PHOTOS: Long-time collector ‘thrilled’ by first-time visit to Langley show

Chuck Dudek had to personally thank Cruise-In organizers for hosting the charity car show.

New to Langley, Chuck Dudek felt it imperative to personally meet a few of the Langley Good Times Cruise-In directors on Sunday – shake their hands, but more importantly say “thanks.”

It was his 78th birthday, but there was no other place he’d rather be than at the Cruise-In’s annual car corral and swap meet, he told the Langley Advance.

While he was aware there was some politics that prompted the 20-year-old charity car show’s move to Aldergrove this year, he didn’t know details and said none of that matter to him.

PHOTOS: Click here to see more photos from the Sunday swap meet

He just knew he’d enjoyed Saturday’s show ’n’ shine “immensely” and was already looking forward to next year’s event.

Dudek has attended a few hundred car shows since he started collecting back in 1951 – including attending a few of the famous Barrett Jackson auctions. This car show, he insisted, was among the some of the very best he’s seen.

“I loved it. I was soaking wet, but I wasn’t upset. We need the rain,” he added.

“This show was just a huge success in my opinion,” he shared with Cruise-In directors. “I didn’t see any unhappy person, anywhere. It was just great.”

Dudek and his wife, Rose Marie, only moved here two months ago – primarily to be closer to their two children and six grandchildren.

But one of the surprise bonuses of the move, he said, has been the discovery of so many like-minded car collectors and enthusiasts.

Dudek wasn’t in the market for any more vehicles or part just now.

Instead, he was there trying to sell his 1975 Lil Red Express truck and a rare, matching trailer made from the box of an Express truck.

“I need more room,” he said, explaining that his new shop in Glen Valley is already overloaded.

Nevertheless, Dudek admitted there might be a few smaller items he’d consider taking home from the swap meet – depending on whether or not he received any serious nibbles on his truck.

It’s a truck he’s actually owned twice during the past 25 years.

He was living in Naniamo at the time, and needing to free up some cash. Dudek sold it the first time back in early 1990s to a collector who had a truck box he was wanting to make into a trailer.

Fast forward to just a few years ago, and Dudek was at a show in Arizona. While killing time, he was flipping through a truck trading publication and spotted the same vehicle, now complete with the finished trailer. A dealer in 100 Mile House was selling it.

He contacted the dealership, negotiated a price, and shortly after arriving home from Phoenix, his old truck and its trailer pulled into his driveway.

“I don’t know of any other true Express trailer,” he said, admitting some reluctance still to part with the pair again. But ultimately, Dudek said, he needs more room and something in his collection has to go.

That means the Express.

Dudek was one of about 80 vendors and 40 cars/truck owners there selling their wares.

Cruise-In director Lori Watts said there were at last a few thousand car enthusiasts who came to shop on Sunday, and with sunny skies and a wide assortment of items for sale, it proved another successful year for that component of the Cruise-In.

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