London, Ontario- The Oblivion car show returns on Sunday, August 14th at the Westmount Mall in London, Ontario. The event, organized by Justin Sookraj and his team, presents retro vehicles to provoke feelings of nostalgia for an era not yet considered classic.
Justin Sookraj is the owner of Wells Auto in Milton, Ontario. They are an automotive restoration facility that specializes in sales/repair of the DeLorean DMC-12. Wells Auto also holds the title of being “Canada’s only DeLorean-specific sales and restoration facility.”
Sookraj, obviously, is also a connoisseur of the retro. This interest applies to both his business and his organization of Oblivion IV.
“Oblivion is a celebration of all things 80s and 90s, but especially 80s and 90s cars,” says Sookraj.
The show’s inspiration comes from Sookraj’s personal disappointment with the lack of representation for his nostalgically remembered 80s and 90s vehicles.
“And it was actually born out of frustration,” says Sookraj. “What was happening was…we’d go to car shows, and I’d take a DeLorean or register a DeLorean and they’d be like, ‘Oh I’m sorry, it’s only open to classic cars.”
This designation of classic vehicles typically applies to cars from 1979 or older.
This somewhat arbitrary, strict designation excludes cars from a certain era, thereby excluding those that love and appreciate these cars for their beauty and nostalgic evocations.
As Sookraj explains, “The whole point of it is to celebrate the fact that the things that we had and the things that we grew up with mattered.”
“It doesn’t matter that they weren’t of the calibre, quality, or horsepower of the previous generation’s toys. They were our toys. they mattered to us,” he says.
Nothing lasts forever, as they say. Soon, cars of the 60s and 70s–the current classic generation–will move into retirement. Either degradation of the vehicles themselves will inhibit the ability to showcase the vehicles, or preservation will take precedence and these cars must be sacrificed for memorialization in museums. As such, Sookraj believes that the cars of the 80s and 90s will become the new standard of classic cars.
In regards to this fact, however, Sookraj remains on the cutting edge. While presenting the most beautifully rare vehicles of the era, Sookraj also aims to display immaculately preserved lower-end vehicles as well.
“…Where the name oblivion comes from was that none of the things that we are celebrating were designed to last…”
In that, all vehicles become worthy of appreciation. If something is predestined to oblivion, yet survives, it deserves reverence for its perseverance.
This venue for the event itself also follows in the nostalgic tradition
“Every venue we pick is because it might be the last time it will exist the way it did,” explains Sookraj.
Previous events have been hosted in similarly nostalgic venues, such as Ontario Place for Oblivion II in 2019, and a summer camp for Oblivion III in 2021.
This year’s event space is chosen similarly as it brings Oblivion back into another nostalgic space – an unrenovated relic of the past—Westmount Mall in London, Ontario. The Westmount mall is a time capsule from its era, preserved with little renovation from its original revamping in 1989.
This year’s event will also include other nostalgic festivities, such as an arcade section of the show with 35 gaming machines. There will be retro computers, as well as hairstylists to fix retro haircuts for willing participants. There will also be a portrait studio within the space aligning with the retro mall experience.
Attendees are also encouraged to rock clothes in the 80s and 90s styles and slip back into the nostalgia of this overlooked era of retro vehicles.
A portion of the net proceeds will also be donated to Craigwood Children Youth and Family, a charity which specializes in child mental health services.
And if you’re still hesitating on whether you should attend the event, Sookraj urges you to seize the day.
“Everything we do is just once in a lifetime, and once that’s over, it will never be again,” he says.
“Our time is now.”
Tickets will be available at the door, but attendees are encouraged to buy in advance.
Tickets can be purchased here.
More information on the event itself, and all its nostalgic festivities can be found here.
Will you be attending the show? What do you think of Sookraj’s ideas on retro-classic vehicles?