All USA Car Show

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New Zealand Classic Car - - NATIONWIDE EVENTS -

TJohn Mc­tavish

he All USA Car Show’s old venue at the do­main was pretty good, but there were nig­gles about sub­ject­ing a grass sports venue to ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic if the weather didn’t co-op­er­ate, and spec­ta­tor park­ing was al­ways tight in the city streets nearby. So, the Bay of Plenty Mus­tang Own­ers Club ex­ec­u­tive cast around for a new venue, and the Clas­sic Fly­ers Avi­a­tion Mu­seum at Tau­ranga Air­port came to the res­cue, of­fer­ing the club a very soft land­ing.

And what a res­cue it turned out to be! Club pres­i­dent Paul Stops and his army of helpers, in­clud­ing the dis­tinc­tively clad Grid Girls, were unan­i­mous in their praise of the new venue. The re­sponse from the own­ers of the more than 220 ve­hi­cles en­tered, in­clud­ing heavy and light trucks and all types of cars, also in­di­cated their en­dorse­ment of the change. The pub­lic voted with their feet by march­ing through the en­trance gate in very sat­is­fy­ing num­bers, which brought a smile to the faces of the main spon­sors, Ex­treme Au­to­mo­tive Parts and Swann In­sur­ance, as well as the host, Clas­sic Fly­ers.

Pres­i­dent Paul pointed out that the num­ber of spec­ta­tors through the gate, es­pe­cially the greater num­ber of fam­i­lies ap­par­ent, would di­rectly ben­e­fit the club’s cho­sen char­ity. This year, it chose as ben­e­fi­ciary of a sub­stan­tial por­tion of the gate tak­ings lo­cal char­ity Homes for Hope, which is “pas­sion­ate about de­liv­er­ing the very best fos­ter care ser­vices within a strong com­mu­nity.” Paul said that ev­ery year the club sup­ports a char­ity fo­cused on Tau­ranga or the Bay of Plenty with a need that is lo­cal rather than na­tional.

While it was the cars we came to see, the back­drop of clas­sic air­craft pro­vided added in­ter­est. The Clas­sic Fly­ers mu­seum and hangars were open for in­spec­tion, and air­craft man­u­fac­tured in the US were promi­nently dis­played on the aprons among the cars. The air­craft in­cluded a pair of Boe­ing Stear­man bi­planes; a North Amer­i­can Har­vard; and an F86 Sabre fighter jet, a vet­eran from the Korean War. As well, there were many other air­craft types from dif­fer­ent coun­tries dis­played in the mu­seum hang­ers.

Of the wing­less (not nec­es­sar­ily fin­less) ve­hi­cles in the show it­self, among the stand­outs were the 1942 GMC log­ging truck judged Best Com­mer­cial; a 1955 Fair­lane Crown Vic­to­ria judged Best Clas­sic; and the many Corvettes of the Auck­land Corvette Club, which won Best Rep­re­sented Club. The Ex­treme Au­to­mo­tive Parts Spon­sor’s Choice award went to a Chevro­let Pickup 3100, and Peo­ple’s Choice went to a mod­i­fied 1928 Model A roadster.

The Bay of Plenty Mus­tang Own­ers Club won the cup for Best Par­tic­i­pat­ing Club at the re­cent Labour Week­end Na­tional Mus­tang Con­ven­tion in Auck­land, and I would think that it should win the cup again next year, if the ob­vi­ous ef­fort and at­ten­tion to de­tail put into mak­ing the All USA Day Car Show in Tau­ranga a suc­cess are any­thing to go by.

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