Northwest Deuce Days returning to Victoria next year

An internationally popular classic car event is returning to Victoria in 2022.

The semi-annual Northwest Deuce Days, which brought thousands of classic car enthusiasts and owners to the island since 1998, was almost retired after the last event in 2019.

After a successful Deuce Days two years ago, event organizer Al Clark said the scope of work required to put on the show had grown too large and too expensive for him to host. Soon after, Destination Greater Victoria (DGV) announced that it was looking at ways to continue the event, and now the organization has formally purchased the event from Clark.

"Whereas Destination Greater Victoria previously sponsored and provided staff support to Northwest Deuce Days, going forward the region’s destination marketing organization will take the lead and Al Clark will remain involved as a consultant, where his knowledge and expertise will be invaluable in organizing, as well as raising the profile of the event," said Destination Greater Victoria in an announcement Thursday.

According to Destination Greater Victoria, Northwest Deuce Days has a local economic impact of roughly $2 million as travellers make use of local hotels and restaurants, and visit attractions beyond the downtown core.

The event takes place once every three years. The next Northwest Deuce Days is scheduled for July 14 to July 17, 2022.

Northwest Deuce Days features pre-1952 collector cars, and was named after "deuces," a term used to describe hot rods produced in 1932.

In 2019, more than 600 deuces from around the world made their way to Victoria, and two entire sailings of the MV Coho were booked full by classic car drivers and enthusiasts.

"Northwest Deuce Days has been a labour of love," said Clark in a statement Thursday.

"This is a good time for me to take step back knowing that the spirit of the event, that was founded in friendships and shared passion for these iconic cars, lives on," he said.

Destination Greater Victoria says it is planning for the next Deuce Days and will hire an event planner with a knowledge of classic cars in the next several months.

"For the Northwest Deuce Days, it is not just about the visitors that come from all over the world to our beautiful city, but the way it engages residents," said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

"This is another major sign of confidence in our downtown and great news for our tourism build back strategy," she said.