Bay of Plenty Ford Mus­cle Car Club All Ford Day

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Words and Pho­tos John Mctav­ish Nzclassiccar,

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.

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