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Montreal’s Car Scene | Woods Racing

I wrote this article last night about the car scene here in Montreal. I’ve put a link to it up top in the navigation bar because I think it’s something every car person should read. Take a look and tell me what you think!

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Montreal’s car scene

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How does one describe the automotive scene here in Montreal…it’s quite the task…I mean, we have some of the same stuff as other cities such as Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, you know…like, A&W’s, Tim Horton’s and random parking lots. Like all cities across North America, car clubs meet, talk, share, buy and sell…but there’s something different here.

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Sure, we and they, got Auto Salon’s where we all have auto shows, abandon roads where kids press their ego’s against the next car, and the professional race tracks where we get schooled on how to do it right…but what is it? Why is Montreal that much different?

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Well, let’s look at the central of it…the place where almost every night there’s a different type of car meet. In the summertime here, each night has their own place, Domestic/Muscle night, VW/Audi night…bring what you got night…it’s a car fanatics dream.

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The Orange Julep on Decarie has seen its fair share of hot rods, tuners, beaters and bikes. People come from East, West, North and South of Montreal to take part in these un-officially scheduled, impromptu like meets.

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Built in 1932, it’s literally a giant Orange. Earlier on, girls on roller skates would deliver your food car-side, but now you simply go on inside and take out the food. Wednesday and Thursday nights seem to be the gotta go nights and you get to see all kinds of cars, people, and of course, I couldn’t mention Montreal without mentioning the girls.

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The Julep, is a popular meeting place with…well…anyone in a car club. If you plan on say, buying a part from another club member, the Julep is often a fair meeting place. Before cruises…where to meet? “How ‘bout Julep at 7:30?” It’s a mainstay in the Montreal car community.

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The Julep has even gotten such a crowd with the VW/Audi groups, that they created a huge cruise around it.

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The Orangeball Rally starts out at the Orange Julep, and is a day long cruise to Raceway Park in New Jersey where the Waterfest activities start. You could say it’s the VW crowd’s version of spring break. It’s quite the event and if you’re a VW/Audi/Porsche fan, then maybe next year, join the 50 or so of em that made the cruise. Check out Orangeballrally.com for some more info.


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Well…“that can’t be all that makes Montreal stand out” you say…you’re right, let’s see what else we got.

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We’ve all heard the stories our parents have said; “When I was your age, we used to run down on Airport road…I was chasing down the Chevy Nova when…” you know the rest of the story…

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well, here, In Montreal; they actually made a racetrack, out of an old Airport.

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Mirabel International Airport was a state of the art facility when it opened in 1975, the World’s biggest in terms of surface area and also the Airport from where the Air India plane took off from before it was blown out of the sky by terrorists off the coast of Ireland.


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For reasons that we won’t get into here, over the years, Mirabel opened and closed, created headlines and headaches and is now mostly a cargo avenue. In May 2007 the International Center of Advanced Racing (Icar) signed a 25 year lease with the suits upstairs…and now we have it…an immense lapping course, a go-kart track designed by Jacques Villeneuve and his own race academy. They strap you into these bad-ass Mustangs and show you how it’s done. The defensive driving courses will leave you feeling invincible and the karting courses will make your blood pump many levels faster than it should.


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Not bad…

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Mirabel plays host to a number of events including drifting, CTCC Touring Car races, dragnights and lapping night in conjunction with MontrealRacing.com, Formula Tour 1600 and the FSAQ GT-Sprint series, TrackFever Motorcycle lapping/instruction and the Full Throttle show.


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Basically, if you want to go fast…go to Circuit Icar @ Mirabel.

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Still not convinced?

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How about this…

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Montreal hosts Canada’s only Nationwide Series race and Canada’s only F1 Series race over at the Island wrapped Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and for all you luxury and star freaks, the Gumball 3000 Rally comes here…well wait…we got dumped for Quebec City…but hey, we were in the original plans.

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We have two NHRA sanctioned dragstrips, lapping courses in St. Eustache, Montebello and the prestigious Mont-Tremblant, ice tracks all over the outskirts in the winter and plenty of trails for you 4×4 guys in the summer. There is no shortage of winter and summer rallies here and if water is your thing…we’re an island, we got plenty of it.

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“Death Race” was filmed here along with “Strange Shadows in an Empty Room” and its epic chase scene with a ‘68 Buick Special vs. a ’71 Ford Mustang Mach 1 which lasts for more than 9 minutes ending in 2 severely damaged cars on their roofs.

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Sly Stallone’s “Driven” was shot here on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and silly enough, some dude in a Lotus broke onto the track Montreal style and almost did a lap before destroying his car and getting arrested. The crazy train and car scene from “Get Smart” was also filmed on the island as well as the wicked smash em up scene in front of a metro station from “The Jackal”.

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Some other awesome chase scenes were filmed here too, “36 Hours To Die”, “Blazing Magnum” and the awesome Mini Cooper chase from “The Italian Job”. I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

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The 1974 Movie: “The Marseille Contract” featured Michael Caine driving the Alfa Romeo Montreal. The car was launched at the Expo67. Ironically, not one of the 3000 or so Montreal’s made was sold here.


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Montreal’s scenic routes and drives have graced many a top ten lists and for anyone who has driven around here, it’s easy to tell why. Just take a trip from Rigaud, through Montreal up to Trois Rivieres and you’ll see what I mean.

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Montreal sports MG’s oldest club in North America, some of the largest participating Subaru clubs and the largest Mustang club in Quebec. It’s playing host to the first fuel economy car rally in years and has the largest car sharing community in Canada. The new FAZZT IndyCar team and car were unveiled during the Montreal International Auto Show and forgive me if I don’t stop here but the girls who grace the streets of Montreal during F1 weekend are nothing short of jaw dropping.

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So if you’re not convinced now…what can I say?

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I can say that on any given night, there is a meet somewhere in Montreal. All over on/off island, crowds gather to chit-chat about their cars, whether it’s a Subie, Mustang, Jeep or a classic car. Don’t be surprised while driving on a Sunday morning when you pass a Canadian Tire parking lot filled with Hemi Cuda’s, GTO’s, Chargers and other brute force cars from the past. Those groups of early 20’s standing in the parking lot of the Lafleurs restaurant Thursday night? You guessed it. And as well as all those vintage British cars Saturday morning…they’re on their way to Hudson.

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I can also say that if you break down, you can jump on your mobile, post a thread in a forum, and you’re pretty much assured someone is online and in the area willing to help. This is brother/sister hood at its finest.

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The online community is quite involved here and forums have really brought this city together. I’ve gained many friends, acquaintances’ and customers through internet communities and I’m amazed at the ability of a city, who is half English, and half French to get together no matter what language or race, and simply be car guys an gals. Meet up, share the interest, show of their builds and have some fun all the while celebrating the two things that brought us together…cars, and Montreal.

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I’m proud to be here, happy to be involved and am excited for the future. This city is defining Canada’s car scene…and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Bannon C. Woods

WoodsRacing.ca

Montreal Quebec

Jul 25th by Bannon



3 Comments

  1. Terrific post. Thanks.


    Bannon



  2. Glad to see that this site works well on my Google phone , everything I want to do is functional. Thanks for keeping it up to date with the latest. Looks great on my buddies blackberry, especially with Opera browser in mobile mode.


    Bannon



  3. Wonderful ..thanks a lot for posting a good informitive blog


    Bannon



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