WELLINGTON BRITISH AND EUROPEAN DAY
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.