A day of old cars and even older people.

Arriving at 8am to try and greet our Mercedes display cars and give them their show passes, I had a front row opportunity to check out the long line of amazing cars of all kinds queuing to get into the show grounds.

The line backed up onto the motorway and some of the older, less reliable vehicles (English) started worrying about overheating and embarrassing oil slicks.

There were some incredible cars that you only expect to see in magazines or on YouTube, and it was even better seeing them going past one by one rather than static amongst so many other fantastic cars.

Lancia, a forgotten marque in NZ, was represented remarkably well with a couple of Fulvia Zagatos and a genuine Stratos. Great to see in the metal.

It gave me pause to think, if this is just a small sample of the cars tucked away in garages in NZ, how many other treasures are out there?

Heading into the show, past the British marques like MG, Wolseley, Mini, Austin and Jaguar, all banished to the outer grassed areas where their fluids could drip safely onto the grass, I got to the Mercedes Club stand to see our five 1950s cars displayed in a semi-circle with Gary’s incredible 300SL Roadster like a diamond pendant on a Pearl necklace front and centre.

Our stand would be charitably described as elegantly simple (plans for decoration hadn’t allowed for the strong “breeze”!). This allowed the five cars to make their own statement without the frippery some clubs needed to dress up their more mundane and less storied vehicles.

We had a steady stream of visitors to the stand, most pausing to admire Ken Williams 1958 220S Cabriolet before moving in to drink in the beauty and menace of Gary’s 300 SL Roadster. For me this was the car of the show. A lot of people asked “how much is it worth” and even at the price tag they acknowledged it was really priceless.

A few, older people stopped to engage in longer conversation. Few were able to say, “my dad had one of those”, but some had history with the club or marque going back a long way. Some of these were fascinating but a few required the excuse of a need to go to the bathroom to move them on. Although sometimes this meant that they moved onto the next club member on the stand.

We were pleased that our strategy of not winning best club, and therefore picking up the dubious honour of organising next year’s show, worked out well. After a brief wrestle with the club tent in the wind we packed up and went home happy that we had shown some remarkable Mercedes to the crowd.

Richard Foulkes

Click here to view more photos on our Gallery page.