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Continuing a strong tradition

Mike Williams of the Motor City Car Club and Oshawa Mayor John Henry stand alongside William’s 1938 Plymouth Coup. The City of Oshawa is the largest sponsor of the car club’s annual Autofest event, celebrating its 25th year in 2018. (Photo by Dave Flaherty)

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The relationship between the City of Oshawa and the organizers of Autofest is a strong one.

As Motor City Car Club member Mike Williams points out, the city is the largest sponsor of the annual event, marking its 25th year in 2018.

“We appreciate everything they’ve done. We couldn’t put on Autofest without them,” Williams says.

But the benefits do not flow just one way, Oshawa Mayor John Henry says.

“It does bring an economic spin-off and people do come into town to invest money. To see this, you might want to try and get into a restaurant in the Oshawa or Whitby area on the Friday or Saturday night,” he remarks.

For Henry, Autofest is the continuation of a narrative that started long ago.

“This is the car city of Canada. This is the home to the founder of Generals Motors Canada, R.S. McLaughlin,” he says. “The story of the automobile here in Oshawa is a story of how Canada was built. Taxes collected here have funded projects from coast to coast to coast in this country.”

That current element of history will be on display at Lakeview Park during Autofest on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26

“Autofest keeps the vintage idea of that alive. You will see so many people have such a passion for keeping these vehicles maintained and keeping a part of that history alive, and that’s what Autofest is,” Henry says.