Cactus Jalopies Sked
Friday, May 31
- Wine Tour Poker Run
- Welcome Reception
Saturday, June 1
- Show n’ Shine at Gyro Beach
- Special Appearance by David Kindig
- Ladies Poker Walk
- Beer Garden
- JF Customs Shop Tour and Open house
Sunday, June 2
- WCRA Drag Racing at Richter Pass Motorplex
The conventional wisdom is that it takes 10,000 hours — or about 10 years — to become an expert in a given field.
JF Launier and his team at JF Kustoms have that many hours — and 3,000 more — in their latest creation: an immaculate 1964 Pontiac Acadian that’s worth upwards of $1 million and will likely be the hit of the 15th annual Cactus Jalopies, which kicked off last night with the Sage Pub Show and Shine and will provide a never-ending stream of boss cars in Osoyoos all weekend long.
That’s saying something when you consider Dave Kindig, host of the popular Bitchin’ Rides, and Mike Hall and the team from Rust Valley Restorers will be in town as well, Kindig bringing along Maybelline, another classic restoration.
“It’s personal preference,” said JF of what he thinks the 15,000 attendees expected to visit Gyro Park this weekend will want to see most.
He has no doubts the Acadian will be a popular stop. It won big at the 2019 Montreal Sports Auto Show, where the car — nicknamed Anvil — captured Best in Class and Most Outstanding Street Machine. It was also named Grand Champion at the Toronto Motorama Expo and made the Great Eight at the Detroit Autorama.
Its creator, by the way, also picked up a small accolade, JF named Builder of the Decade at the Montreal show.
That’s some pretty heady space for a boy from a small town in the BC Interior.
“Hard Work,” is all JF says of his climb to the top of the custom car pinnacle. “Hard work. And that’s it.”
“He was 14-years-old when he started with his truck, recalled mother Francine Launier. “He did it with his dad, but then he ‘unzipped it’ I don’t know how many times.”
Over 30 years, JF has honed his craft — putting thousands of hours into dozens of projects — and creating masterpiece after masterpiece.
“JF’s been there through every detail,” says Francine. “Every screw has to be polished; everything has to be perfect.”
The Acadian, sitting on a lift in his shop west of Osoyoos on Hwy. 3, is the latest testament to his dedication to his craft.
“Right now we don’t drive it,” he says. “It will drive in about six months or so. It’s still too nice underneath and it’s still competing. We have to carry it.”
The Acadian will be front and center when the show opens to the public Saturday morning. JF, however, says this is the last year he’ll be in the spotlight — at least in Osoyoos.
“It’s my last year, for sure,” he says of his commitment to the Cactus Jalopies show. “Other people will take over; I have a whole bunch of other stuff to do.”