Damn, another year has blasted by as if it was on full boost with an arse-kick of nitrous. Summer is here, and so is the onslaught of events. I hope you have something in the shed that’s ‘finished’ enough so you can get out there and enjoy it in whatever way you dreamed of during those long winter nights spent wrenching. For me, summer means long hot days at the race track, wandering around car shows, cruising in cars older than me, and BBQs at my workshop while looking at cars that still aren’t finished.
I would have to say, 2016 has seen our community in a pretty good space. There are plenty of cars getting built; plenty of guys pushing the boundaries, both with style and performance; and plenty of locally built parts and cars of a world-stage calibre. Looking back on this year’s feature cars gives a good indication of how healthy it is out there in New Zealand. It’s absolutely humming with activity; there’s something on nearly every weekend, which, when you boil it all down, is the lifeblood of what we do and why. Without people supporting and attending events in person, there will be no new generation getting excited — making poor financial decisions and building cars. It’s the trap every one of us fell into, and, hey, I, for one, am not complaining about those decisions I made as a youngster.
Over the coming months, there are a few key things I’ll be looking forward to attending, including the king hit — the V 4&Rotary Nationals. This will be my 16th nationals on the trot, and the fourth one in which I will actually have a vehicle of my own. It’s something that I love; it’s the event that, as a young man, influenced me more than any other. What I take from the show these days is a little different to what I did back then, but the vibe is still very much the same. That pre-nats rush; no sleeping, just forward momentum with a very finite deadline date.
What will the 2017 event bring? I’m not sure. There were a few years there where the quality of some cars in attendance were more befitting of the car park than show hall, but the last two shows in particular, have been stacked with great quality cars from all corners of New Zealand, and the vibe has been particularly good.
But, in saying that, it’s certainly not the only event I’m looking forward to, with the annoucment of Mad Mike’s Summer Bash (check page 16), a bigger and more badarse REunion, along with a few low-key events. I plead with you all to get out and get involved in as many as your spare time and budget will allow. It’s the only way our scene will grow. As I’ve said before, we are not a virtual scene; yes, the internet makes it easy to connect with many, but the real lifeblood of what we all love is being there in person and simply enjoying that moment in time. Whether you’re only spectating or actually taking part, get amongst it, people, it’s a great time to be in the car scene.
Stay safe on those roads this summer, and see you all in 2017 for a year that is shaping up to be large!