It was like the good old days in Moncton on Saturday.
Centennial Park was transformed from a playground into a nostalgia hotspot for thousands of car enthusiasts during the Atlantic Nationals Automotive extravaganza.
Jerry MacDonnell traveled from Enfield, Nova Scotia to view the approximately 2,400 vintage vehicles on display.
“The appeal is being able to see cars from when I was a kid. They’re amazing, amazing cars,” MacDonnell said.
Harvey MacEachern came from Truro, NS.
“I bought an old truck last year. I had been looking for a truck for a long time. I was here two or three years ago before the pandemic hit. It’s like being a kid in a candy store “, said MacEachern.
Rob Clow of Baddeck, PEI brought his 1954 right-hand drive Volkswagen to the show.
“The call for me, I wanted something different. I like rusty stuff. It was from Europe, it [Volkswagen] bus over there, it’s a 1960. It came from Winnipeg. We went up there and dug it out of the ground and spent thousands of dollars on it. It’s a love, it’s a passion,” Clow said.
COVID-19 canceled the show in the park two years ago and last summer it was a scaled-down event.
Atlantic Nationals president Bill Doherty said it’s now back to where it was before the pandemic. A five-day spectacle with multiple events and gatherings.
“We did something every year, even in 2020. We had a cruise event every two weeks because we couldn’t have a gathering like this,” Doherty said. “Last year we did the mini-show and it exceeded all expectations and this year we are simply blown away.”
However, Doherty is very aware that some viewers still have concerns about COVID-19.
“What we’ve done with the show is we’re doing online registration. We’ve got taps at the point of sale for people coming in. We’ve got more restrooms, more wash stations in the toilet,” he said.
“We have our little slogan signs that we came up with last year that we reposted this year which are ‘Close up, mask up, keep social distancing. We want everyone to feel comfortable.
MacDonnell said he was not worried about COVID-19 while walking in the park.
“It’s wide open and if you need space I think you can stay safe. There’s plenty of room,” MacDonnell said.
MacEachern had a similar opinion.
“It’s outdoors, which made a big difference for me this morning. It’s outdoors. I’ve had three or four shots of vaccines and I’m kind of ready to move on. and live my life,” MacEachern said. .
The cars will return to the park Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the final day of the Atlantic Nationals.