Brits at the Beach (Oc­to­ber 9–11)

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words and pho­tos: John Mctav­ish

OK, so there was no pier, but there was the green of Wil­liamson Park bor­der­ing the dunes and the lovely sweep that is Whanga­mata’s main beach; there was no rain, but there was sun­shine ga­lore, em­pha­siz­ing that Brits at the Beach con­firms the ar­rival of spring; there were no amuse­ment ar­cades or bingo halls, but there was the tem­po­rary vil­lage green that of­fered many things Bri­tish; there wasn’t a fish and chips shop and I didn’t see any jel­lied eels or mushy peas, but there were can­dyfloss, Cor­nish pasties, York­shire pud, and meat and gravy; and there was no one wear­ing sandals with socks or a knot­ted hand­ker­chief on their head, but there were plenty of peo­ple dressed in Bri­tish garb hop­ing to win the fancy-dress com­pe­ti­tion. (It tran­spired that the Stig won the fan­cy­dress event by virtue of re­main­ing mute and anony­mous be­hind his hel­met for the en­tire af­ter­noon — many thought he might have been the re­cently made re­dun­dant Jeremy Clark­son moon­light­ing.)

There were, how­ever, lots of cars made in Bri­tain and lots of en­thu­si­asts — most of who were made in New Zealand, if ap­pear­ances were any­thing to go by — ogling and ap­pre­ci­at­ing the for­mer. Colin Mccabe, lo­cal ra­dio per­son­al­ity and prime mover of the event, said that 460 ve­hi­cles had reg­is­tered, and he ex­pected new ar­rivals would take the to­tal to over 500 — a large num­ber of cars to cram into Wil­liamson Park, and they made an im­pres­sive and colour­ful sight gleam­ing in the sun.

The Brits at the Beach event in­volves three days of ac­tiv­i­ties. This year, it started

on the Fri­day with a drive to Thames. In the evening, was the Port Road (Whanga­mata’s main street) Park Up, with live mu­sic, street en­ter­tain­ment, and com­pe­ti­tions. A beau­ti­ful Austin-healey 3000 Mk II won the Port Road Park Up Best Car prize.

On Satur­day, while much en­ter­tain­ment ac­tiv­ity was cen­tred on the vil­lage green, the big at­trac­tions for clas­sic car afi­ciona­dos were the Brits 6 Clas­sic Cover Grand Pa­rade through the streets of Whanga­mata and the Great Bri­tish Car and Bike Show. The team from Clas­sic Cover In­sur­ance, one of the event’s spon­sors, judged a 1970 Lotus Elan to be the most pris­tine, orig­i­nal, and un­mod­i­fied car on dis­play that also epit­o­mized ev­ery­thing a Bri­tish-built ve­hi­cle should be. A 1953 Land Rover Se­ries 1, re­splen­dent in mil­i­tary colours, was judged a close se­cond. In truth, all of the hun­dreds of ve­hi­cles on dis­play de­served a prize. In the evening, var­i­ous en­ter­tain­ments were on of­fer, in­clud­ing a sold-out Pink Floyd Trib­ute show.

Sun­day saw a drive to Pauanui then the Brits Used Car Yard and Bon­nets Up Car Show back at Wil­liamson Park. The vil­lage green stalls and mu­sic were again in full swing un­til the Fond Farewells event in the mid af­ter­noon.

Brits at the Beach is much more than a car show, even if that is the main rea­son why clas­sic car peo­ple en­joy it so much. It

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.