Traditional Styling Reigns Supreme: The 2016 Jalopy Jam Up


There are several different flavors of hot rod; traditional, street rods, and the ever controversial rat rod are but a few of the more popular. Asking us to pick our favorite is like asking a parent to select their favorite child, however if we had to choose just we’d go with the classic or traditional style.

Traditional hot rods are where it all began – and to some where it all ends – so naturally this style remains relevant regardless of the calendar date.


The importance of arguably the purist form of hot rodding is paramount, but you don’t have to take our word for it, instead feel free to ask Jay Tyrell, Brad Roberts and Jeff Norwell (the later of whom is no stranger to this site) also known as the creators of The Jalopy Jam Up.

Before the Jam Up there were next to no traditional shows on the Canadian side of the border so Jay, Brad, and Jeff sought to fix that problem by starting a show of their own that focused on the cars and the people, leaving the other crust to shows revolving around gold plated plastic.


Now in it’s third year the Jalopy Jam Up remains unique in the Canadian landscape as an event catering nearly exclusively to pre ’64 manufacture hot rods and customs.

2016 was Rod Authority‘s first year at the show, and now that we’ve experienced it first hand it is very unlikely we will miss another.


Looking at the photo you’ve probably already gathered that this event doesn’t take place in your standard parking lot or grassy field.

A former dude ranch, Grey County Ontario’s Frontier Ghost Town simply adds to the Jam Up’s nostalgic feel by providing the perfect rustic backdrop for an event rooted in the past.


Visual appeal and atmosphere isn’t the only thing this venue provides. It’s fairly remote location, with plenty of lodging spread throughout and ample space for camping means the party can, and does, go on all night long. Starting from as early as Thursday night and carrying through to the wee hours of Sunday morning.


Unfortunately if you want to know what goes on after dark you’ll have to go for yourself, but we can share with you a few of our favorite vehicles from the 2016 show.

The bulk of the vehicles in the Ghost Town Jam Up weekend are those that are “Jam Up Approved”.

Vehicles that don’t quite fit the shows main pre ’64 traditional focus, end up in the overflow lot located to the rear of the ghost town.


However this isn’t a ‘reject’ lot in any sense, it’s practicality become an event of its own!


This ’32 5-window Ford is quite literally a picture perfect example of a Jam Up Approved vehicle.

The flawless red and white paint, tasteful use of chrome, and period correct wheel and tire set up make it a stand out among several other exceptional vehicles.

Going in for a closer look we noticed Offenhauser heads sitting below a polished super charger, and inside the interior was re-trimmed to perfection.


Another Ford we couldn’t resist was Chris Longhouse’s 1930 model A. Built by Rob Purcell this wicked hot rod has the right stance thanks to a five inch channel, and a killer profile created by a three inch roof chop.

The interior features a ’49 Cadillac dash, with a Mooneyes wheel sitting in front of the driver and the seats are vintage MG units that have been reupholstered in the same white vinyl the door panels are covered in. Dashes of blue complement the interior in the form of ultra plush carpet.


Behind the grille, blue and white has been replaced with blue and chrome, but the Cadillac theme lives on with a beautiful 330 cubic inch Cadillac V8 sitting between the rails. As good as this motor looks, it sounds even better thanks to an Isky cam and custom headers.

Binbrook Speed & Custom Booth And Beyond

Our next pick could be found in front of the Binbrook Speed & Custom booth.


Belonging to Chris Matthon, this particular Ford has also had its door-less body channeled over the frame and features an extremely detailed Buick nailhead under the hood.

Dare we say it just might be perfect?

Hot Rods were not the only vehicles calling out to us, with so many customs present we had to get a closer look at a few including this heavily modified purple, flamed, Buick.

The grille of this car looked as though it had swallowed up hundreds of miles in it’s years, and the car overall was dripping with the type of attitude only a true boulevard cruiser could only have. Clearly a driver, we don’t doubt this car has several stories to tell.

The interior was just as unique as the exterior featuring gold pin-striping, white upholstery, pink everywhere and lucky dice peppered throughout.


The last vehicle we would like to take a quick look at is the 1949 Ford “Thunder Ball”. Built in the sixties this car was locked away in a barn for over 40 years before its current owner Kevin Grasely discovered it.


Chopped, channeled, sectioned, and fit with a’56 Corvette engine, this Meteor was a serious show contender before the owner walked away from it for reasons we may never know.

Found with matching red flake gas, water, and oil cans and original hand painted sign boards this car is practically a rolling time capsule. Kevin’s plans are to get the car back into operational condition and just recently he got the motor to fire up.

In its three years, the Jalopy Jam Up has grown into more than just a show, it’s where Canadians come to live the glory days of hot rodding while tipping a few drinks, listening to some great live music and trading a few tales.

If you happen to be sitting near the Ontario border, and need an excuse to hop across, we urge you to consider the Jalopy Jam up. You might make the trip for the cars but we are willing to bet that you will stay for the party!

About the author

Dave Thomas

Currently living near Toronto, Dave spends much of his free time behind a camera at car events, and likes just about anything with wheels, but usually the lower the better. When not taking photos, writing articles, or going upside down on his bike he can be found in the shop wrenching on his 1951 GMC pickup.
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