VW Nationals Show ’n’ Shine
More than 150 Volkswagens drove on to Lower Hutt’s Avalon Park on Saturday, April 15 for the Show ’n’ Shine of this year’s Qualitat Volkswagen Nationals. The 2017 nationals were hosted by the Kombined VW Owners Club of Wellington, and held at Lower Hutt and Wellington over Easter weekend.
This year’s programme was called Das Reboot, acknowledging the gap year gathering at Nelson last year after the 25th anniversary national show at Taupo in 2015.
Most of the VWS on show were either Beetles or Kombis, with a few Karmann Ghias, Golfs, Buggys, and a brace of 1970s Volkswagen-engine Porsches scattered among them. A Corrado and a 1500 notchback were also seen in the display.
Helga, standing in front of a 1971 Beetle with her “Guten Morgen Und Willkommen’’ sign, set the scene for what would be a fun outing. Free admission, spot prizes for adults and children, and complementary take-home souvenirs added to the happy atmosphere on the park.
A pair of legs sticking out from under the raised rear end of a 1967 Beetle caused several double takes. The owner appeared to be making running repairs during the show. Laughter and conversations followed after people realized there was nothing wrong with the car. They had been taken in by a dummy! This attention-getting VW belongs to the Goodhue family of Oakura, in Taranaki, who have owned the car twice.
“Sold 15 years ago and found two years ago unloved and under a tarp at a beach. Saved for a second time,” according to the fact sheet on the passenger door. Several other cars displayed their histories in a similar manner, which added to the enjoyment for visitors.
Prizes were awarded at a dinner in the evening. Among the winners: Selwyn Martin’s 1954 Microbus (Best in the Show) and Noel Williamson’s 1958 Beetle (People’s Choice).
The next day, Easter Sunday, the VWS went on a road cruise around Wellington harbour, before assembling for a display on the promenade outside Te Papa.