Born and raised in Montreal, I also spent all my working years in this wonderful city which remains close to my heart although I have been living around 50 kilometers West of the Island over the past four decades. As a child growing in a humble small family that never owned a car, my interest in automobiles started very early as I spent countless hours every day playing with my Matchbox, Corgi and Hot Wheels toy vehicles quietly inside our apartment. Luckily, I was surrounded by a handful of uncles living nearby who then owned cars that caught my attention and especially those of my late godfather Marcel Gauthier to whom I owe my passion for antique cars and automobiles in general. Not only did he own some of America’s most Iconic muscle cars of the time as daily drivers, but he also introduced me to the antique car hobby while he was restoring a magnificent 1935 V12 Lincoln K seven passenger sedan and took me to the Hershey AACA Fall Meet for the first time in 1982, what a thrilling experience! This very special car along with a close friend’s 1938 V16 Cadillac Limousine were present two years later for our wedding day and my wife and I are still thankful for this great privilege of having ridden in two magnificent dream machines that we will unfortunately never see in our own garage.
My first vintage automobile – acquired from my godfather – was a 1940 Nash Ambassador 8 in which I had previously spent a lot of time as a passenger while participating in a local antique car club numerous tours but with young children at home and limited time and knowledge to address some mechanical issues, let’s simply say that new priorities lead to my parting with this car which ultimately joined a large collection on the Old Continent.
In the late seventies, I began a career in the customs brokerage and freight forwarding industry and gradually moved up through the ranks from tariff analyst to senior executive position with a leading firm which operated a large network of offices from coast to coast, both sides of the Canada-US border. Although the customs and international trade domain requires that one should keep abreast of rules and regulations governing the importing or exporting of all types of goods, I always paid particular attention to those relating to the automotive industry and the collector car world. Special provisions for vintage vehicles and parts thereof, Transport Canada, DOT, EPA and other government departments and agencies policies, regulations and laws are numerous and must be considered when crossing the border.
This background experience contributed to my developing some interest in restrictions and barriers that may potentially affect the antique car community in Canada and/or any of its provinces be they temporary or permanent and whether they concern the environment or the access to public roads or specific areas. While searching for information on how European countries deal with these important matters, I discovered that the NAACC has been conducting lobbying activities at different government levels in the past on behalf of the antique car community leading to my developing interest to joining this long-established organization.
Every Summer I enjoy volunteering with the VAQ (Vintage Automobiles of Quebec) may it concern the planning and coordinating of local car shows, judging duties or simply welcoming and registering car owners which is for me, the most rewarding aspect of our truly people oriented and fascinating hobby.