Bay of Plenty Vin­tage Car Club Car Show and Swap Meet

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News Classic News & Views From All Arou - Words and Pho­tos: John Mctav­ish

Some of the rose fanciers wan­der­ing in the Mu­nic­i­pal Rose Gar­dens un­der the watch­ful eye of Ceres, the God of Plenty, seemed obliv­i­ous to the event tak­ing place right next door in plain view. It may well be, of course, that not ev­ery­one was be­sot­ted by an eye-wa­ter­ing col­lec­tion of ve­hi­cles on dis­play at the most spec­tac­u­lar lo­ca­tion for a Vin­tage Car Club in New Zealand, if not the world.

Hap­pily, many be­sot­ted peo­ple did come along on Sun­day, Novem­ber 9 to the VCC show. The VCC clu­b­rooms and grounds are on what used to be the old bowl­ing greens next door to the rose gar­dens on the cliff top, with a spec­tac­u­lar view of Tau­ranga’s wa­ter­front and har­bour.

The only down­side to oc­cu­py­ing such a prime spot is that other or­ga­ni­za­tions covet it. Jim Smylie, Tau­ranga VCC pres­i­dent, ex­plained that the club is re­minded of its in­se­cu­rity of ten­ure each time a pro­posal comes from the City Coun­cil to put the site to ‘bet­ter use’, such as a mu­seum or car park.

Jim paid trib­ute to the spon­sor­ship in the form of ex­ten­sive ad­ver­tis­ing of the event pro­vided by the Bay of Plenty Times, and also to mem­bers of the club who turned out en masse the pre­vi­ous day to make sure the club rooms and grounds were ready for the big day. He es­pe­cially wanted to thank John Payne, prime mover and event or­ga­nizer, whose ac­ci­dent pre­vented him from be­ing there to wit­ness the suc­cess­ful out­come of his hard work.

As usual your cor­re­spon­dent omit­ted to count the num­ber of ve­hi­cles on dis­play. No mat­ter, be­cause at this event num­bers are mea­sured by how full the bowl­ing greens are. Back­ing up pres­i­dent Jim’s es­ti­mate that at­ten­dance was up this year there was one more row than last year, with space left for maybe one more to be squeezed in next year.

Among the ve­hi­cles on dis­play were those be­long­ing to Jack Hoven, a found­ing branch mem­ber from 56 years ago, who dis­played his two Stude­bak­ers: his 1963 Lark Cruiser and 1918 Tourer. Other ve­hi­cles which stood out for rea­sons of age, rar­ity or con­di­tion, or all three, were the 1910 Hup­mo­bile 20, Lau­rie O’con­nell’s been-ev­ery­where 1956 Vaux­hall Cresta, a 1934 Railton Ter­ra­plane and, even see­ing the ‘light,’ a 1973 Mazda Luce RE12. But it is un­fair to pick out only these, as there were many more that if space had al­lowed would also have de­served a men­tion.

The only thing left to do to round out a per­fect day, one when sun­nies rather than rose-tinted spec­ta­cles were ad­vis­able, was to sam­ple the spec­tac­u­lar home cook­ing pro­vided at rea­son­able prices by some very tal­ented cooks. Nat­u­rally this led to the sausage siz­zle at which the guys would cook you what­ever combo of sausage, bread, onions, and sauce you de­sired. Sit­ting and con­sum­ing our carb-loaded lunch while ob­serv­ing the friendly crowds still busy swap­ping and sell­ing, and the rows of gleam­ing ma­chin­ery with the still wa­ters of the har­bour glit­ter­ing in the back­ground, we couldn’t help re­flect­ing that this surely must be the best car show and swap meet in the world.

Old­est in show, 1910 Hup­mo­bile 20

Vaux­hall’s big, pow­er­ful PB Velox sa­loon from 1964

Camper­van 1930 style, Ford AA

Want coal or grain ur­gently? 1929 Chrysler Fargo Ex­press

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