Nel­son Branch — Vin­tage Car Club of New Zealand Inc.

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New Zealand Classic Car - - Club Corner -

The Nel­son Branch of the Vin­tage Car Club of New Zealand was formed in 1964 by a small group of lo­cal en­thu­si­asts as a sub­group of the Can­ter­bury Branch, which is still the largest branch in the coun­try, with al­most 1000 mem­bers. Nel­son has 285 mem­bers, who, be­tween them, own in ex­cess of 600 club-el­i­gi­ble cars and mo­tor­cy­cles.

One of the found­ing mem­bers, cur­rent pa­tron Ken Ivory, cel­e­brated his 90th birth­day by driv­ing his 1930 Ford Model A to Christchurch and back — vin­tage cars must be good for your health! There are six cat­e­gories of ve­hi­cles in the club, rang­ing from Vet­eran (built prior to De­cem­ber 1918) to Post 1980 (but must be at least 30 years old).

The branch is de­vel­op­ing new club rooms at the Nel­son Speed­way As­so­ci­a­tion grounds in Rich­mond, just south of Nel­son city, which are due for com­ple­tion later this year.

A club night is held each month on the sec­ond Thurs­day, in­volv­ing talks, films, and mo­tor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. On the fol­low­ing Sun­day, a club run gets the cars onto roads around the dis­trict, of­ten with lunch stops and a chance for mem­bers to gather and chat.

Dur­ing the year, ad­di­tional tours and ral­lies are or­ga­nized: for the 50th an­niver­sary, a week­end rally at­tracted 120 ve­hi­cles, and 55 joined a four-day tour end­ing in Grey­mouth for the an­nual West Coast rally. The an­nual swap meet in Fe­bru­ary has grown hugely and is now big busi­ness, with over 120 sites.

The branch has a wel­com­ing, friendly at­mos­phere, with plenty of ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple to help with old-ve­hi­cle restora­tions and main­te­nance.

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