Ex­panded Moon­shine Amer­i­can Ve­hi­cle Day scores

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words: Christo­pher Moor

“There’s plenty of new stuff here,” an ac­quain­tance called out as I walked around Moon­shine Rod and Cus­tom Club’s an­nual Amer­i­can Ve­hi­cle Day at the Tren­tham Race­course grounds on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 7.

Or­ga­nizer Dean Somerville said the show was the big­gest yet, with around 700 Amer­i­can cars on the ac­tual con­course — his to­tal did not in­cor­po­rate the other makes parked across the race­track, op­po­site the grand­stand, which in­cluded Porsche, Rover, Austin, Toy­ota, Brad­ford, and a dozen or so Hold­ens.

This year, the club had opened up the event to in­clude cars man­u­fac­tured out­side Amer­ica. The move brought a big in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple at­tend­ing, with an es­ti­mated 6000-plus com­ing through the gates.

One of the old­est cars on dis­play was Bernard Scott’s 1916 Cadil­lac Type 53. Sev­eral pre–high-schoolage boys were fas­ci­nated by this cen­tury-old vin­tage car and took pho­tos on their mo­bile phones to show their class­mates af­ter the Wai­tangi Day hol­i­day. The cen­te­nar­ian Cadil­lac orig­i­nally came from Christchurch and is be­lieved to have op­er­ated as a ser­vice car be­tween Christchurch and Akaroa. The car was dis­man­tled in the 1950s and the parts stored in boxes. It was re­stored in Levin from 2011 to 2013, and re­assem­bling took 4000 hours.

“You don’t see too many of them,” was a com­ment made to me while I was ad­mir­ing a 1962 cus­tom-built Aca­dian con­vert­ible. A Google search later told me that Aca­di­ans were made in Canada by Gen­eral Mo­tors, be­tween 1961 and 1972, to add a compact car to the range of­fered by Cana­dian Pon­tiac-buick deal­ers. The Amer­i­can Pon­tiac Tem­pest compact car was not sold in Canada.

Top of my car bucket list for a num­ber of years has been to see a 1950s Kaiser in the metal. My wish was granted with the ap­pear­ance of a 1953 Kaiser Man­hat­tan at this year’s Amer­i­can Ve­hi­cle Day. But it did not win the prize for the best ve­hi­cle over­all in the show; that went to a 1971 Ford Torino.

The prof­its from this very suc­cess­ful day went to the Prostate Can­cer Foun­da­tion of New Zealand.

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