ALL FORD DAY TAU­RANGA

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words and photos: John Mc­tavish

Rby the Un­cle Norm Trust to con­tinue the youth-de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives started by Andrew’s late fa­ther, Norm Mcin­tosh, long-stand­ing se­nior con­sta­ble in Ngaru­awahia. Norm was awarded the Queen’s Ser­vice Medal (QSM) in 2001 for his ser­vices to the com­mu­nity.

With a record num­ber of ve­hi­cles to sali­vate over, my as­sis­tants and I had to keep up a brisk pace, with no time to re­lax be­fore cars and crowds be­gan to drift away midafter­noon. Lunch was hot dogs and chips on the move, which caused some lo­gis­ti­cal dif­fi­cul­ties Ul­ti­mate Mo­tor Group was the main one. The brand-new Fords on show at­tracted plenty of ad­mir­ers.

With the Child Cancer Foun­da­tion as the main ben­e­fi­ciary of the event, the show is ori­ented to­wards fam­i­lies. With this in mind, Andrew Mcin­tosh brought along to dis­play the 1992 Fal­con GLI po­lice car that once pa­trolled the north­ern Waikato’s high­ways when the Min­istry of Trans­port ruled, in­stead of the po­lice. The car is as it was when re­tired from the ser­vice, and now is used as a fundraiser for or­ga­niz­ing the show quite a few times in its 18-year his­tory — didn’t seem fazed, though he was a lit­tle fran­tic. Some cat­e­gories must have been eas­ier to judge than oth­ers, such as the Bay of Plenty Mus­tang Club’s win of Best Rep­re­sented Club, with their usual tremen­dous turnout. And, of course, they re­lied on the fans to pick Mike Howes’ svelte 1950 Mercury Mon­terey for Peo­ple’s Choice.

A show of this size and com­plex­ity wouldn’t be pos­si­ble with­out spon­sors, and, nat­u­rally, lo­cal Ford dealer ecords are made to be bro­ken, and, on Sun­day March 5, the Ford Mus­cle Car Club pulled it off again. The more than 3000 fans through the gate, to the ben­e­fit of the Child Cancer Foun­da­tion, and 422 ve­hi­cles on show beats last year, which it­self was a record. If the show con­tin­ues to be this suc­cess­ful, the club may have to look for a venue with more ca­pac­ity.

With­out a doubt, hav­ing that many Fords packed into Blake Park at Mount Maun­ganui made for an awe­some spec­ta­cle. There were Ford ve­hi­cles of ev­ery type imag­in­able — cars, hot rods, and com­mer­cials from ev­ery coun­try that ever man­u­fac­tured the mar­que and model dur­ing ev­ery era from the be­gin­ning in 1903 were to be found some­where in the sea of blue ovals.

Judg­ing that many ve­hi­cles over 10 classes must have been a daunt­ing task, but Barry Gor­don — who has been re­spon­si­ble

when pho­tograph­ing, but that’s when my as­sis­tants came in handy.

With not much time to spare, we made it to the end of the last row to re­flect on the long and var­ied his­tory of Ford il­lus­trated by ev­ery­thing on dis­play. What struck us was that the cars rep­re­sented a so­cial his­tory of the world, or the West­ern half, any­way, start­ing off with the early cars built solely to func­tion, such as the Model Ts and As, through to the aus­ter­ity of the 1930s when World War II stymied ev­ery­thing just as de­sign en­tered the mix, with the likes of the 1936 Ford V8 coupe and even com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles such as the 1939 Ford Light Com­mer­cial. After World War II and the Korean War, and be­fore the Cold War ush­ered in an­other era of cau­tion and long be­fore con­ser­va­tion of re­sources be­came a con­sid­er­a­tion, the world en­joyed a brief pe­riod of un­bri­dled op­ti­mism. De­sign­ers ex­pressed that op­ti­mism and grow­ing pros­per­ity in ev­er­more-flam­boy­ant ve­hi­cles, mag­nif­i­cently epit­o­mized by the 1960 Lin­coln Con­ti­nen­tal on show.

After that pin­na­cle of good — or, some would say, bad — taste, when form was far more im­por­tant than func­tion, and of course hav­ing a few hic­cups along the way. Fac­tors such as the first oil shock in the early 1970s, the threat of mu­tu­ally as­sured de­struc­tion if the Cold War turned hot, scarcer re­sources, cli­mate change, and con­ser­va­tion en­sured we would never see the like of the big Fords again. It is quite amaz­ing that Ford can de­sign and pro­duce cars to­day like the new Mus­tangs that hark back to that flam­boy­ant era yet de­liver much greater power and econ­omy in an in­fin­itely safer pack­age.

We were grate­ful to the Ford Mus­cle Car Club, for giv­ing us the op­por­tu­nity to ap­pre­ci­ate Ford ve­hi­cles back through time, and to to­day’s own­ers for the ef­fort put into main­tain­ing their ve­hi­cles as a vis­ual his­tory of a proud mar­que.

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