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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

If you want to understand the global collector car scene, go to Vancouver | Hagerty Media

You won't find the supercar capital of North America in South Florida, Beverly Hills, or Silicon Valley. In fact, this continent's home of automotive exotica isn't part of the United States at all. That honor belongs to Canada and, in particular, Vancouver, a medium-sized city where a Lamborghini Aventador that's street-parked between two Kias is about as remarkable as an afternoon rain shower.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/market-trends/hagerty-insider/if-you-want-to-understand-the-global-col...
40 REPLIES 40
PaulyG
Pit Crew

and mild temps and not much salting of roads certainly helps also!
ATLpaul
Intermediate Driver

I stayed a few days in Vancouver on a return trip from Alaska two years ago. It is a North American city in name, but in reality the majority living there seem to be Chinese. Therefore tastes differ from rest of North America. When we went to gamble in a Casino, almost 90% were Chinese. Food at restaurants and fast food places are Chinese. I mean not even Chinese type food we have in America, but gourmet special Chinese food. it is not strange to see the car tastes lean toward nouveau rich. Who seem to buy Mercedes and BMWs before they understand how bad those brands have become. A Chinese neighbor of mine here in Atlanta Georgia after owning a CLA and a GLE says to me he never will own German again. His wife now drives a Lexus ES and he drives an RX.
Casey
New Driver

Archie aka ATLpaul: Spoken from the mouth of a true car-mudgeon. Did you notice any classic cars while in Vancouver? Words of advice: talk about cars or stifle yourself.
Reinhold_Weege
Advanced Driver

Everybody is salty because you told a truth...

"Who seem to buy Mercedes and BMWs before they understand how bad those brands have become."

So now you've been labeled a deplorable. lol

BH
New Driver

LOL, the population is a bit more mixed than that. You must have stayed in Richmond perhaps, with a very high Asian population.
Utopia1
Detailer

I've been to Vancouver dozens of times and each time it's like visiting a mobile car-show. Exotics and classics abound and an "M" or "AMG" is as common as a Corolla in other cities. And yes, large pockets of the city seem almost exclusively Chinese, or at the very least, Asian.
It's a very comfortable life for a car for the most part though. Very little salt is ever used and the usually mild temps keeps cars looking great for decades both inside and out. And if the weather is snowy, most people stay home because they're not used to driving in it.
DuaneR
Pit Crew

I lived in Vancouver and visit their frequently. One sees many supercars and JDM cars, but very few what I would term classic cars. These could include muscle cars and imports. The price of fuel hovers around $1.65/liter in Vancouver for regular unleaded and insurance is expensive through ICBC. The wealthy in Vancouver are not much interested in classic cars, but they can afford supercars and JDM's.I never see classic Mustangs, Camaros, etc. on the road, but maybe I am looking in the wrong places.
Eric
Hagerty Employee

Hi Duane, based on my interviews for this story and conversations with people who live there, more traditional classics are a lot more popular in the surrounding areas than in the city proper. Victoria, too, is a gold mine for classics of all stripes. There are lots of things hidden throughout the Island, as well, some of them rather off-beat. Thank you for reading!

SJ100
Pit Crew

Hi DuaneR I live in Vancouver. The Fraser Valley is loaded with muscle cars. Langley in particular. A+W restaurants almost all of them participate in Show N Shine events weekly. There are many clubs. Camaro Club, Corvette Club etc. For anyone coming to Vancouver I would suggest driving through Langley. About 30 - 40 minutes from Downtown Vancouver. You will always see a classic car and you will probably see many. To sum up. Vancouver is loaded with classic cars.
PCL
New Driver

I love to visit Vancouver and Victoria and hope to get up there again once the border reopens to Americans. It should be noted that the influx of wealthy Chinese appears to have begun just prior to to the PRC's takeover of Hong Kong in the mid 1990s, with families emigrating and moving their assets offshore to prevent confiscation by the PRC. Entire neighborhoods have been transformed from charming old homes to apartment blocks.

As far as performance cars, most of BC has fairly low speed limits which are stringently enforced, so enjoying a Supercar or Muscle Car means not much more than cruising, seeing, and being seen. Unfortunate. I'd like to see some comments from Vancouver gearheads...
jhp5
New Driver

I live in Vancouver. In the city high end exotics are common. Mercs and BM's are as common as Corolla's but I think most of the older collector type cars reside in the suburbs. At least that is where I see them the most. Unfortunately because of the amount of wealth here you also pay a premium for collector cars. To realize proper pricing you need to buy from the States, Japan, or other Canadian provinces. Even used stuff prices on craigslist here is often close to new pricing. I remember a few years ago driving past Au Bar on Seymour which used to have a 'dry' non alcohol night for teenagers seeing three Aventadors parked in front all with the N designation on them. There is a company on Clark called Company of Cars who used to specialize in all sorts of cool collectables cars, I used to see Dino's, 330 GT's, old Maserati's but they eventually switched to modern higher end cars I believe because that is what the rich here want. People here who can afford it care more about new and expensive then old and beautiful styling. I also don't see to many car repair shops dedicated to the old car hobby. If you want that go to Victoria, it is the mecca for that.
brians356
Detailer

There's a dark underbelly not mentioned here. Members of my immediate family have had harrowing experiences in Vancouver with Asian youth gangs preying on visitors with US license plates. Portland, OR, another classic car Mecca, has a similar problem. The chances of having a problem are statistically slim, but it ain't your grandfather's Vancouver.
Maestro1
Instructor

Eric, well done here.
There was a rush, some years ago on the part of Chinese Investors as well as other nationalities to invest in real estate in that City and Enviorns as a way to get money out of their own Countries. As you know we have seen since then a specific advance in wealth on the part of a group of people who have the money to spend on muscle and interesting cars.
I remember Vancouver when it had fewer tall buildings and a lot more charm. It doesn't matter; societies advance in their own stumbling way, and decline the same way.
Stay well.
Eric
Hagerty Employee

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I'm not here to take any geopolitical position -- just to shed light on a car enclave that a lot of people don't realize is a world player. I understand that many of our readers don't care about high-dollar anything, but other readers do, or at least find a window into that world interesting. For my part, I think paying attention to all corners of the market is beneficial, even the high-end stuff. How people are interacting with it now has the potential to tell us about future trends that play out in the mainstream space.

Keith
New Driver

I’ve lived in Vancouver for the last 6 years. In the city, Supercars are extremely common, along with high-end luxury imports; status symbols and play-toys of the ultra-rich. Classic cars are virtually nonexistent in the downtown core. I’ve recently moved from downtown to the suburbs, and I’ve found “my people”. I took my ‘51 Studebaker to a cruise night this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised to find a parking lot full of nothing but classics. (Not a Lambo in sight). So, there are a lot of awesome classic cars in “Metro Vancouver”, if you know where to look.
MrBill-1943
Intermediate Driver

Guys, do we really really have to jump into these kinds of conversations in this forum? NASCAR blew it with getting political, Basketball dropped the Ball with all it's rancor, Baseball takes a knee, Olympics turns it's back on our flag and now it's starting to infiltrate even our place of car lovers. Is no place left that we can just enjoy the articles and pictures of the days gone by when all we talked about were cars? Sorry guys just the thoughts of a 78 year old who still loves to hear car talk but is seeing and reading to much noise as I get to the finish line and Checkered flag.
Iso_Grifo
Advanced Driver

There is a world of difference between what's going on here in Vancouver and "...the young, thrill-chasing car lovers who are mythologized elsewhere, such as on Woodward Avenue of the 1960s and the Tokyo street-racing scene of the 1980s and ’90s." It's money laundering, bribery of local officials, and all the other illegal activities that come from China -- to the detriment of Canadian citizens. Why do you think they buy property with bags of cash???

One of the unexpected victims of this are the young Canadians who just got their N -- and are hammered with skyrocketed insurance that neither they nor their parents can hope to afford. And they can't shop around -- it's provincial government insurance only. And the endless collision claims and accidents and speeding tickets and every other illegal stunt under the sun by they're fellow N's (who aren't even citizens) jacks up the premiums every year and destroys their car dreams.
Iso_Grifo
Advanced Driver

No edits? I meant to write their, not they're.
Eric
Hagerty Employee

you can make edits to your comments by viewing them on the community.hagerty.com page, rather than on the article directly

Sajeev
Community Manager

And, if needed, this is how you edit the post within the community: 


https://community.hagerty.com/t5/community-help-and-guidelines/community-help-how-do-i-edit-my-post/...

oparay
New Driver

One of the reasons you see the supper rich in Canada is you can buy Citizenship from $800,000 (£475,000). (https://www.businessinsider.com/countries-where-you-can-buy-citizenship-or-residency-2017-6) I have been to Victoria many times and there are a lot of vintage British cars on the island.
dd1
Intermediate Driver

Wow! Live and learn! I never would have imagined Vancouver as a high end classic car mecca. In fact, I never really knew about the history of Vancouver until reading this article. Strangely enough I really don't like going to places or shows that feature expensive, classic vehicles regardless of whether it's American, European or Asian make. It's almost like a tease. Generally speaking I don't covet high end expensive vehicles but once in a while I see something I'd love to have but it's got a high five or six figure sticker price, which I can't afford. So it's like dangling something in front of me that I would dearly like to have but can't have--an unattainable temptation. And it just makes me feel bad. So I generally stay away from these types of venues or stuff like Jackson Barrett, Mecum, etc. I get the most enjoyment from local auto shows that are more geared towards the average working/middle class person--like me! And yes, when I attend a local show I sometimes see some really spectacular cars that cost thousands of dollars to restore but many of the enthusiasts who own these cars are average people who've put their heart, soul, blood and sweat into these vehicle. A good number of these enthusiasts spent years and thousands of dollars of hard-earned money restoring their dream car. Those are the people that I truly admire and tip my hat to. They deserve it! I'm not putting down Vancouver or any of these other exotic venues; I think they're very interesting in their own way. But it's just not my style; I simply can't relate to it. But I thank Hagerty for the article. Interesting!
RootesRooter
New Driver

For those posters who can't find any old-school classics on the streets of Vancouver, come down to the All British Field Meet, held each May at Van Dusen Gardens. Lush setting and a wide assortment of British iron, from top end Jags to bread-and-butter family sedans, make this the best show of its kind in North America.

40Ford
Detailer

@MATTMERICA
Canada Will Reopen Its Borders to Fully Vaccinated Americans Starting Next Month
https://www.ntd.com/canada-will-reopen-its-borders-to-fully-vaccinated-americans-starting-next-month...
Lovetodrive
New Driver

I noticed that quite a few people said they don't see many classic cars around Vancouver. I live in the valley to the west of Vancouver proper. About 3/4 of an hour away, but I do know a lot of classic car owners. It might be that the reason that you don't see many classic cars in Vancouver, is that most of the guys that own these cars won't take them out of the garage if there is even a light overcast cloud in the sky. They most certainly don't take them out if the roads are damp or there is a shower in the forecast. However, I've seen plenty of exotics out in the rain. And yes, if you take the greater Vancouver area, a lot of the population is Asian. I wouldn't go so far as to say most but that population is growing. All us rednecks live out in the valley. Sounds like a good name for a country song.
J-man
New Driver

It is amazing how COVID-19 has affected many people. Putting down another's country and bragging up your own does nothing to improve our love of all things automotive. As Canadian who lives in BC and travelled the world in my 75 years I love both Canada and the USA. I am also happy to say that fully vaccinated US citizens will be permitted entry into Canada. As I also own property in the USA I hope the USA reciprocated.
J-man
New Driver

Just a note about my last comment. The permitted entrance by US citizens into Canada will start August 9th.
BH
New Driver

Lots of collector and exotic cars here. Lots of EV's as well. Teslas are everywhere.
hyperv6
Gearhead

The secret area of exotics is the Canton Ohio area.

It is becoming common to see Lamborghini’s and Ferraris in daily traffic. Mclarens are common including a P1. I just saw a Nobel.

Near my home is a collection of Pantera, F40 and a Miura that get drive regularly.

Even older vintage exotics like a real Cheetah and real Cobras are common. We have a few Grand Sport from Mongoose that is near by.

Bentley’s are daily drivers even in the winter.

Columbus also has a great deal of exotics. Bot Canton and Columbus have exotic dealers with nearly anything you can think of.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Boy I just love it when we do this good of a job staying on-topic on a thread. 🙄

 
Reinhold_Weege
Advanced Driver

I will say this for the old-school forums... People actually write and therefore think. Contrast that to social media which is essentially political cartoons, likes and shares.

Aquay_Mizmo
Intermediate Driver

If this is correct I wonder why there are no major collector car auctions there?
brb
Advanced Driver

Great article. I ran into a sub culture of preserved logging trucks and the like while visiting Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. An article on the Grizzly would be a winner.
parolla
New Driver

There is a large collector car population in British Columbia, with several Ridler winners in the last 6 years being from BC. There are over 140 meets listed on our local event listings between May and September, not counting unlisted cruise ins, like any sunny Sunday in White Rock BC with muscle cars and exotics, and word of mouth Thursday night gatherings in excess of 100 muscle cars and collectables in other locations in the Fraser Valley, within 70 miles of Vancouver. Barrett Jackson has a large following in the Vancouver area with numerous collections being represented in Vegas and Scottsdale.
RoyGee
New Driver

One of the best collections of 50’s iron I’ve seen anywhere is on Vancouver Island…

https://www.vicnews.com/life/in-love-with-classic-cars/

SJ100
Pit Crew

Great article. I appreciate it very much. It seems people are concentrating on the people and not the cars. There are thousands of classic cars in Vancouver. The A+W restaurants almost all participate in weekly Show N Shine car events. There are many car shows throughout the year. There are many car clubs. One person mention the suburbs. He is right. Go to Langley where every Friday you can choose to go either Tim Hortons or A+W for a car gathering. Vancouver = thousands of classic cars.
Bullittmustang
New Driver

Vancouver and the lower mainland have more classic cars out in summer then almost anywhere. I attend on average 3-4 cruises and cars and coffees a week from April till October and 100-500 muscle cars are typical on a given nite. This was during COVID as well. Last Saturday nite participated in a muscle
Car cruise that was over 120 cars. Bumper to bumper on the back roads of Langley.
Nomader
New Driver

A slight geographical correction; Vancouver Island is not the provincial capital, Victoria is, which is located on Vancouver Island. Also, Vancouver Island is a 30 minutes drive + a 90 minute ferry ride from Vancouver. While we're well worth a visit Victoria is not an easy to reach suburb of Vancouver as the article might imply. Victoria and the Island as a whole also has a vibrant car culture with numerous cruise nights and shows throughout the summer.
Autocoaster
New Driver

Being in the car business for the last 20 yrs here in Vancouver here’s my observations….the bulk of collector vehicle”s in Vancouver are under cover in parkades throughout the city, you need to go to Langley to see the ones that are actually regularly driven. Also noteworthy…. there’s lots of money laundering buying and selling cars that’s a fact that’s one of the reasons for the volume of high end & exotics.
adrianman
New Driver

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, not Vancouver Island (Victoria is on Vancouver Island).