All USA Car Show
Words and photos:
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.