After a two-year hiatus due to COVID restrictions, Sooline Cruisers is bringing back their Show and Shine event. Hundreds of vehicles will be on display in downtown Weyburn on Saturday, June 18 for Father’s Day weekend. The spectacle will be celebrating the love of rebuilt vehicles, while the dedicated past-time is usually considered a male activity, the club would not be the same without the committed women who are also devoted to the hobby.
We spoke with Bonnie Seitz, Event Coordinator for Sooline Cruisers, and Lee Parent, both women have a deep love for the vehicle hobby and are encouraging more people to join the club to enjoy the friendships and the camaraderie that the club provides. We asked the women how long they’ve been active with the hobby and what they enjoyed most.
Lee along with her husband Shayne Parent returned to Weyburn for their retirement over seven years ago. Veterans of the hobby, Shayne and Lee began rebuilding vehicles together when they first met in the early 70s.
When we think of rebuilding and customizing vehicles, we typically envision men enjoying this past-time but Lee Parent with her tom-boy spirit was up for the challenge, the couple rebuilt their first vehicle together in 1974, a 1955 Chevrolet, Shayne worked on the engine while Lee sewed the interior.
“I used to get involved quite a bit when we were young because we were always doing things on a shoestring, if I could help, it would save us money,” said Lee. “I sewed interiors and helped put things back together.”
The couple’s shared hobby has taken them all over the United States and Western Canada.
“We’ve been to Pheonix four or five times, we’ve been to Minneapolis, they have a huge Hot Rod show there in June, I think we’ve been there four times, the Black Hills about a dozen times because they have a big Corvette meet there every June,” shared Lee. “We used to go to Kelowna every May long weekend with the Corvette Club, we would all be there from Western Canada.”
The couple’s shared love for the hobby has created valuable bonding time for the pair, however, the bonding doesn’t end there, forming lifelong friendships is also a major drawing card.
"We have friends from our early married days that I consider some of our strongest friendships.”
The couple’s life-long interest has resulted in the couple owning a lot of vehicles through the years.
“We roll them over a lot around here we tend to buy and sell a lot, I think Shane has had about 200 hundred cars and I have had about 30 myself, yeah, we’re a little eccentric,” chuckled Lee.
Bonnie Seitz, the Events Coordinator for the club, also has a deep affection for the hobby, she’s been enjoying the hobby ever since she got her first car in 1997; it was a 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.
While Bonnie does not classify herself as an engine rebuilder, she is certainly a car enthusiast. Bonnie has pulled up her sleeves to customize her 1987 Corvette, but her love doesn’t begin and end with vehicle esthetics.
“I quite enjoy cars, I like hearing about them, everybody kind of has a story about their car, I like seeing them and driving them of course, everybody has a story about their car, and I like to hear them.”
For Bonnie, working on her 1987 Corvette is a labour of love, we asked her what kind of work she has personally done to her car.
“I just do a little bit of detailing on the engine; I have a Corvette, so I just did a little bit of exterior painting on there and a little bit under the hood to brighten things up and some interior work,” shared Bonnie.
“I’ve done a few cosmetic things to my car myself; I have a 1987 Corvette that I’ve kind of decked out in the whole Nintendo theme. I have a Nintendo paddle in it and all the decals on there for Nintendo on the front of it and back of it, and on the rims, I kind of turned it into a Nintendo car, it’s back to the 80s,” chuckled Bonnie.
We asked Bonnie what she loves most about her car hobby.
“I think more of the interacting with people and going to different events,” said Bonnie.
“I like to do social events, so I’m really taking a shine to wanting to plan a lot of these events and getting people out, there’s so much to do in Southern Saskatchewan, there’s so many places to go and things to do, it’s just a matter of finding them.”
We asked Bonnie what social outings Weyburn Sooline Cruisers had planned for this year.
“We’re trying to do a lot more promoting of the club around Southern Saskatchewan, we’re trying to get together two times a month for sure, maybe it will be going out for supper or going to a museum, and supporting the local economy around us,” shared Bonnie. “There’s also a Thursday night cruise, we meet every Thursday night at 6:30 and we go for a drive around town and then go for coffee somewhere.”
Bonnie and Lee both emphasized how special it is to belong to the club because members are always willing to help other members.
“A lot of times you’ll need a part and you put a call out to someone, they’re there and they are able to help you, there’s camaraderie, it’s like having a little family with the car club.”
To become a member or to be a vendor at their Show and Shine event on June 18, you can contact them on their Facebook page, here.