A Great Day Out: Bay of Plenty Mus­tang Own­ers Club Ex­treme All USA Day

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

What do 83 Mus­tangs, 21 Corvettes, 10 Cadil­lacs plus more than 80 other ve­hi­cles all made in USA add up to? A great day out, that’s what! Ev­ery­one who had the priv­i­lege of be­ing at the Whare­pai Domain near Tau­ranga’s cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict on Sun­day, Novem­ber 16 had plenty of sheet metal to ad­mire.

The good num­ber of Mus­tangs was not sur­pris­ing given the event was or­ga­nized by mem­bers of the Bay of Plenty Mus­tang Own­ers Club, and the fact the model was born 50 years pre­vi­ously, in 1964. To mark the an­niver­sary, the Mus­tangs were grouped by year of man­u­fac­ture.

Bay of Plenty Mus­tang Own­ers Club pres­i­dent, Dave Flett, owns two Mus­tangs, as do many other mem­bers. How­ever, Dave and his wife Julie own one of the old­est in New Zealand — a 1964½ — and one of the new­est, a 2014 Cal­i­for­nia Spe­cial. In fact they pur­chased their new Mus­tang ex­actly 50 years to the day since the early Mus­tang was first reg­is­tered on May 11, 1964. Dave ex­plained that it was a deal they couldn’t pass up at the end of the visit he and Julie, and seven other cou­ples from the Bay of Plenty, made to at­tend the 50th An­niver­sary Mus­tang Con­ven­tion in Las Ve­gas, USA, which was at­tended by more than 6000 Mus­tangs.

Who would have thought all those years ago that six model gen­er­a­tions and 50 years later the car that gave rise to the generic term pony car would be still be gal­lop­ing along? The sixth- gen­er­a­tion Mus­tang will for the first time be man­u­fac­tured in right-hand drive form for sale brand-new through New Zealand deal­er­ships, and is due to ar­rive late this year.

Mus­tang Own­ers Club cars from Taranaki and Auck­land made the Bay of Plenty trip, and in­di­ca­tions are that both clubs will make this a regular run in their an­nual sched­ule of ac­tiv­i­ties.

But the day wasn’t just about Mus­tangs. If my maths is cor­rect, if you weren’t a Mus­tang fan there were more than 100 other cars to drool over. The Corvette clubs had a multi-model kalei­do­scope of colour line-up. The old­est one was a 1961 first-gen­er­a­tion con­vert­ible gleam­ing and re­splen­dent in the Bay of Plenty sun. The Auck­land Corvette Club won the Best Rep­re­sented Club prize do­nated by Tau­ranga In­sur­ance Ser­vices.

There were Cadil­lacs enough to prove the brand is the busi­ness when it comes to Amer­i­can cars. Those from the mid 20th Cen­tury were glo­ri­ously im­prac­ti­cal to mod­ern eyes, but epit­o­mize the post-war glam­our that an­tipodeans imag­ined ev­ery Amer­i­can en­joyed. >

Sporty mod­els from Mopar pro­vided the coun­ter­point to op­u­lent cruisers. Light com­mer­cials, mostly Ford and Chev work­horses, proved that Amer­i­can ve­hi­cles were not just high­pow­ered turn­pike cruisers.

There was no rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle clubs this year — they were prob­a­bly called up for se­cu­rity du­ties pro­tect­ing the G20 lead­ers at their sum­mit, which hap­pened over the same week­end in Bris­bane. Never mind, peace-keep­ing du­ties were not needed at the Domain on Sun­day.

Dave ex­plained that it was fit­ting, given the peace­ful and happy at­mos­phere, that pro­ceeds from this year’s show went to Waipuna Hospice. The club sup­ports a dif­fer­ent good cause each year, and it seemed ap­pro­pri­ate that hav­ing sup­ported the Child Can­cer Foun­da­tion from the pre­vi­ous event, folks mostly at the other end of the age spec­trum should ben­e­fit this time.

As Dave pointed out the club is ex­tremely grate­ful for the sup­port pro­vided by the event’s main spon­sors, Ex­treme Auto Parts and Swann In­sur­ance, which al­lows the club to pass on more to its cho­sen char­ity than would oth­er­wise be the case. The Spon­sors’ Choice award went to a beau­ti­ful blue 1956 Ford Thun­der­bird.

The award­ing of Peo­ple’s Choice to the slip­pery stealth-black 1967 Mus­tang brought prize-giv­ing to a close, and the post­mortem could begin. No doubt whichever way you added up the many and var­i­ous el­e­ments that went into mak­ing the Ex­treme All USA Car Show a suc­cess for the par­tic­i­pants and spec­ta­tors, the re­sul­tant ver­dict would be that it was a great day out.

01 Per­fect combo — flag, fluffy dice and Fair­lane from 1958 02 1965 Ford Thun­der­bird 03 Spe­cial 1958 Buick 04 Resto maybe — 1926 Chrysler 70

05 1946 Mer­cury 8 con­vert­ible. 06 Ex­treme Au­to­mo­tive Parts Spon­sors’ Choice 1956 Ford Thun­der­bird show­ing the 2002 model how it’s done 07 Judges work­ing hard, 1966 Mus­tang 08 BOP Mus­tang Own­ers Club pres­i­dent Dave Flett and his wife, Julie, with their Mus

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