New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words: Quin­ton Tay­lor Pho­tos: Ta­nia Mackie

As­mall group of about 13 car en­thu­si­asts gath­ered at the River­ton Fire Sta­tion rooms 10 years ago to form a clas­sic car club that now boasts more than 60 mem­bers.

“The for­ma­tion of the club was pushed mainly by lo­cals Barry Michel and Stan Black, and [the mem­ber­ship] has grown since those early days,” said newly elected club pres­i­dent Gra­ham Find­lay. “We try to cater mainly for a mix of Aus­tralian and Amer­i­can cars, with a few British ones as well.”

Lo­cated on the south coast, a short drive west from In­ver­cargill, the small fish­ing town of River­ton has also de­vel­oped as a pop­u­lar hol­i­day and re­tire­ment lo­ca­tion, which lo­cals jok­ingly re­fer to as ‘the Riviera of the South’ — hence the adopted name for the club, ‘Riviera Tour­ing Cars’.

Gra­ham is look­ing for­ward to the club’s an­nual car show on Satur­day, 13 Oc­to­ber, which be­gins a week­end of cel­e­bra­tions.

The pop­u­lar show, which at­tracts car clubs from as far afield as Christchurch, was pre­vi­ously held at the River­ton Race­course. The club has now changed the venue to one closer to town: the River­ton Rugby Foot­ball Club grounds.

Riviera Tour­ing Cars is typ­i­cal of many car clubs in its sup­port for com­mu­nity projects, to the tune of many thou­sands of dol­lars.

“Fundrais­ing for the com­mu­nity is a big part of the club, and we help raise money mainly for those who re­quire med­i­cal help. Each ap­pli­ca­tion is con­sid­ered, and the com­mit­tee votes on which to sup­port,” Gra­ham ex­plained. “The idea for the shows came about af­ter a lo­cal got in­jured with a bot­tle and lost his eye. The sight in his other eye was fail­ing, and we got the idea of run­ning a car show to help him. We raised about $10K, which was given to him and his fam­ily, and that’s where it re­ally all started.”

The club meets on the sec­ond Tues­day of each month and wel­comes new mem­bers. It also holds monthly car runs, and attends other car shows and events through­out the re­gion.

For club con­tacts and show en­try forms, check the club’s Face­book page.

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