ELLER­SLIE CLAS­SIC CAR SHOW

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words: Lach­lan Jones, Ash­ley Webb Pho­tos: Adam Croy.

A FULL RE­PORT ON NEW ZEALAND’S PREMIER CLAS­SIC CAR EVENT

IN FE­BRU­ARY, SOME OF THE FINEST VE­HI­CLES AND MOST PAS­SION­ATE OWN­ERS OF NEW ZEALAND’ S CLAS­SIC CAR AND MO­TOR­ING SCENE MADE THEIR WAY TO ELLER­SLIE RACE­COURSE FOR THE ELLER­SLIE CLAS­SIC CAR SHOW

While the name may have changed, the fo­cus of the event re­mains the same — to bring to­gether New Zealand’s cor­ner­stone clubs, mem­bers, vol­un­teers, cars, spon­sors, and a good num­ber of vis­i­tors to en­joy our shared pas­sion. This year’s event was once again a great suc­cess and an event of which the or­ga­niz­ers and every­one in­volved can be proud.

The 2018 Eller­slie Clas­sic Car Show un­of­fi­cially kicked off on the Satur­day with the an­nual Meguiar’s Clas­sic Car Tours d’el­e­gance, hosted by the MG Car Club Auck­land Cen­tre, be­gin­ning at a num­ber of lo­ca­tions in the greater Auck­land re­gion and ul­ti­mately con­verg­ing on the Vel­lenoweth Green in Saint He­liers. Un­for­tu­nately, the ad­verse weather con­di­tions played a ma­jor part in pro­ceed­ings, with a num­ber of cars be­ing sat out of Satur­day’s drive to en­sure they were in top shape for Sun­day’s big event.

Eller­slie Clas­sic Car Show

The host club for the show, fol­low­ing an im­pres­sive win against tough com­pe­ti­tion in 2017, was the Auck­land Jaguar Driv­ers’ Club. The club put to­gether a bril­liant and ex­ten­sive dis­play of its mem­bers’ own cars, and made sure all other clubs and cars were well catered to around the grounds of the Eller­slie Race­course.

Or­ga­niz­ers watched the fore­cast care­fully in the days lead­ing up to the event, with a storm warn­ing be­ing an­nounced on the Wednes­day, then a cy­clone ad­vi­sory com­ing into play shortly there­after. Pro­vi­sion for a rain-soaked event were made and uti­lized as Auck­land was sub­jected to the re­lent­less rain we ex­pect to­wards the end of sum­mer. De­spite the atro­cious weather, hun­dreds of clas­sic car own­ers, from a record 76 clubs, re­fused to al­low the rain to dampen their en­thu­si­asm and made the ef­fort to get to Eller­slie so that their teams and cars could be on show; a num­ber of com­mer­cial ex­hibitors did the same.

The va­ri­ety of cars on dis­play seems to get more di­verse ev­ery year. When the event be­gan in Corn­wall Park in 1972, the world was a very dif­fer­ent place. Many of the cars in the car park that year would now be well wor­thy of a spot in com­pe­ti­tion — while some, ad­mit­tedly, would be wel­come in the scrapheap. The land­scape of what is deemed a ‘clas­sic’ has changed sig­nif­i­cantly, with a no­tice­able lean to­wards a younger de­mo­graphic than we’ve seen at the show be­fore.

Show theme

Ev­ery year, the Eller­slie Clas­sic Car Show has a theme, and this year it cel­e­brated Women and the Mar­que to re­flect the in­flu­ence of women on all facets of mo­tor­ing for more than 100 years.

Way back when, Bertha Benz used her hus­band’s pro­to­types to ferry the kids to their grand­mother; since then, women have be­come in­volved in de­sign­ing, as­sem­bling,

main­tain­ing, rac­ing, and sell­ing, as well as own­ing cars. In ad­ver­tis­ing and at shows, the prac­tice of hav­ing glam­orous women draped over cars has given way to a fo­cus on at­tributes that re­flect women’s tastes.

Tak­ing pride of place in this year’s New Zealand Clas­sic Car mag­a­zine dis­play in the New­mar­ket Room were last month’s cover car and owner, Cathy Willem­sen and her Moulin Rouge Cuda. Cathy com­ments on her ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing a woman in­volved in what has tra­di­tion­ally been a man’s world that, “Women shouldn’t be per­ceived as Mini driv­ers. They’re as much a part of this as any­one. You’ve got to learn how to do it, and you’ve got to be con­fi­dent enough to do it.”

View­ing point

The win­ner’s cir­cle at Eller­slie Race­course, with its man­i­cured lawns, beau­ti­fully tended gar­dens, and abun­dance of shady trees, of­fers the per­fect venue to show­case some of the coun­try’s finest clas­sics. It’s also in an ideal po­si­tion for the view­ing pub­lic to wan­der around the perime­ter and get a closer look at the cars that are be­ing judged in the Masters Class, Teams Event, and Sur­vivors Class.

Very rarely does weather dampen this fine spec­ta­cle — in fact, we can only re­call a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions over the past 20 years. Un­for­tu­nately for this year’s event, the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, along with the judg­ing chair­man, Stan Ed­wards, de­cided they needed to put Plan B into ac­tion. All of the com­pe­ti­tion cars were forced un­der cover to al­low the judges — who in­cluded our edi­tor, Ash­ley Webb — to scru­ti­nize ex­ten­sively each of the cars in com­pe­ti­tion. By far the busiest sec­tion of the event, the com­pe­ti­tion cars were im­pres­sive in num­ber and qual­ity. The judg­ing be­gan early in the day, with the fi­nal count be­ing com­pleted by 4pm in time for prize-giv­ing.

“Women and the Mar­que: cars have evolved over the years, as have women, and their fash­ion!” — Beth Stemp, Clas­sic Cover In­surance

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