New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words and pho­tos: Christo­pher Moor

Af­ter more than 30 years, Welling­ton’s Bri­tish Car Day has a new name and a new look as ‘Bri­tish and Euro­pean Car Day’. The first of the ex­panded shows re­ceived a suc­cess­ful launch at Tren­tham Me­mo­rial Park on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 11.

Richard ‘Ric’ Tyson, pres­i­dent of the Welling­ton Bri­tish Car Club and the event’s or­ga­nizer, es­ti­mated that about 600 cars were parked up — my in­for­mal count of the Euro­pean makes present was be­tween 70 and 80 cars.

Ric had brought his two-tone green 1961 Wolse­ley 6/99 sa­loon to ev­ery Bri­tish Car Day and con­tin­ued the tra­di­tion by bring­ing it to the in­au­gu­ral Bri­tish and Euro­pean Car Day.

Af­ter a shower soon af­ter the event started, many own­ers be­gan wip­ing down their cars so they looked as im­mac­u­late as when they had ar­rived. Some then took a sport­ing chance with the weather, let­ting down the hoods on their drop­head coupés, while oth­ers opened the bon­nets, boots, and doors of their cars to al­low vis­i­tors a bet­ter view.

A hand­ful of Fer­raris from the Fer­rari Own­ers’ Club of New Zealand al­ways seemed to have swarms of peo­ple around them, their own­ers hap­pily an­swer­ing any ques­tions fielded about their cars. The Fer­raris were what took the eye on en­ter­ing the park.

Am I the only one who thought more Hill­mans were seen than at the last few Bri­tish Car Days. When it came to evok­ing nos­tal­gia on the con­course, they joined other clas­sic English sa­loons — Ford, Austin, Mor­ris, Hum­ber, Stan­dard, Van­guard, and Vaux­hall — in bring­ing back happy mem­o­ries of when most cars on New Zealand roads were Bri­tish.

The day’s MC was again the un­flap­pable Roy Mcguin­ness. Roy thanked the car own­ers for an “out­stand­ing” turnout on a day when some must have had sec­ond thoughts about com­ing.

Around mid­day, the rain set in. Sev­eral cars had al­ready left the ground by 1pm, when a 1968 Jaguar 420 was awarded Peo­ple’s Choice and the BSA Mo­tor­cy­cle Own­ers’ Club re­ceived the tro­phy for Best Club Dis­play.

The first Bri­tish and Euro­pean Car Day was a classy event, equalling and maybe even sur­pass­ing the Bri­tish Car Day. Prof­its from the day went to the Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance.

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