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Todd goes way, way back in the motorcycle scene in these parts and he's a driving force behind keeping our community alive. We wouldn't miss his show for the world, and it's always our pleasure to throw a little free press his way, so we naturally just had to include him in our series of interviews.
We invite you to come on out and check out the event to see the man's work for yourself, just don't forget to track us down too and stop by to say Hi while you're there!
With Over 150 Vendor Booths featuring American, British, European, and Japanese parts and bikes, The CLASSIC & VINTAGE SWAP MEET and SHOW'N SHIne, (now at the The AGRIPLEX building in the Cloverdale Fairgrounds after an epic decades-long run in Tsawwassen) has been an anchor of the vintage and custom scene in BC for a long, long time, thirty two years in fact, and With good reason.
The swap meet itself is absolutely massive, so if you're looking for unobtanium, you absolutely need to hit this event up.
But wait, there's even more! This year's feature bike, Darwin Sveinson’s 1968 Norton Commando, is one of the earliest Commandos known, and a fine example of a machine that represented a radical departure from traditional British motorcycle styling. Be sure to stop off AND check it out on your way into the main hall.
Owners of all makes and styles of classic and vintage motorcycles, that meet the requirements of a Collector or Vintage plate in BC, are invited to participate and awards are presented in several different classes, including Best in Show and People’s Choice.
So, now that you've got an idea of what Todd's managed to create for us all, over the last thirty two years, let's hear from the man himself, Todd Copan ladies and gentlemen!
Who are you and where are you from?
Todd Copan, 56 yrs old, married, 1 child - Mack who is 31. Lived in Burnaby BC most of my life. Same postal coded 49 of my 56 yrs.
Got any nicknames and how’d you get ‘em?
When we had the swap meet in Tsawwassen I was commonly called "Tsawwassen Todd". Not so much now.
What’s awesome about you and your life?
I am a point in life that I appreciate what we have living here in western Canada. I have been able to travel and see Daytona Beach, and some of the other regional shows and swap meets which can be more outstanding than the bigger Daytona style events. We need to support those events more, before they fade away.
What do you think you do and where do you do it?
I do a variety of things in a few different places/worlds.
A series of weird events. I wanted to be a car mechanic so I took high school courses and always loved motorcycles.
I went to Pacific Vocational Institute, (now BCIT) Motorcycle mechanics course and after graduation in Feb 1982 I was selected to work at Deeley Harley-Davidson on Broadway in Vancouver. Wrenched only one year and was offered a job in the parts department. Spent a couple of years there learning a lot from Stacey Goodman before he left in the mid 80’s.
Went thru a couple of car dealerships as a parts guy before being the 1st Parts Manager for O’Hara Harley-Davidson in Delta in the late 80’s. In 1990 I got into the vending business and have been in it ever since. The vending world allows me the flexibility to do our annual swap meet, now in its 32nd year.
First off, I think of my 2 friends who started the swap meet with me and are now departed.
Second I think of all the times we had very rare or unique bikes which blew people away. How about 4 Brough Superiors on display, or 2 Crockers? one was a street bike and the other a speedway bike. Then there was the year when the Vincent club rode in and parked 20 Vincents in a row for display in the parking lot. Another year we had the oldest Indian in Canada on display, THANKS Dave!
All the bike owners were so eager and appreciative to have been asked to display their bike. It really has been an amazing experience.
What would you do with one million dollars?
take a long vacation and donate some money to my favourite charities.
What’s in your shop right now that you’re thinking about?
Two projects I never seem to have time to work on, a 1968 Norton Atlas and a 1926 Indian Chief.
Why do you do what you do?
It is in my blood, or you can call it Genetics.
What would be your superhero name?
Dealing with some of the crazy drivers in Greater Vancouver lately. This week I was in the middle of a high speed pursuit in Abbotsford!
I was driving a Grumman Olson, (think UPS delivery truck) for my business, when I hear multiple sirens coming up behind me. We were travelling at 60 km/h on a rural, two lane road that rolls through the area and has a limited shoulder, when in my mirror I see a red car passing the truck behind me in the oncoming lane.
He barely makes the pass, at about 100 km/h, with inches to spare on my front end. This leaves the police stuck behind the following truck before they pull into oncoming lane and fly past in full pursuit. The truck behind and I are well over on the tiny shoulder and hoping we don't get hit. At the intersection a half km ahead is a roundabout and it looks like smokey and the bandit with police cars in all directions chasing this car. Freakin crazy. They did finally stop the car a short distance away and arrested the idiot.
Dan Smith. He Re-creates bikes like the Velocette ROARER and the Vincent model A, known as the Plumber's Nightmare.
* Info by Todd: This was one of our annual feature bikes. A Velocette ROARER. There is one in England but this version was RE-CReated By Vancouverite Dan Smith.
Everything was fabricated including the engine cases and all the motor and transmission internals, it also has a blower!
A true marvel of craftsmanship to build WITHOUT blueprints, (think about that!) and Dan has made a couple of other bikes as well.
My wife and son and all who have helped us run the shows for the past 30+ years, never would have been able to do it without all their support!
There have been so many people and organizations who over the 32 years have helped us out, it is hard to list them all. Currently we get support from;
A,I,M, - Association Of Injured Motorcyclists
BCCOM - BC Coalition of Motorcyclists
BMOC - British Motorcycle Owners Club
Christian M/C Assn - Messengers of Hope
Classic M/C Club of BC - Canadian Vintage M/C Group’s BC Section
Greater Vancouver M/C Club
Job’s Daughters Bethel #52
Tell us anything else you want us to share for you.
Over the years of doing the show, the thing I have found is most people are more than willing to lend a hand or help out. Things happen and sometimes a solitary person can not fix the problem or correct the issue. The ones who look the most miserable are usually the most easy going and reasonable to deal with.
Thanks for asking, Killian!
It was genuinely our pleasure Todd. Thanks for sharing with us. It's always an honour for us to be able to shine a little light onto amazing members of the motorcycle community. That's what these interviews are all about!
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