November 15, 2009

E-tek's Super-weekend at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum

Leaving the boys with their grand-parents, we took off for the short trip to Edmonton, which is about 6 hours West of our home in Saskatoon. First stop (of course) was the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, one of the must-see automotive landmarks in Canada.
Once in Edmonton, we argued with the GPS (mistake) and took what looked like a more direct route to The Reynold's-Alberta Museum. Upon arriving, we realized that the GPS generally knows best - lesson one.
The RA, while described as a transportation-themed museum, has a real concentration on cars and boasts a fully equipped and functioning restoration/bodyshop facility where they restore the vehicles for display.
These museum-quality restorations are performed by a very experienced crew consisting of paid professionals and non-paid enthusiasts. They constantly have several restorations on the go, each in various stages of completion. From the upper gallery, or viewing area, I could see a wide variety of machines, from the brass-era, early model T's, 40'sand 50's classics and even more modern muscle cars. Unfortunatley, after my argument with the GPS, we came in close to closing, so I decided to leave the Missus in the general memorabilia section to see how much I could see of the resto-shop.
Sneeking past some barriers and through a partly opened door !), I managed to slip into the shop but was immediately found out by a senior employee (read:suit) After pleading my case and convincing the gentleman thta I was an enthusiast, not a criminal, he led me to a row of early Ford and Dodge engines and asked what I wanted to see the most! Well that was all I need and I begged for an opportunity to check out some of the equipment, the brass-era machine in progress and to speak to the painter, who I could see just exiting the paint booth, which was full of parts for one of the projects. Sensing my interest and sincerity, the gentlemen and I chatted for about 20 minutes and left me alone to peruse a fully equipped restorers dream shop.
I also found out about a couple of awesome programs they have. The first are restoration courses that run in sequence, beginning in February, from looking for and buying your first project, to introductions to many of the repair and restoration processes available. As well, in the summer, they have a classic-drive program where patrons can come out and get up close and personal (as well as drive!) various antique works of art!
So now I have another holiday week accounted for! Surely if you find yourself with holidays you can spend on your own, or if the better half wants to enjoy the many other parts of Edmonton while your at it, or even if you find yourself driving through Edmonton (who doesn't!), make sure to book some time at the Reynold's-Alberta Museum. It's growing all the time too - with plans to open a huge open-air history of flying section and more.

See it: