Last weekend a car from Swift Current, Newfoundland won the top award at the Concours D’Elegance at Amelia Island in the American Production class. A 1958 Pontiac Bonneville from the collection of Ina and Vernon Smith was the car that did the trick.
Vernon Smith’s Award Winning 1958 Pontiac Bonneville at Amelia Island (photo from Sports Car Digest)
Last year while competing in Targa Newfoundland, the organizers built in some extra time in a transit through Swift Current that allowed the competitors to stop in at the shop/showroom of Vernon Smith to see some of his cars. What a collection it is and it is located in a small Newfoundland village that is otherwise indistinguishable from the many other lovely seaside villages in Newfoundland, Canada.
I was so anxious to see this collection that I forgot to take my camera with me and what a oversite that was. The cars that I remember are some late 1950s Chrysler convertible products with huge V8 engines and twin cross-ram intake mounted four-barrel carburetors. One of these big convertibles had bucket seats in the back! What grand cars they were! These cars were over the top in every aspect of car design.
On display are about 35 – 40 cars of all ages. I recall seeing some brass era cars, as well as some newer Mustangs. There is something of interest for everybody. All of these cars are nicely displayed with sufficient walking around room that you can see the cars from all angles. We had a nice, but short visit to the Smith collection, then we had to get back to rallying.
The shop /display area is known as Vernon’s Antique Toy Shop. I don’t know if there any defined open hours for this display, but if anyone is ever in the vicinity of Swift Current, Newfoundland, then I highly recommend finding the time to visit this collection. I am not surprised that a car from the Vernon Smith collection would win an award at the prestigious Amelia Island car show.