Han­mer Mo­tor­fest 2016 O

Words and pho­tos: Trevor Stan­ley-joblin

New Zealand Classic Car - - NATIONWIDE NEWS -

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.

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