Metro/Bernice Pontanilla Bob Chubala and Gary Glowa of the Manitoba Association of Automobile Clubs, with Minister Andrew Swan (at back), at Friday’s unveiling of the new vintage car collector licence plate.

A decades-long quest for the lovers of classic and collector cars came to a fruitful end on Friday, as MPI and the Manitoba government announced a new vintage licence plate and insurance plan aimed at them.

Bob Chubala, past chair of the Manitoba Association of Automobile Clubs (MAAC), said members of his group have been lobbying for this insurance since the 1970s.

“I’m just ecstatic, I’m glad to see this happen in my lifetime, cause we’ve been working hard on this for a long time and it’s pretty special,” said Chubala, who himself has been part of the lobby since 1996.

“We just felt it was time for a special insurance premium and obviously the recognition of a plate that will go on 20,000 collector cars out in the province of Manitoba.”

The Collector Vehicle Program, which is still subject to a Public Utilities Board review, has been designed to take into account the fact that these vehicles are usually only taken out on special occasions and the extraordinary care they get from their owners.

If approved, the program should be available either March 1, 2014, or sometime later in the year.

Chubala said he’s especially happy with the look of the plate.

“Just awesome, just exactly what we expected, the old yellow and black and with the buffalo in the corner and “collector” on the bottom,” he said.

“It couldn’t have turned out any better, I think our membership will be pretty pleased with that.”

Andrew Swan, Manitoba’s minister responsible for MPI, said the new program is a direct result of conversations the government and MPI had with the car collector community, who “obviously have tremendous pride in their vehicles.”

“Every Manitoban, whether they know a thing about cars or not, appreciates the vehicles and, as we learn more and more about them, appreciated the work that goes into refurbishing, maintaining, winning arguments with spouses (over the cars),” said Swan, which brought out laughter from the MAAC members.

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