TORONTO, Ont. — From the era of pastels and neons, feathered hair, leg warmers, New Wave and Grunge and music TV channels that actually played music videos comes the newest feature of the Canadian International AutoShow — OBLIVION, a celebration of 1980s and 1990s cars and pop culture in Canada.
The OBLIVION car show launched in Milton in 2018 — and moved to Ontario Place for its 2019 event — with a strict edict that it was only showcasing vehicles from the era when Generations X (and much of Y) came of age, and surrounded the show with pop culture tidbits that defined the decades, like an arcade, ghetto blasters, toys and music. At the 2020 Canadian International AutoShow, it is planning an exhibit showcasing up to eight cars, including a couple of instantly recognizable cars from movies and TV.
“The children of the 1980s and ’90s have come to the point where they are the buyers of collector cars,” says Justin Sookraj, founder of OBLIVION and owner of Wells Auto, a DeLorean-specific dealership and repair shop in Milton. “It is a generation with incredible spending power that has lived for too long in the shadow of the previous eras. But what we are seeing now is a changing of the guard.”
The centerpiece of the OBLIVION exhibit at the AutoShow will be a replica of the DeLorean time machine made famous in the 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future, and a replica of the black 1982 Pontiac TransAm that co-starred as K.I.T.T. with David Hasselhof in the hit TV show Knight Rider.
Also slated to be set up in the feature are a few choice Japanese, Domestic and more unusual examples of the era.
What’s more, owners of cars from the ’80s and ’90s are invited to enter their prized possession in a contest for a chance that it too will be displayed at the AutoShow as part of OBLIVION. As with all OBLIVION shows, excellent examples of what were common to unsual vehicles of the era are what they are looking for (got a perfect K-Car? Sign up!). Enter for your chance at oblivioncarshow.ca/autoshow.
“The collector car market is changing, and the cars of OBLIVION are the new classics,” says Jason Campbell, General Manager of the AutoShow. “The ’80s and ’90s are an important up-and-coming era in the collector market. It is going to be a great addition to what we offer at the AutoShow.”
But the cars are only one part of the OBLIVION exhibit. It’s a celebration of the era’s pop culture in general and will include a display of ghetto blasters, action figures and other memoriblia. A mini-arcade will be set up with both arcade-style and home console games; $5 for unlimited play.
“These are the collectibles we grew up with,” says Justin. “Much of the spillover from these decades are video games. Whether you played in an arcade or at home on a console, it is something the kids of the ’60s and ’70s didn’t have. And of course, there will be ’80s and ’90s music, which was such an important part of these decades.”
The OBLIVION display room will be found in Castrol Alley on the 700 Level of the South Building in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (rooms 714 and 716).
About the Canadian International AutoShow, presented by The Toronto Star and wheels.ca
With more than 650,000 square feet of exhibits, displays and attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and annual attendance of 360,000, the Canadian International AutoShow is not only the largest automotive expo in Canada, it is also the country’s largest consumer show — a leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive. It boasts more than 1,000 cars, trucks, SUVs, concept cars, exotics, classics, muscle cars, fully electric and autonomous vehicles each year.
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