VW Na­tion­als Show ’n’ Shine

New Zealand Classic Car - - Na­tion­wide Events - Words: Christo­pher Moor Pho­tos: Das Boot, Christo­pher Moor

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.

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