Hanmer Motorfest 2016 O
Words and photos: Trevor Stanley-joblin
n Saturday, February 27, we paid our first visit to the Hanmer Springs Motorfest, organized and hosted by the Falcon Fairlane Club of Christchurch. Hanmer, best known for its thermal hot pools, is, without a doubt, North Canterbury’s most popular tourist venue.
During the December to April period, Hanmer is overwhelmed with tourists, and when you add a popular outdoor classicvehicle show to the mix, you must book your accommodation many months in advance. Every motel had a ‘No Vacancy’ sign displayed. Hanmer is a nostalgic venue for Lorraine and I, as we honeymooned there in August of 1958 — but, that’s another story.
The day was just perfect weather-wise. Very warm but overcast, which is ideal as far as I am concerned. It’s perfect for photography, too, without the glare of the sun. There were 463 classic vehicles on display. The Falcon Fairlane and Mustang clubs had by far the biggest onemake display, with two new 2016 right-hand-drive Mustangs, both in the V8 manual option.
They were all there, from the little red ‘WEEBMW’ to the huge two-door hardtops from the likes of Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Ford Galaxy. I was thrilled to see my late grandmother’s 1947–’48 Ford V8 jailbar flat-bed truck there, too, restored to as new, but not over-the-top better than new, as some vehicles are today. This truck brings back great memories for me. Ame Grieve, my nana, established a bee farm in Hawarden, North Canterbury, after World War II, and named the farm ‘Amedale Apiarys’. I have clear memories of going on a milk-delivery run to the big hotel in Hanmer, very early in the mornings, as a 10- to 13-year-old. ‘Pansy’, as Ame named her truck (she named all her vehicles), is now owned by Brian Wood of Waikari. He is only the third owner (I hope to elaborate on the history of this Ford V8 in a future issue of New Zealand Classic Car).
I was attracted to the surprising amount of original / semi-original classics at the event. An HQ Holden Premier in the original bronze colour was an outstanding example. The owner’s father had purchased it new. Two other original cars that come to mind — but there were many more — are an AP6 Valiant Regal and a XB Fairmont. However, the three vehicles that seemed to attract the most attention from the viewing public were the micro WEEBMW; a Vauxhall Viva factory camper; and, not surprising, a Volkswagen Kombi camper.
Next year, we hope to take our ‘new’ (second time around) ’65 XP Falcon Deluxe. Better book our motel units for the last weekend in February 2017 now! At the prize-giving on the day, a cheque was presented to the Hanmer Springs Volunteer Fire Brigade from funds raised.