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VIDEO: 500 cars, 2,000 fans, $30K for D.W. Poppy school in Langley

Car show event raises funds for school programs

Despite less-than-ideal weather that brought occasional spatters of rain, the 34th annual D.W. Poppy Secondary School car show at 23752 52nd Ave. managed to attract around 500 vehicles and 2,000 car fans to the school backfield on Sunday, May 7.

Sponsored by a variety of community businesses, initial estimates show the event raised about $30,000, funds that will go to Poppy’s ADST (applied design, skills, and technologies) department (automotive, woodwork, metal work, foods classes), as well as the basketball team, environmental club and the dry grad committee.

Brian Jackson, who teaches metalwork at the school, explained much of the funds will go “towards buying new shop equipment, because things are getting older.”

“And we’ve got some volunteers helping with the library so we can buy some more books and some technology for that,” Jackson added, “so there’s lots of lots of wealth being spread around here at Poppy.”

Fort Langley Lions served up a pancake breakfast, and there was a 50/50 draw and raffle.

Fort Langley Lions whipped up pancake breakfasts at the start of the 34th D.W. Poppy Secondary School car show fundraiser on Sunday, May 7.500 cars and 2,000 car fans attended .(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Fort Langley Lions whipped up pancake breakfasts at the start of the 34th D.W. Poppy Secondary School car show fundraiser on Sunday, May 7.500 cars and 2,000 car fans attended .(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Among the cars on display, Tall Timbers resident Tom Hoeltgen was showing his black 1973 De Tomaso Pantera for the first time.

Hoeltgen, and fellow Pantera owner Wes Stinson, from Burnaby, could clearly see their reflections in the car’s mirror-like black paint finish as they chatted.

West Stinson (left) and Tom Hoeltgen (right) are reflected in the mirror-like paint finish of Hoeltgen’s just-restored 1973 De Tomaso Pantera. 500 cars and 2,000 car fans attended the 34th D.W. Poppy Secondary School car show fundraiser on Sunday, May 7. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
West Stinson (left) and Tom Hoeltgen (right) are reflected in the mirror-like paint finish of Hoeltgen’s just-restored 1973 De Tomaso Pantera. 500 cars and 2,000 car fans attended the 34th D.W. Poppy Secondary School car show fundraiser on Sunday, May 7. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

“It’s just finished,” Hoeltgen explained.

He has been been working on it for about a year.

“I rebuilt the motor, and a whole bunch of myriad other things, to make it very reliable.”

Driving the car with its massive 608-horsepower engine requires a light touch, Hoeltgen observed.

“You have to respect it,” but it handles well, he told the Langley Advance Times.

“It has power-assisted brakes and it has air conditioning and power windows and that’s all stock from the factory,” he added.

“In a car like this, the air conditioning is a necessity, and because of its immense power, when you turn the air on it basically doesn’t even affect the motor.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: First post-pandemic car show at D.W. Poppy Secondary set records

More than 150 volunteers volunteers, students, parents, community supporters and staff made the show happen.

It will return in 2024 on the first Sunday in May.

More photos from the day can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Aldergrove’s Country Car Show considers a move to nearby field

READ ALSO: Aldergrove students raising funds for grad celebration


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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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