Kruisin’ Prince Albert

Herald file photo.

“The biggest thing you’ll find with car people is that they’re very good people,” Sheldon Novak says. “They’ll do anything to help you.”

Novak knows what he’s talking about. The long-time member and current president of the Klassic Kruisers Kar Klub has travelled across North America on the car show circuit.

He even helped found Klassic Kruisers back in 1988, and in the time, working with car owners has become just as enjoyable as working on and showing the cars themselves.

“It’s a great fraternity,” Novak says. “If you see somebody broken down on the side of the road with an old car, automatically you’ll see a car guy pull over and try to help or see what he can do…. I’ve seen it so many times.”

For classic car owners like Novak, the vehicles they work on are a gateway to the past. Stripping and rebuilding a car can take more than 1,000 hours of labour, but the finished product brings back a lot of positive memories, as do the car shows.

“It kind of brings out the youth in us,” Novak chuckles. “Back in our high school days we couldn’t afford the cars. Now we can afford the cars and we’re enjoying them, and going to different car shows throughout North America.”

Rebuilding a car is one thing. Keeping it maintained is another. While owners love showing off their creations, over eager viewers can cause headaches. Sometimes all it takes is a few moments of carelessness or absentmindedness to scratch up a car, and the repairs can be expensive.

“We get people who lean in (to view inside) and their belt buckles scrape the paint,” Novak says. “An average paint job nowadays for a vehicle is anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, just for a paint job.”

Overall, however, Novak says most visitors are careful and courteous. He asks that they not touch the cars or lean inside an open driver or passenger side window to get a better look, but otherwise they’re welcome to look and enjoy.

Car lovers will have plenty of opportunities to do that on Friday, when the 19th annual Kruise Night Car Show kicks off at the Northern Lights Casino parking lot.

It’s an event Novak says everyone looks forward to.

“The majority of the work is done by the owner himself, and that probably gives him a lot more pride in putting it all together and driving it. Naturally, when you do something like that, you treat it better. It’s your baby.”

The 19th annual Kruise Night Car Show begins at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11. Register for a free t-shirt, dash plaque and a chance to win a barbeque. Food vendours will be on site, and a drive-in movie will be shown at 9 p.m.

A drive in movie will also be shown the night before, also at 9 p.m.

@kerr_jas •

What? Kruise Night Car Show

When? Aug. 11 at 3 p.m.

Where: Northern Lights Casino parking lot

Drive-in movies will also be shown at 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday night.

Thursday: The Secret Life of Pets

Friday: Fast Five