NA­TION­WIDE NEWS Clas­sic news and views from all around New Zealand Pace with Grace: Christ­mas at the Downs

New Zealand Classic Car - - Letters - Words and Pho­tos: Steve Ritchie

The Can­ter­bury Branch Vin­tage Car Club (VCC) is the proud or­ga­nizer of the largest swap meet in this coun­try. How­ever, like many an­nual events, it started on a small scale when the first swap meet was held in 1976 on a sealed car park. The Rod Ben­ders hot rod club must be rec­og­nized as the orig­i­nal or­ga­niz­ers as far as Can­ter­bury is con­cerned — all credit to the club for hav­ing the ini­tia­tive to start a swap meet way back then. Of course, swap meets had been held in the US for many decades be­fore this much as the parts they find — or, at least, try to lo­cate. The old say­ing ‘one man’s junk is an­other man’s trea­sure’ is cer­tainly a good in­di­ca­tion of what th­ese vin­tage car swap meets are all about.

While the event is first and fore­most a swap meet, on the lower field, the scene is quite dif­fer­ent. This is where mem­bers and non-mem­bers put on a huge dis­play of re­stored ve­hi­cles, rang­ing from the late 1800s to 1985, the cur­rent New Zealand VCC cut-off ac­cep­tance year, in ac­cor­dance with their 30-year slid­ing rule.

We have at­tended 32 of the 35 swap meets at Cut­ler Park ­— 31 of those as site hold­ers — and never get tired of at­tend­ing this great event.

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