LOCAL MARKET REPORT
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.
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 email@example.com.