Parkside Media Classic Christmas Picnic
Words and photos: Trevor Stanley-joblin T
he third annual Parkside Media Classic Christmas Picnic was held in brilliant sunshine on Sunday November 27, 2016. Every entrant was issued with a New Zealand Classic Car magazine. Departing from the Amberley Saint John headquarters in North Canterbury at 10.30am, the 82 classics ranged from a Bradford van in remarkable condition and sporting the authentic original advertising, to a new Chrysler convertible.
The first port of call was Lorraine and Bert’s home at Ashley. This is an astonishing secret collection of all sorts, from rare Vauxhall Viva coupés to a twin-v8-powered tractor! Yes, two overhead-valve V8s, with 16 stack exhausts. Between these there were 1960s American Cadillacs and Chevrolets. The 186 people in attendance were spellbound.
Onwards we drove, over picturesque and undulating rolling countryside to eventually arrive at the Ashley Gorge riverside domain. What a beautiful place for the wide range of classics to park up while the crews enjoyed their picnic lunch packs.
The afternoon route took us over a section of road that would be ideal for a special stage of Targa South Island. This led us to the little village of Cust. In the local museum is a special display depicting the Cust motorcycle racing of yesteryear, held on an annual basis for many years, and including notables from the past like Dene Hollier, Mick Holland, Jim Swarbrick, and Burt Munro, to name but a few. Great photos, helmets of the period, and motorcycles, including the likes of Manx Nortons in both 350 and 500 form, Velocettes, Indians, etc. Wouldn’t it be great to see a revival of this iconic country roadrace meeting?
Our ladies enjoyed the visit to a draper-type shop named ‘Away with the Fairies’, and many purchases were seen to take place.
Our final destination was at a new upmarket café on Kingsford Smith Drive, Rangiora. In 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm purchased a Fokker F.VII B/3M monoplane, which they named ‘Southern Cross’. At 8.54am on May 31, 1928, Kingsford Smith and his four-man crew left Oakland, California, to attempt the first trans-pacific flight to Australia. The flight was in three stages. They landed in Brisbane, Australia, at 10.50am on June 9, where he was met by a huge crowd of 26,000 at Eagle Farm Airport, and was welcomed as a hero. The interior of this new café is dedicated to Kingsford Smith and his historic marathon flight. What better place to finish a day of nostalgia!