New Zealand Classic Car - - CONTENTS - Words: Ash­ley Webb Pho­tos: Adam Croy


Sur­rounded by hun­dreds of clas­sic cars, the Win­ners Cir­cle at Eller­slie was crammed with an amaz­ing num­ber of stunning ve­hi­cles

— ev­ery­thing from a hum­ble, Kiwi-built Trekka to a mind-numb­ingly gor­geous, al­loy-bod­ied Mercedes-benz ‘Gull­wing’ 300SL

It’s hard to be­lieve that 42 years on, the Eller­slie Intermarque Con­cours d’élé­gance con­tin­ues to grow stronger ev­ery year. Whilst the num­ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing clubs has re­mained fairly con­stant in re­cent years — usu­ally a stag­ger­ing 75 clubs par­tic­i­pate ev­ery year, dis­play­ing sev­eral hun­dred cars — the qual­ity of restora­tions and, in­deed, sur­vivor-type ve­hi­cles present on the day seems to get bet­ter and bet­ter with each pass­ing year. Bun­dle that up with on­go­ing sup­port from spon­sors and com­mer­cial ex­hibitors, as well as in­creas­ing num­bers of pay­ing mem­bers of the public through the gates, and there’s lit­tle doubt that this event is the big­gest of its kind in the coun­try.

NZ Clas­sic Car Week­end

As in pre­vi­ous years, the 2015 Eller­slie Intermarque Con­cours d’élé­gance and NZ Clas­sic Car Show was pre­ceded on Satur­day by the an­nual and ex­tremely popular Meguiar’s Clas­sic Car Tour d’élé­gance, or­ga­nized once again by the MG Car Club. De­spite ev­ery­thing tak­ing place over the long Wai­tangi Week­end, a healthy con­tin­gent of clas­sic cars de­parted sev­eral dif­fer­ent Auck­land lo­ca­tions for a one-and-a-half to two-hour run that even­tu­ally saw them all gath­ered to­gether along Auck­land’s wa­ter­front, at Vel­lenoweth Green in St He­liers.

The pro­logue fin­ished, the fol­low­ing day it was time for the big one — with the theme for this year’s Eller­slie Intermarque Con­cours d’élé­gance and NZ Clas­sic Car Show be­ing The Big Screen. It was in­ter­est­ing to see dif­fer­ing in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the theme as car clubs went about set­ting up their dis­plays for the main event. Many were vy­ing for the Best Club Dis­play, so the num­ber of dif­fer­ent movie-type cars scat­tered around the venue made me feel like I was on a film set.

The host club again for 2015, the Auck­land Mus­tang Own­ers’ Club, was also busy at first light on Sun­day, ar­rang­ing some 50-odd cars to re­sem­ble a drive-in movie sce­nario com­plete with huge screen play­ing, of course, films such as Gonein60sec­onds and Bul­litt, plus many oth­ers fea­tur­ing Mus­tangs, on con­tin­u­ous loop through­out the day.

Movie Magic

There was also plenty of ac­tiv­ity over in the Win­ners Cir­cle early on as the five Masters Class en­tries — Phil O’reilly’s 1986 BMW 635CSI, Mike Bates’ Mini Club­man Es­tate, Garry Boyce’s 1956 MercedesBenz 300SL, Tony Kat­terns’ 1969 Trekka and Kim Walker’s 1949 MG TC — were all be­ing at­tended to in fi­nal prepa­ra­tions prior the com­mence­ment of judg­ing.

Also at­tend­ing to last-minute de­tail­ing and prepa­ra­tions in the Win­ners Cir­cle were the seven two-car teams vy­ing for the cov­eted Team Event tro­phy — th­ese be­ing the Auck­land Mus­tang Own­ers Club and MG Car Club (Auck­land) Inc, both en­ter­ing two teams, along­side the Porsche Car Club of NZ, the As­ton Martin Own­ers Club and BMW Car Club of NZ Inc.

Due to the suc­cess of the in­au­gu­ral Sur­vivors Class com­pe­ti­tion last year, a strong line-up of time-cap­sule cars was also re­ceiv­ing fi­nal prepa­ra­tions, and th­ese in­cluded Gavin Welch’s 1924 Dodge sedan A-type, Jens Fo­gel­berg’s 1965 BMW 2000C, Colin Upchurch’s 1973 MGB, Sh­eryl Boyd’s 1964 Holden EH Pre­mier, Brian Mudge’s 1970 Wolse­ley 1300, An­gus Rob­son’s 1964 As­ton Martin DB5 and Philip Hur­ring’s 1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 Ber­lina.

The Nzclassiccar mag­a­zine dis­play was com­ing to­gether rather nicely in the New­mar­ket Room, with a fine ar­ray of movie and TV clas­sic cars to com­ple­ment the event theme, along with a few in­vited ex­hibitors. Given this year’s big-screen theme it seemed ap­pro­pri­ate to bring back Mat Be­dogni’s Delorean DMC-12, this time even bet­ter and more ac­cu­rate af­ter count­less hours of care­ful at­ten­tion to de­tail that have now trans­formed the stock-stan­dard Delorean into an al­most per­fect Back­tothe Fu­ture replica — com­plete with movie props. Mat also kindly brought along his Pon­tiac Trans Am KITT Knight Rider replica, a car that wowed on­look­ers all day with its daz­zling dash­board dis­play.

Other cars in the New­mar­ket Room as part of the NZCC dis­play in­cluded three Minis rep­re­sent­ing Theital­ian­job, The Gen­eral Lee ( Duke­sof­haz­zard), a mean-look­ing Dodge Charger ( Jack­reacher), Chevrolet Chev­elle, Porsche 928 ( Risky Busi­ness), Alfa Romeo Spi­der ( Thegrad­u­ate), Fer­rari 308GTS ( Mag­numpi) and a Her­bie-style Love Bug.

Judge­ment Day

At 10am the gates were opened to the public and, for­tu­nately, the weather played its part in mak­ing the day bear­able, with an over­cast sky pro­vid­ing the per­fect protective canopy from what could’ve been blaz­ing all-day sun.

A slightly re­ar­ranged venue meant that there wasn’t suf­fi­cient space avail­able to run the popular Motorkhana event, and as the team of judges de­scended upon the Win­ners Cir­cle suit­ably armed with the manda­tory clip­boards and white cot­ton gloves, the un­en­vi­able task of judg­ing the cars en­tered in the three main cat­e­gories be­gan. Other judg­ing was also tak­ing place around the venue by a se­lect panel of judges for the Best Club Dis­play — an award spon­sored by Clas­sic Cover In­sur­ance to sin­gle out the club that best cel­e­brated the show’s main ‘The Big Screen’ theme.

As the day flew past, the judges de­lib­er­ated over points of orig­i­nal­ity, show vis­i­tors wan­dered around the venue ad­mir­ing the dis­play cars, and old mates met up to chat with ev­ery­one hav­ing a great time.

How­ever, the show was about to reach its cli­max and, by 3:30pm, a large num­ber of spec­ta­tors, club mem­bers and com­peti­tors, along with their club sup­port­ers, gath­ered in and around the Win­ner’s Cir­cle for the awards cer­e­mony — all ea­gerly await­ing the fi­nal out­come of the day’s judg­ing.

With­out fur­ther ado prize-giv­ing pro­ceed­ings were soon in full swing, with the first of the awards handed out to the win­ner of the Gary Mccrys­tal Me­mo­rial Tro­phy — Mike Swanton’s lovely 1937 Vaux­hall GY25 — and the best Club Dis­play be­ing awarded to the Sun­beam Car Club of New Zealand, which had ac­tu­ally made its own film es­pe­cially for the show.

The Masters’ Class award was the one every­body had been wait­ing for, and a beam­ing Garry Boyce hap­pily ac­cepted the tro­phy for his out­stand­ing 1956 Mercedes-benz 300SL Gull­wing, a car that had scored an im­pres­sive over­all score of 564 points out of a pos­si­ble 590.

Af­ter win­ning the Teams Event for two years run­ning, the Auck­land Mus­tang Own­ers Club was pipped at the post by the Porsche Car Club, with a com­bined to­tal score of 1051 points out of a pos­si­ble 1180. How­ever, the Mus­tang own­ers weren’t far be­hind, their two teams tak­ing out sec­ond and third places.

It was also great to see the As­ton Martin Own­ers Club in the Win­ners’ Cir­cle — its team of two stunning DB2/4S earn­ing the club fourth place over­all.

The hotly-con­tested Sur­vivors Class was taken out by Sh­eryl Boyd’s won­der­fully orig­i­nal Holden EH Pre­mier, tak­ing top spot with a to­tal score 736 points, just two ahead of Colin Upchurch’s 1973 MGB, a car that Colin’s owned since new.

For many of us, the award cer­e­mony marked the end of a long but ex­tremely en­joy­able day. It takes a mas­sive ef­fort from the host club and a ded­i­cated team of com­mit­tee mem­bers to bring this event to­gether each year, and to af­ford the public the chance to view some very nice and rare clas­sic cars. But at the end of the day, it’s the club mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing over 75 clubs, many of whom are read­ing this now, that make this spec­tac­u­lar event hap­pen, along with en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port from com­mer­cial ex­hibitors and spon­sors.

We’d like to thank you all for your fine ef­forts, and we def­i­nitely look for­ward to see­ing you all again in 2016.

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