritt. I’ve never seen one driven like that, and it was impressive! If I hadn’t been flogging the Wildcat pretty hard, I’d never have been able to keep up with the Jag. Even so, the Aston Martin and the Corvette left us both in the dust handily…

    The weather was a wee bit cool though, so Nigel, thanks for the sunshine, but next year, how about some more heat too? Or perhaps I’ll choose a car with a working heater, and less acreage to heat!

    Thanks Gents!! Dad and I had a blast, and about every 15 minutes this week I am drawn back to our experiences by some great memory! If I’ve paid off the gas bills from this year by then, we’ll try out for 2012 too!

  5. John and Megan Calvin May 8, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    This was our first time to British Columbia and we saw some fabulous scenery! The drive from Salt Lake City to Squamish,BC (1000 miles)one way seemed boring by comparison. This was our first Spring Thaw event and I see more in the future. The next time my co-driver will be my wife, Mickey, instead of my daughter, Megan as we made Mickey jealous after seeing all the pics and hearing about the fun.

    I have been on other car events but I must say that the Spring Thaw Adventure seemed to put the emphasis on “Adventure”. After seeing the many different cars and talking with many people at the event, I am left wondering if it is the Spring Thaw that attracts the “Adventurous” people and their cars or is “Adventurous” just part of the nature of the people from British Columbia? Either way, the result is tons of fun! John

    All went well for us and our 635 Alpina BMW although I did wonder if the crossing that one small construction patch on Sunday at speed may have added a little vibration to the car. After returning home, I had the shop check all 4 wheels for balance and discovered that the impact had bent tow of the wheels. A small price to pay for a wonderful car event!

  6. John and Megan Calvin May 8, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    This was our first time to British Columbia and we saw some fabulous scenery! The drive from Salt Lake City to Squamish,BC (1000 miles)one way seemed boring by comparison. This was our first Spring Thaw event and I see more in the future. The next time my co-driver will be my wife, Mickey, instead of my daughter, Megan as we made Mickey jealous after seeing all the pics and hearing about the fun.

    I have been on other car events but I must say that the Spring Thaw Adventure seemed to put the emphasis on “Adventure”. After seeing the many different cars and talking with many people at the event, I am left wondering if it is the Spring Thaw that attracts the “Adventurous” people and their cars or is “Adventurous” just part of the nature of the people from British Columbia? Either way, the result is tons of fun! John

    All went well for us and our 635 Alpina BMW although I did wonder if the crossing that one small construction patch on Sunday at speed may have added a little vibration to the car. After returning home, I had the shop check all 4 wheels for balance and discovered that the impact had bent two of the wheels. A small price to pay for a wonderful car event!

  7. David B May 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    That “construction patch”, outside the Quilchena Inn, left the DB2 with a 1/4 inch of toe-out and I haven’t checked the wheels-they were bent anyway!
    Now we know why the Quilchena Inn has bullet holes in the bar…

Leave a Reply