British Columbians start driving at an early age.

We can barely walk on two feet before many of us are pushing replica models over the carpet at home, complete with self-generated engine sound effects. Then it’s dodgem cars at the fun fair or pedal cars like those that youngsters will be revving up at the 2014 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering on Sunday at the Viscount Aero Centre, at 9800 McDonald Park Road, in Sidney.

Dodgem cars are not the recommended way to learn how to drive as the intent is to ram into as many others as possible! Despite the moniker, that’s what I found to be the aim when I got behind the wheel of what were called bumper cars back in the 1960s.

However, the pedal cars from the Tom Thumb Safety Program teach traffic and pedestrian safety to children from five to eight years old and thus introduces hundreds of kids every year to the joys of being at the wheel.

Of course, the annual Vancouver Island event, presented by the German Auto Import Network (GAIN) is not just for kids. It promises four-wheel fun for the entire family and raises money for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation.

‘Big kids’ will enjoy casting their eyes over hundreds of spectacular cars, motorcycles and even some airplanes. Rare examples of the Porsche 904, 2006 Ford GT, and a 1964 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster will be among many classics. Be sure also to check out the Aston Martin DB5, Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 348i and Pininfarina-styled 308 GTB.

There will plenty of tasty stuff of the food variety upon which to chow down too but please wipe your hands before touching the paintwork of the gorgeous 1990 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit II, that the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation will be auctioning off. Fewer than 300 were made that year and this car has only 86,000 km on the clock.

The Gathering ( runs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and admission is by a suggested minimum donation of $2 per person.

Contact: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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