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Historic car that carried then-Princess Elizabeth resides in Central Okanagan

Click to play video: 'Historic car with royal roots nestled in Okanagan garage'
Historic car with royal roots nestled in Okanagan garage
The Death of Queen Elizabeth II has made many of us nostalgic, revisiting how she spent her life and her reign. Sydney Morton introduces us to a Peachland man who has a piece of royal history nestled in his garage. – Sep 12, 2022

A piece of royal history roars through the streets of the Okanagan and calls Peachland, B.C. home.

Jim Carpenter owns a 1951 Cadillac that transported then-Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh when they visited Vancouver in 1951.

“The car was specially prepared for her by General Motors and it still has the dash plaque commemorating that they toured,” said Carpenter.

“It was used as a family car and then it’s sat abandoned in a damp, leaking garage, worn out and tired for 45 years, and I took it back to life and drive it anywhere and every time … it gets a lot of attention.”

Read more: The Okanagan looks back on three visits by the late Queen Elizabeth II

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In 2014, Carpenter and his son began restoring the car back to its original glory, trading in the then brown leather seats for bright red, returning its colour to a high-shine black, and even polishing the plaque that was installed in honour of the royal couple’s visit 71 years ago.

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From Oct. 8, 1951 to Nov. 12, 1951, the couple embarked on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada. They arrived in Vancouver by train before visiting Victoria and Nanaimo and stayed in Qualicum Beach.

Carpenter’s Cadillac was one of the many cars they drove in, and a clear roof was made just for the occasion.

Read more: Okanagan connections to Queen Elizabeth II withstand the test of time

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“There’s so many cars and you don’t know where they’ve been or who’s been in them, but this one is fully documented,” said Carpenter.

“For me it’s kind of cool because it attracts a whole different type of audience. Those that are royalty fans, they say, ‘Oh wow that’s really cool,’ and they look at the pictures and they go, ‘Nice car, too.'”

Click to play video: '“The queen is here today. I want our lawn in Glenmore to look nice”  Queen’s 1971 visit to Kelowna remembered fondly'
“The queen is here today. I want our lawn in Glenmore to look nice” Queen’s 1971 visit to Kelowna remembered fondly

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