Owner's death, COVID-19 make for tough year at P.E.I. landmark

·1 min read

Shirlene MacKay is hoping to reopen the Car Life Museum next summer in honour of her husband, Kevin, who died in April after a heart attack less than a month shy of his 65th birthday.

The museum has been a landmark along the Trans-Canada Highway near Bonshaw for 54 years. It's normally open from mid-June to mid-September. This year was the first summer it did not open.

Shirlene said her husband's death and the COVID-19 restrictions made it too difficult.

"It's been tough," she said. "It's been really tough being out at the museum, too, this summer, a few times cutting the grass, trying to maintain it.... I know it needs a lot of work out there."

The museum was a passion for Kevin, Shirlene said. He inherited his love of restoring antique cars from his father, Newton, who opened the museum in 1966.

Kevin had been working on a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner last spring that he had planned to showcase.

Shane Ross/CBC
Shane Ross/CBC

The museum features historic tractors and farm equipment, along with antique and classic cars, including a 1959 pink Cadillac once owned by Elvis Presley

Shirlene said she and her children, Kristi and Greg, will try to keep the museum running.

"My hope is that it would open up. It doesn't make a lot of money. It's certainly more of a passion and a hobby than it is a money-maker but we do our best," she said.

"It'll depend on COVID and the travelling…. There's a lot of unknowns right now."

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