ALL FORD DAY TAURANGA
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.