AMER­ICARNA

Classic Driver - - NEWS -

The Amer­icarna logo re­ally says it all with the tag-line “Cel­e­brat­ing Amer­i­can Cul­ture” and this ap­plies equally to the 600 plus en­trants the event at­tracted this year, or the many thou­sands of Taranaki res­i­dents who crowded the road­sides and flocked to wher­ever the mas­sive con­voy was parked. And it is this lo­cal sup­port which re­ally makes this such a fan­tas­tic event to take part in, or just to ob­serve from the side­lines.

The con­cept is sim­ple. Ev­ery morn­ing the cars meet at the New Ply­mouth Race­course and then travel as the big­gest sin­gle con­voy of cars you are go­ing to see any­where. From there the Amer­icarna trav­el­ling cir­cus moves en mass to one of the lo­cal towns to park up in the main street where seem­ingly ev­ery sin­gle per­son within a one-hour ra­dius comes to look. I am pretty sure that when Amer­icarna is in town, there is not a scrap of pro­duc­tiv­ity from any lo­cal busi­ness! Even ed­u­ca­tion of the in-school kind was sus­pended. School groups were walk­ing through the cars in each town and ev­ery coun­try school we passed had ev­ery pupil lin­ing the fence, wav­ing flags or cheer­ing. As a driver you need a min­i­mum of four hands. One for the steer­ing wheel, one to change gear, the third to work the horn and a fourth one for wav­ing du­ties.

This year’s event had a change of des­ti­na­tion for day one. In­stead of a run around the moun­tain, this time we all went to in­vade Whang­amomona in­stead. For the first time in the town’s his­tory, there was a traf­fic jam in the main street as 600 cars rolled into a town with a pop­u­la­tion of 10 people, two dogs and a horse. It was here that the years of plan­ning and ex­pe­ri­ence from the small team led by John (JR) Rae re­ally was on show as the ar­riv­ing cars were quickly di­rected into ev­ery space, pad­dock and rugby field within walk­ing dis­tance of the town cen­tre (aka the pub) and even then, there was trans­port avail­able from the parks to town if a five minute walk in the sun­shine wasn’t your thing.

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