Ryan Patterson and his daughter Elynor are bringing this year’s Langley Good Times Cruise-In to a new level.
They will be showing off five-year-old Elynor’s customized toy jeep at the show. The smaller version of the ever-popular Jeep runs on electric power. While many children have such toys to ride in driveways, Elynor’s is unique. Since her dad bought it secondhand a couple of years ago for about $20, he has torn it down and completely changed the electrical system, adding custom features that are more commonly seen in expensive cars — such as a touchscreen video player on the dashboard.
He changed the wiring to 24 volts, which allowed more accessories to be added.
He has put hundreds of hours into the project.
But it wasn’t just his project. It was something that father and daughter could work on together — a recurring theme at Cruise-In, where many of the vehicles on display are labours of love which have been worked on by various family members.
“It’s a project we did together,” said the proud Langley City father. “We did a full-blown custom paint job, a stereo and a touch screen. All the controls work off the steering wheel.”
He says his daughter has helped “as much as possible.” She has done some sanding and clipped wires. And it has kept her interested, despite all the hours of work.
She is very proud of her special vehicle — as proud as any of the adults showing off their vehicles at Cruise-In next weekend will be.
Patterson contacted Langley Good Times Cruise-In president Eric Taylor to see if it would be possible to show off the toy vehicle at the Cruise-In, and Taylor was excited about the idea.
He realized that, in his own way, Patterson has worked on customizing his daughter’s toy vehicle with the same passion and enthusiasm as do many of the car owners who show off their prized creations at the show.
“This particular thing supports my belief that we need to get kids involved in the car shows, otherwise car shows will continue to diminish over the years as those of the age that appreciate vintage cars also fade away,” said Taylor.
He said other owners of customized toy cars interested in taking part can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taylor hopes that Patterson’s idea can be built on by Cruise-In organizers, and that there will be a “Kids Car Corral” at future shows. The Pattersons will have their customized toy on display at the Cruise-In, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 6 on the streets of Langley City.
Most of the final organizing touches have been made and the organizing committee is hoping for great weather, as has so often been ther case.
The Times is publishing a guide to Cruise-In with full details about what to see at this year’s show. It will appear as an insert in Tuesday’s edition of The Times.