New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents -

The Napier Art Deco Fes­ti­val trans­ports the city back to the 1920s and ’30s, re­flect­ing Napier’s unique ar­chi­tec­ture, con­structed after the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake in 1931.

For the last 16 years, the fes­ti­val has been held in swel­ter­ing tem­per­a­tures, with long sun-soaked days; how­ever, this year the weather gods had a dif­fer­ent plan. Um­brel­las, rain jack­ets, and boots were the top sell­ers of the day, rather than el­e­gant fas­ci­na­tors and retro sun­shades. A good num­ber of the events planned for the five-day pro­gramme were can­celled or shifted to shel­tered venues, yet the fes­ti­val was still very well at­tended.

The light driz­zle on Satur­day morn­ing did not dampen the spir­its of the crowds lin­ing up on the foot­path of the town’s main street, ea­gerly await­ing the start of the Clas­sic Car Pa­rade, lim­ited to 250 ve­hi­cles, that in­cluded ex­am­ples from Bent­ley, Packard, Stude­baker, Chrysler, Lagonda, MG, and Bu­gatti, along with Ford trucks, mo­tor­bikes, retro bi­cy­cles, and a well­cared-for penny-far­thing.

Fu­ture gen­er­a­tions

It was heart­en­ing to see my own kids, and oth­ers, en­joy­ing the cars with such en­thu­si­asm and such ea­ger­ness to be ac­tively in­volved in this mer­ri­ment. There are very few events in New Zealand that en­gage kids with old cars in such a way! This was a clear ex­am­ple that it is pos­si­ble to en­gage fu­ture gen­er­a­tions in vin­tage cars sim­ply by mak­ing the world of vin­tage mo­tor­ing ac­ces­si­ble to them. Both vin­tage and clas­sic cars can con­trib­ute a great deal to our econ­omy, so this is an­other rea­son to in­ter­est them.

Fu­ture gen­er­a­tions need to be en­gaged, rather than ex­pected to en­gage. There are end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties out there to achieve this very sim­ple task. All we need is vi­sion, good man­age­ment, and will. It was in­ter­est­ing read­ing a car-club news­let­ter last week, as it was very en­cour­ag­ing to note that the cub was or­ga­niz­ing a Fam­ily Farm Day, en­cour­ag­ing at­ten­dees to “bring along the chil­dren and grand­chil­dren so they can see the cows get­ting milked on the farm and en­joy a pic­nic lunch on the lawn”!

Which brings me to a quote from Al­bert Ein­stein: there “is not an end if we can live on in … the younger gen­er­a­tion”. There is cer­tainly some truth in th­ese words.

To put it bluntly, if we man­age to gar­ner in­ter­est and in­tro­duce our off­spring to the world of clas­sic cars, and get them to ex­pe­ri­ence the magic of en­joy­ing a car of days gone by, we are in­di­rectly in­vest­ing in the wealth of our coun­try. Many cars are leav­ing our shores be­cause up­com­ing gen­er­a­tions are not in­ter­ested in car­ry­ing for­ward the le­gacy of their fore­fa­thers. Although the me­dia in­put, such as TV shows, news­pa­per write-ups, on­line blogs, etc. are por­tray­ing the in­dus­try as a glo­ri­fied hobby, it is still not reach­ing our younger gen­er­a­tions!

With cars, es­pe­cially the older ones, come not just their phys­i­cal parts — chas­sis and wheels — but a life­time of events and mem­o­ries.

Hamp­ton Downs and High­lands, he’s en­sured that mem­bers of each get to en­joy both fa­cil­i­ties, adding five full days on the track at the other venue to mem­ber­ship of each. To help en­sure mem­bers take up this of­fer, a deal has been done that gives mem­bers re­duced ve­hi­cle-trans­port costs be­tween the two tracks, or, if you’d pre­fer, there’s al­ways the op­tion of a hire car, avail­able at each venue. Pit garages are open for free use dur­ing any of th­ese 80 ses­sions as well.

The more we spoke to the team at Hamp­ton Downs, the more ap­peal­ing the mem­ber­ship sounded — ac­cess to dis­counted ac­com­mo­da­tion in Queen­stown was the next thing they men­tioned, along with 15 Guest Passes per mem­ber­ship per year, al­low­ing you to take pas­sen­gers on the track. Of course, im­me­di­ate fam­ily, spouses, and chil­dren are wel­come to at­tend any mem­bers event/day at the track, which in­cludes ac­cess to the mem­bers lounge as well.

When you equate all the above, the $10K join­ing fee and the an­nual ‘green fee’ of $4500 (both ex­clud­ing GST) rep­re­sent ex­cel­lent value, par­tic­u­larly when you break it down to the avail­able track time — un­der $57 per ses­sion. Try get­ting track time any­where else for that! In fact, the value has been so well rec­og­nized al­ready that over 135 peo­ple have joined at Hamp­ton, with that num­ber pro­jected to dou­ble or even triple by the end of 2017.

If you’re keen on find­ing out more or sign­ing up, give Hamp­ton’s busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager, Cherie Brown, a call on 027 536 7870 or email mar­ket­ing@hamp­ton­downs.com.

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