Ran­giora Mus­cle Car Mad­ness 2016

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words and Pho­tos: Trevor Stan­ley-joblin

The largest out­door car show in the South Is­land is the North Can­ter­bury– based Mus­cle Car Mad­ness event. For the past 26 years, this event has been held at the Ran­giora Show­grounds, and it is still or­ga­nized by its in­sti­ga­tor, Mr Craig Stare.

Al­though I have vis­ited about 10 times over those years, this is the first time I have fur­nished a re­port. In around 2002, I dis­played my 1936 Ford V8 roadster to­gether with my 1969 Ford Es­cort Mex­ico sealed-cir­cuit clas­sic racer.

This year, on Sun­day, Jan­uary 24, I went along with my new Lu­mix dig­i­tal cam­era, which is ap­par­ently a big im­prove­ment on my Park­side Me­dia–is­sued cam­era, now some 15 or 20 years old — we will let the pho­tos tell their own story!

The cars I fo­cused on were the dozens of stan­dard, orig­i­nal-type Amer­i­can mod­els on dis­play. One of the ve­hi­cles that at­tracted my at­ten­tion was a 1966–’67 VC­model Chrysler Valiant that had ob­vi­ously been out­doors for many years and was cov­ered in lichen as it had been found — I pre­sume re­cently. An­other was a Hum­ber Su­per Snipe — my guess, about a ’48 to ’52 model — in as-found orig­i­nal con­di­tion. This was the type of case where a buyer could leave the car as-is or carry out a full restora­tion (as th­ese cars have plenty of chrome, they can look good in black, with wide white­walls).

Car shows are now at the stage where a ve­hi­cle has to be ‘un­usual’ in some way, be it good or bad, for the view­ing pub­lic to take any real in­ter­est. The men­tioned ve­hi­cles cer­tainly fall into this cat­e­gory, as did an im­mac­u­lately re­stored Mazda RX-3 — prov­ing, once again, that early Ja­panese cars are on the rise and garner in­ter­est.

As I am cur­rently resto-restor­ing an old car­a­van, I was on the look­out for any oth­ers. By far the best was the 1942 cus­tom built cruiser. The blue-and-white Kombi tow­ing a new VW Kombi car­a­van also at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the ad­ver­tis­ing plac­ard be­side it, th­ese are brand new and can be or­dered with your own in­te­rior lay­out and colour scheme. Yes, the en­tire ve­hi­cle is new. Now, that’s a first to my knowl­edge.

I am in­formed by Craig, the event or­ga­nizer, that around 1300 ve­hi­cles were on dis­play on Satur­day, while ap­prox­i­mately 800 at­tended on the Sun­day. Over the two days, around 10,000 mem­bers of the pub­lic came to view the dis­plays.

There’s a right-proper cel­e­bra­tion hap­pen­ing this Queen’s Birth­day week­end at Auck­land’s spec­tac­u­lar wa­ter­front spot, Queens Wharf.

The Great Queen’s Birth­day Mar­ket will see lower Shed 10 trans­formed into a thriv­ing hub of stalls and per­for­mances, at which you can stock up on spe­cialty, im­ported Bri­tish, and Scot­tish prod­ucts, along with count­less New Zealand trea­sures, thanks to pop­u­lar lo­cal craft, art, fash­ion, and ac­ces­sory ven­dors.

Fun car­ni­val fare with clas­sic sea­side car­ni­val games — in­clud­ing laugh­ing clowns and rides — will also be on of­fer to keep the young ones sat­is­fied, or they can get crafty at the chil­dren’s work­shops. The real kooks in the fam­ily can try the Mad Hat­ter’s Tea Party. In ad­di­tion, there will be per­for­mances from The Pup­pet Man mar­i­onette show — side-slap­ping fun for the whole fam­ily.

Vin­tage car dis­plays will be re­volv­ing daily, with a broad se­lec­tion of his­toric mo­tors in at­ten­dance. Clubs that have dis­played in pre­vi­ous years in­clude the MG Car Club, Hum­ber-hill­man Car Club, Daim­ler Lanch­ester Own­ers Club, Land Rover Own­ers Club, Jowett Car Club, and Jaguar Driv­ers Club Auck­land, plus lux­ury Bri­tish cars from the Gil­trap Group, in­clud­ing Mclaren, As­ton Martin, and Bent­ley. And keep your eyes peeled for Rob­bies Dou­ble Decker Fun Bus rides tour­ing the down­town area through­out the week­end.

Three great fam­ily films will also screen over the week­end, along­side an ar­ray of re­fresh­ments for any­one who just wants to kick back and re­lax. The Cloud will play host to a high-tea of­fer­ing up­stairs, for a touch of class, while there’s a re­laxed bar and restau­rant area down­stairs.

So, make the most of the best long week­end in win­ter and get the fam­ily down to Queens Wharf.

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