FORD MUSCLE CAR CLUB ALL FORD DAY
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.