Rangiora Muscle Car Madness 2016
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.