New Zealand Classic Car
WELLINGTON’S BRIT AND EURO CONTINUES TO GROW
This year’s British and European Car Day took place on Sunday, 14 February, at Trentham Memorial Park, Upper Hutt, in near-ideal conditions for displaying, viewing, and photographing cars. Experienced attendees — I’m a newcomer, starting in 2009 — told me that this year’s show had the most cars ever, and that includes at British Car Days, the event’s predecessor. They said that previously unknown classics have come out of the woodwork, delighting them with the unsuspected wealth of cars in the Wellington area.
The oldest car that I saw on the concourse was an immaculate 1914 Wolseley 16/20, whose owners took home the People’s Choice award. After the show, they’d intended driving it up to Napier for the Art Deco Festival, a plan that Covid put paid to.
The rarest car was probably the stunning 1938 four-cylinder two-seater BSA Scott tourer, one of only 14 produced. Surely a form of motoring heaven would be driving it home at its impressive cruising speed of 80kph. Greater Wellington’s Citroën Club had a precisely lined-up display of post–world War II models, and, further along the grounds, black Ferraris flanked the red. This may have been a revelation for some to realise that Ferrari also look great in colours other than red.
The MG Car Club’s display, always large and popular, boasted at least 60 cars. Getting a lot of notice was a gleaming red and cream 1951 YA saloon. Youngsters swarmed on the Mclaren 720S when two men exited from the gull-wing doors. They excitedly told their mates that they’d never seen anything like it in their lives.
The Wellington Free Ambulance again received the day’s proceeds. A Free Ambulance spokesperson told MC Roy Mcguinness of the tireless work that the late Melby Scott had done fundraising for the organisation.
Last year, Melby, aged 96, drove around the park for the final time in his 1954 Vauxhall Velox with an ambulance-shaped collecting box on the right mudguard. Happily, Melby’s Vauxhall is now with a new owner, a Vauxhall enthusiast, who will see this heritage classic is looked after. Melby was sadly missed at this year’s display. So few are so full of life and so selfless.