BOP MUSTANG OWN­ERS ALL USA DAY

Bay of Plenty Mustang Own­ers Club All USA Day

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words and pho­tos: John Mc­tavish

Mov­ing the show’s venue in 2016 from an in­ner-city sports ground to Clas­sic Fly­ers, ad­ja­cent to Tau­ranga’s air­port, was a very good move. Even so, Bay of Plenty Mustang Own­ers Club pres­i­dent David Thom­son and his wife and sec­re­tary, Vanessa, pointed out that the more than 325 ve­hi­cles on show this year, stretched the venue to ca­pac­ity on the Sun­day, 18 Novem­ber. How­ever, there is still room to ex­tend the dis­play area next year so that the few late-com­ers turned away will be ac­com­mo­dated. This year, on 18 Novem­ber, when the event was held, the num­ber of vis­i­tors who passed through the gate re­mains un­count­able (due to the many whose en­try is free — per­haps in­clud­ing the parachutists who pe­ri­od­i­cally dropped in) but seems sure to be more than ever, re­sult­ing in a size­able do­na­tion to the club’s char­ity of choice for 2018, Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity.

An­other fine thing about the venue is that Clas­sic Fly­ers and other flight-as­so­ci­ated op­er­a­tors open their hangars, which most petrol­heads seem to ap­pre­ci­ate. The mu­seum is full of iconic air­craft, some in fly­ing or­der. Clas­sic Fly­ers of­fered flights in a Dc3/dakota, and the gate prize for ex­hibitors was a scenic flight in a World War II– era Boe­ing Stear­man. An in­trepid pi­lot also put on a spec­tac­u­lar aer­o­batic dis­play, com­plete with smoke and spins.

Of course, the mu­seum in­cor­po­rates an ex­cel­lent café and chil­dren’s play area. Whether by de­sign or not, lo­cated way down the far end of the taxi­way, either side of which the ve­hi­cles are dis­played, are food carts. Given that it took a cou­ple of hours to me­an­der down one side of the taxi­way, a hot dog and cof­fee were wel­come for­ti­fi­ca­tion for the two-hour trip back up the other side. Hope­fully, the rock-and-roll dancers had a sim­i­lar op­por­tu­nity to for­tify them­selves.

The show is a judged event by club mem­bers, and this year the main spon­sor, Ex­treme Au­to­mo­tive Parts, chose a 1958 Corvette Con­vert­ible as its best car and sponsored the prize for Peo­ple’s Choice — a 1938 Ford Cabri­o­let, which also took Best Ford. As usual, my as­sis­tant and I made our choices: a 1957 Cadil­lac Coupe De Ville and a mas­sively su­per­charged 1957 Chevro­let Bel Air, nei­ther of which the real judges men­tioned, which just goes to show that every­body has dif­fer­ent tastes.

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