On September 8th 2019, the West Island of Ontario Place suddenly became booming again with music at the amphitheatre, tons of people and about 150 classic cars. This is the only known car show to be held within the grounds of Ontario Place, which isn’t the only thing that makes this show special. This classic car show was Oblivion II, a car show for 80s and 90s vehicles, but also a culture show where the playlist is decade specific, as is the recommended attire. This new car show phenomenon has taken the US by storm too in major cities with Radwood. Oblivion is not Radwood however, Oblivion is our Canadian celebration of the cars and culture of the 80s and 90s. Ontario Place has been closed since the 2011 season and the park is in a state of decay due to neglect and lack of use. The show brought joy and life back to the island however, with music and cars from the time when Ontario Place was at it’s busiest. The arcade was brought back to life with a few dozen arcade games and cars filled areas where rides once were.
Justin Sookraj, owner of Wells Auto in Milton, is a Delorean specialist and a man with an amazing plan to bring back the glory days of his childhood. Oblivion I was held last September at the Arena in Milton and showcased over 100 cars from this era, 80s and 90s music and also arcade games from the time. Attendees and vehicle owners also walked around the arena parking lot in period dress. The first year, despite the rain, was a huge success and Justin looked to just make the event even cooler and larger for 2019. 2019 was definitely bigger and better, with a beautiful venue on the Marina for the car show and good weather.
About a hundred and fifty 80s and 90s cars attended Oblivion II, with anything from a Lada Niva and Skoda to a Countach, F40 and Testarossa. This show featured some of the vehicles that are still struggling to gain an identity and acceptance within classic car shows and cruise nights. That fact makes this show even cooler with quirky vehicles and quirky owners, myself included. Character is definitely not lacking among this crowd which made the day so much more fun. I had my 1988 Buick Reatta brought down for the show and I was ready with my period correct 1980s Buick Motorsport jacket, Totally Rad Hagerty sunglasses and my mullet.
Choosing my favourite vehicles from the show is also a difficult task as there are so many different classes. Exotic vehicles were perhaps the most difficult class to decide on my favourite. This featured a 1988 Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari F40, a red Ferrari Testarossa and a Jaguar XJ220S. The white Countach with matching white wheels just screaming 80s Miami as did the Testarossa. The most interesting pick for me would have to be the XJ220S, one of only 6 in the world. This Jag was the car that kept the XJ220 in LeMans and is full carbon fiber. Domestic vehicles, my favourites were the Jeep Grand Wagoneer owned by the owner of TFX International and also his 1986 Buick Grand National. The Chrysler TC by Maserati brought up from Detroit was also a unique vehicle not seen often. Imports, the show was full of Deloreans and tons of other quirky vehicles. The clean Subaru Brat would be a favourite of this class, a quirky 4WD pickup brought to North America and avoided the Chicken Tax by putting two rear facing seats for passengers in the bed. The quirkiest vehicles would have to be the rear-engined 1989 Skoda and the Lada Niva. The Lada Niva even has a hand crank to start the engine, though a regular key still does work.
Oblivion III is said to be in the works but the location next year is unknown. Hopefully the venue is just as cool but regardless, the people and the cars make the event. I highly encourage anybody who loved the 80s or 90s or grew up in this era to attend the show next year. Information when it is available will be posted on www.oblivioncarshow.ca. You can also find the Oblivion Car Show on Facebook.
Written by David Murphy