New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words and pho­tos: John Mc­tavish

There can­not be an­other mar­que that cap­tures the in­ter­est of fans in such num­bers as turned up at Blake Park, Mount Maun­ganui, on Sun­day March 4, who came to ad­mire the 403 ve­hi­cles on dis­play. In do­ing so, they en­abled the Ford Mus­cle Car Club to make a very gen­er­ous do­na­tion to Waipuna Hospice. Prime event mover, and club pres­i­dent again this year, Barry Gor­don ex­plained that a char­ity cho­sen by the club each year has been the ben­e­fi­ciary of ev­ery All Ford Day since its in­cep­tion. Gor­don, a foun­da­tion mem­ber of the club, which was es­tab­lished 25 years ago, has been in­volved with or­ga­niz­ing ev­ery All Ford Day in the event’s 19-year his­tory. In ad­di­tion to the ben­e­fit­ting char­ity, the club wel­comed the spec­tac­u­larly adorned and mod­i­fied ve­hi­cles con­test­ing the Tril­lian Trek Char­ity Rally. The Tril­lian Trust sup­ports the New Zealand Po­lice Blue Light Char­ity that helps young peo­ple and youth.

As you would ex­pect, con­sid­er­ing it is 50 years since the first Es­cort rolled off the line at Hale­wood near Liver­pool in England, there was a great num­ber of all mod­els on dis­play. Of par­tic­u­lar note was Lois Leach’s 1970 Mk1, all painted up to com­mem­o­rate the Es­cort’s birth­day. Even the ra­di­a­tor hoses were colour matched. Of course, in at­ten­dance were ex­am­ples of al­most ev­ery model that has the Blue Oval some­where in its his­tory. All of the coun­tries that boasted a Ford man­u­fac­tur­ing plant were rep­re­sented by at least one model. The eras rep­re­sented were from the 1920s Model T right up to the lat­est Mon­deo Hy­brid, courtesy of Ul­ti­mate Mo­tor Group, Tau­ranga’s Ford dealer and the event’s main spon­sor.

Among the clubs rep­re­sented in ad­di­tion to the host, the Ford Mus­cle Car Club, were the Ford RS Own­ers Club, Ford Capri Car Club NZ, Zephyr Zo­diac Club, GT Fal­con Club of New Zealand, Bay of Plenty Mus­tang Own­ers Club, and the Bay of Plenty Ford Club. No doubt we missed other clubs and cars, but the crowded dis­play area of Blake Park al­ways presents a chal­lenge to cover in the time avail­able.

The judges chose a spec­tac­u­lar me­tal­lic blue 1971 Mus­tang Mach 1 be­long­ing to Colin Reed as the Best of the Best. This car also took the Best Amer­i­can top spot. A blue 1972 Capri won Best English/euro­pean, and a gold 1970 XW wagon was top Aus­tralian. A 1928 Model A won Best Vin­tage, while the Bay of Plenty Ford Club took the Best Club award. The peo­ple voted a green 1967 Mus­tang be­long­ing to Charles Quin­tal as Peo­ple’s Choice.

Good thing my as­sis­tant and I were not judges, be­cause none of the win­ners matched our se­lec­tions. They all looked pretty good to us, and we can only ad­mire the judges for the choices they made. Our par­tic­u­lar choice was a won­der­ful ex­am­ple of ’50s largesse, a 1955 Mer­cury Mont­clair Sun Val­ley. The name says it all, re­ally — and that’s just what Blake Park was like on Sun­day March 4, 2018.

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