Bay of Plenty Ford Muscle Car Club All Ford Day
As club president Barry Gordon said, “It was a big day for the Ford Muscle Car Club!” as on Sunday, March 1 its show hosted many more vehicles than previous years, with 370 of them filling Blake Park, the cars overflowing into the neighbouring playing field — luckily it was another hot, dry day, and the turf remained unmarked. Then there were the more than 3000 fans — the team of Muscle Car Club members did a fine job keeping them happy, organizing and judging the vehicles on display.
This event has become synonymous with the welfare of children, because the first Sunday in March is also New Zealand Children’s Day. Ford aficionados seem to appreciate the connection, because kids of all ages and sizes make up a fair proportion of the fans coming through the gate. It is a real family day out. Fortunately there is a fine children’s play area with swings and slides that is popular with the younger set, which perhaps allows the older set to concentrate on the cars. The area is shaded by trees, which also makes it a nice spot to sit on the grass and have a hot dog and chips, or an ice cream.
On this day the great beneficiary of Ford fans’ and owners’ generosity is the Child Cancer Foundation. The Ford Muscle Car Club deems it entirely appropriate that the Foundation should benefit from the event being held on Children’s Day.
The event’s main sponsor, the Ultimate Motor Group — Tauranga’s Ford dealership — had on display its latest models, including a Mondeo yet to be released in New Zealand. Vehicles from the early 1900s and every decade since, and many countries in which Fords were manufactured, were on display. Clubs representing these included the Bay of Plenty Mustang Owners Club, and with an impressive 37 cars on show it naturally took the Best Club Represented award. Besides the Ford Muscle Car Club, amongst the other clubs represented were the Waikato Mustang, Zephyr and Zodiac, Fpv/tickford, Capri, Bay Rodders, Vintage and Model A.
Just to show they are not always besotted by Mustangs, this year the judges chose an Aussie as Best of the Best, with Jared Loader’s 1971 Ford Falcon XY GT. Even the people shunned American this year, and selected Glen Wallace’s 1972 Ford Falcon coupé as their choice. As usual judging and picking winners out of such a line-up of vehicles cannot have been an easy task, given that many would have qualified.
Prize-giving ended the day, and diehard fans enjoyed the spectacle and sound of Fords of all displacements rumbling and burbling their way out of the grounds. Barry and his team have every reason to feel proud of the way their day went, and no doubt are already planning for the first Sunday in March next year.