Park­side Me­dia Christ­mas Pic­nic

New Zealand Classic Car - - NATIONWIDE NEWS - Words: Trevor Stan­ley-joblin Pho­tos: Joy Van Lier

On Sun­day, De­cem­ber 7, our first-ever Christ­mas Pic­nic was held for all past, present and fu­ture par­tic­i­pants of our an­nual North Can­ter­bury Clas­sic Tour, held tra­di­tion­ally on the last Sun­day in March.

As the net prof­its made on the day were do­nated to the Am­ber­ley St John’s Am­bu­lance, it was ap­pro­pri­ate to com­mence the tour from its head­quar­ters, us­ing the ad­ja­cent Hu­runui Dis­trict Coun­cil build­ing’s car park.

Ex­pect­ing around 40 clas­sics, we were pleas­antly sur­prised to re­ceive 99 en­tries. The weather de­cided to sup­port us as well by turn­ing on per­fect con­di­tions. The ini­tial route toured parts of the North Can­ter­bury vil­lage of Am­ber­ley, both new and old, that most driv­ers and crew had prob­a­bly never seen. Am­ber­ley has State High­way One run­ning through the cen­tre, and its pop­u­la­tion of only around 1300 is in­creas­ing weekly due to Christchurch red-zone ‘refugees’ mov­ing out there.

The route sheet gave par­tic­i­pants a lit­tle his­tory on var­i­ous build­ings they were pass­ing by — in­clud­ing Basher’s Sawmill (es­tab­lished in 1944) and the 133-year-old Broom­field School, first opened on Fe­bru­ary 1, 1881.

Af­ter pass­ing through the un­du­lat­ing and twist­ing Weka Pass the route took in the his­toric Star and Garter Ho­tel, built in 1934, while fur­ther on the sights in­cluded the his­toric old St Ai­dan’s Angli­can Church. The fi­nal morn­ing des­ti­na­tion was at the very pic­turesque Scargill Domain.

Dur­ing lunch break and be­yond, two gen­tle­men of — let’s say — ma­ture age en­ter­tained us with mu­sic and songs while a great se­lec­tion of clas­sics parked amongst the trees.

The Waimakariri Dis­trict Mayor, David Ay­ers, was present once again with his clas­sic 1964 Ford Cor­sair V4. David was kind enough to carry out the lucky draws for us, giv­ing four six-month and two one-year sub­scrip­tions to Nzclassiccar mag­a­zine.

The three old­est cars on the tour in­cluded a 1930 Ford Model A Town Sedan owned, re­stored and driven by 86-year-old Keith Price from Ka­iapoi, a red-and-black 1931 Fiat Tipo 514 owned and re­stored by Am­ber­ley elec­tri­cian, Al­lan Ren­nie, plus a 1930 Stan­dard Light Six owned, re­stored and driven by Trevor Light­foot of Mount Pleas­ant (this car fea­tures in Kiwi Vin­tage Car Col­lec­tion, the new book by NZCC con­trib­u­tor, Steve Reid). Pos­si­bly the rarest Ja­panese clas­sic to at­tend was the 1990 Toy­ota Sera, with a glass targa top and gull­wing doors, owned by Joy and Alas­tair Mur­ray — who drove down from Kaik­oura to par­tic­i­pate in this, their first clas­sic event. The twom­onth-old 2014 Maserati Ghi­bli owned by Denny and Dorothy Dun­lop, re­tired or­chardists from Loburn in North Can­ter­bury, also at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion.

The af­ter­noon sec­tion of the day in­volved re­trac­ing the morn­ing rally route, way bet­ter than trav­el­ling back to Am­ber­ley via State High­way One, while the fi­nal des­ti­na­tion was at the new award-win­ning Coun­try Oven Café and Bak­ery lo­cated within the re­cently opened Brack­en­field Shop­ping Cen­tre. This proved to be a popular fin­ish­ing point, with most par­tic­i­pants stop­ping in for a yarn over a cup of latté or cap­puc­cino.

Fi­nally we pre­sented the Am­ber­ley Saint John’s Am­bu­lance ser­vice with a cheque for $727, and ex­tended thanks to Anne at Frame ’n’ Copy, cnr Bowhill Road and Keyes Road, North New Brighton, Christchurch, for gen­er­ous spon­sor­ship of the route­in­struc­tion sheets.

Foot­note: The 13th An­nual North Can­ter­bury Clas­sic Tour, spon­sored by Park­side Me­dia and Ste­wart’s Clas­sic Cars Col­lec­tion, will be held on Sun­day, March 22, 2015. All clas­sic ve­hi­cles are wel­come, be they cars, vans, utes, trucks, campers or mo­tor­cy­cles of any age, body style, type or con­di­tion.

The start venue is at Hi-tech Build­ing Sys­tems (next to Ste­wart’s Clas­sic Car Col­lec­tion), 656 Wairakei Road, Rus­s­ley, Christchurch. Re­port from 9.30am to 10.30am, cost at $15 per ve­hi­cle.

This year, for the first time, we will take lunch at a mag­nif­i­cent pri­vate gar­den set­ting in North Can­ter­bury. Bring a pic­nic lunch, while the Brew Crew cof­fee out­let will be in at­ten­dance once again.

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