New Zealand Classic Car - - EDITORIAL - Words and pho­tos: Steve Ritchie

We tend to keep away from events or ac­tiv­i­ties clos­est to home. Thus, hav­ing lived on Auck­land’s North Shore for all 41 years of my life, I have never taken the 10-minute drive to Smales Farm on the last Sun­day morn­ing of ev­ery month. So, with no other events on the cal­en­dar for the month of June, I de­cided to take the short drive to see what it was all about.

Un­for­tu­nately, the weather was not too kind in the morn­ing, with sev­eral show­ers keep­ing many of the cars away from the 9am to 12pm cof­fee gath­er­ing. Sev­eral car club groups did turn up, though, in­clud­ing those with Minis, Ca­maros, and Mus­tangs, to name just a few.

Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est was a 1982 VH Holden Com­modore SS. It was one of just 30 ever made and was a joint ven­ture be­tween Holden New Zealand and mo­tor rac­ing leg­end Peter Brock, and his brother Phil. An­other stand­out was a 1972 Chrysler Valiant Charger R/T E49. Only 149 of these were built be­fore the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment ceased pro­duc­tion, as they were deemed too pow­er­ful to be driven on the road, be­ing from a rac­ing pedi­gree. Two of the many other dis­tinc­tive cars present were an ’83 Nis­san Sky­line RS and an im­mac­u­lately re­stored ’72 Chevy Corvette.

If the clas­sics weren’t quite your thing, there were plenty of newer Ca­maros and Mus­tangs, as well as a Mclaren 675 MCL and a Nis­san GT-R, which would have been ‘in­sane’ to drive, as the badge in­di­cated. How­ever, as an en­thu­si­ast of Euro­pean cars I was more ex­cited about see­ing the lone Fer­rari Dino parked up along­side a rather spe­cial-look­ing Lan­cia Delta In­te­grale, which is ba­si­cally a road model of the Lan­cia World Rally Cham­pi­onship car from back in the ’80s.

Now that I have been once, I will cer­tainly be in at­ten­dance again, time per­mit­ting. See­ing so many cars of var­i­ous ages and types in one place and re­al­iz­ing the amount of time some of the guys must spend on their prized pos­ses­sions re­ally were very eye-open­ing.

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