Love Story lineupValentine’s Day 2016 was celebrated with unusual vigour at the Ellerslie Racecourse as 70 classic car clubs representing 700 members came together. Considering the average age of the members it was quite remarkable that young (?) men’s and women’s thoughts and fancies turned so much to love in a mass display of red hearts, colourful flowers and some quite extraordinary costumes. One gentleman of dubious age from a rival car club adorned himself in a gold lycra outfit claiming that he was either a cupid or a satyr, and one was left in no doubt as to his natural attributes which were observed by maidens who sensibly kept well clear of him.

At the Benz display “your friendly Club Captains” Barbara and Greg demurely arranged two pairs of shapely legs protruding from underneath a car bearing the three pointed star – the love theme being, ‘Spending Time Together’. These legs conveyed various messages to the assembled throng.  Early in the day the legs appeared to belong to a male mechanic and a female helper. As the day progressed a number of changes in position could be noticed and at the end of the day it was obvious that the spirit of Valentine was being pursued in an enthusiastic manner. Some people proffered the view that this was just good clean fun while others were not quite so sure. It was necessary to avert the eyes of show supremo Garry Boyce from this display to avoid later disciplinary action.

Barbara, Greg and Ken Williams collected a diverse selection of vehicles for the day. There was Ken’s 2000 Sprinter hi top lwb 4wd (only four in the world), for ‘Exploring Life’. Ken also bought his 250SE coupe and his 1962 BBM ‘Adrenalin Pumping’ racer (only one in the world!). These fine vehicles were joined by Harindra’s lovely 1953 170DS for our “Special Moments’ wedding car, and Garry’s ever popular 1957 190SL complete with ‘Giving Flowers’. This svelte collection was melded into a Valentine’s display which was then offset by our President’s 1955 Adaneur 300B. The 300, themed as ‘Seeing the Beauty Within’, has definitely seen better days and was interlaced with some attractive rust holes, a rat skeleton under the front seat, a decaying beige paintjob and a total lack of any type of motive power. Harald acquired this vehicle in 1991 and gently pointed out that he has restored the engine which was at home but there was “still a bit of work to do on the body”. The 300 was obviously not the sort of vehicle people expected to see in the Benz display and the car was surrounded by curious onlookers throughout the day. To cut down on further rat infestations a resident cat has been installed and its feeding bowl was visible in a footwell.

A team of non-communicative judges inspected our display and moved on with indecent haste. We sent out a team of inspectors to see if any other club had even come close to matching our work and we had to admit that the gentleman in the gold lycra suit was impressive but apart from that we were home and hosed. The results were announced at 3.30pm and we were not amused to find that once again we were not admitted to the podium. Barbara’s hopes and inspirations were dashed and we had to console ourselves with the fact that it had all been a lot of fun.

The presentation of this show was superb. A huge crowd swarmed round exotic and exciting cars ranging from the dawn of the horseless carriage right through to the latest LWB Rolls Royce. Congratulations to Garry and his team for organising something really special.

David Winn

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