COVID-19 and the Car Scene

Blog by Mike Beaumont (@hako.sukairain)

Let’s go ahead and maintain 2 metre social distancing. How a pandemic is impacting the car culture, car shows, and Driven.

2020 was off to a rough start, with the Australia wild-fires and the threat of WWIII. These were [somewhat] far-reaching from the local, and Canadian, car scene. However, someone in China eats a bat and a couple months later the world is at a figurative standstill. Jokes aside, the onslaught of COVID-19 (a.k.a the Coronavirus) has had devastating impacts on health, safety, economies, and yes….the car scene.

Shortly after the Coronavirus spread to Canada, we started to see organizations cancel their events or shows. These were a proactive reaction to the seriousness of the pandemic which hit Asia so hard. As the virus increased its Canadian infection count, many cities and provinces started implementing social distancing protocol, as well as limiting [capping] the number of people allowed in a group setting. This led to a mass cancellation of auto shows (Vancouver International Auto Show, Edmonton Motor Show, Motorama, & World of Wheels…to name a few). With bating breath, I waited for the news release from Driven.

With the expansion of Driven to 8 cities this year, I was looking forward to leading the team of judges from coast to coast, seeing some amazing builds, and hanging out with a great group of people. Alas, the global pandemic has already led to the postponement of the first two stops on the Driven tour, namely the shows in Calgary and Toronto, which were scheduled for the first couple weekends in May. This is sad news, as the Calgary show at the Olympic Oval, which includes the Ignition show on the Friday night, is one of the best shows to kick off the tour.

As we close off March and start April, most provinces are mandating the closure of all non-essential businesses. Adding to the closure of schools which happened mid-March, this means more and more Canadians are at home, weathering the viral storm [so to speak]. As a “car guy”, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking (read that as “wishing”) that this fucking snow would melt and we would get some nice weather so that I could take advantage of the low gas prices and “self isolate” by going for a cruise (alone in my vehicle, of course).

Is there a silver lining? I think so.

No time to clean your garage or shop? To organize your car parts or tools? Well, there is now.

Were you running out of time to do Driven prep? No excuses anymore. NONE.

With many of us having more free time to finish those mods, work on that project car, refine our builds, and go that extra distance to make our cars bigger and better (and CLEANER); it actually makes me excited to see the automotive content at Driven this year. Let’s hope that all competitors are taking advantage of the situation and spending countless hours doing show prep.

Don’t forget to post your progress pictures to social media with the hash tags #drivenshow and #drivenprep so that I can take a sneak peek at your hard work.

With the current situation, it is also important to keep your daily driver clean and up to date with maintenance. Cleaning your daily may help reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19; so I did some searching and came across this article from Autoblog [link below] on how to disinfect your interior to keep it clean and virus free. Check it out.

Link to Article (opens in new window)

For all of you who [still] think the Coronavirus is “just another flu”, all I can say is RIP. Seriously, get off your ignorance horse and educate yourself. This is a global issue that needs everyone’s help to overcome.

The pandemic is still getting worse; so what does this mean for future Driven Shows and local meets (such as the 780Tuners season opener/closer)? I really cant say, other than we will just have to wait and see.

What I do know, is that when the warmer weather comes around you can catch me self-isolating in the Hakosuka.

Stay safe and we’ll see you on the open road.

Photo for Speedhunters, by Keiron Berndt

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