The Ellerslie Car Show and Intermarque Concours d’Elegance was postponed when Cyclone Gabrielle turned up in February. April should be more settled and fortunately the weather forecast did improve in the week leading up to Sunday. The weather on the day was a bit spotty but it didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. The last Ellerslie Car Show was in 2021 and there were a lot of people pleased to be back or visiting for the first time.

The Ellerslie car show brings together 81 car clubs, covering all ages, though possibly not all makes! There are six competitions. This year the Club competed in the Concours Club Teams class, entering two R107s owned by Grant Hunter and Andrew Stone, to mark the 50th anniversary of the model launch. The R107 was Mercedes longest running car model with 300,000 produced over its 18 years. After a full day of cleaning the previous weekend it was good to see our club entries drive in, only one year late for their 50th anniversary.

The Club also entered the Club Display competition. This year the theme was World of Wheels, so it seemed obvious that we have a German theme. Other than Mercedes, the only things German we could think of was beer, lederhosen and dirndls – too many club members who spent some time in the beer halls in München? As the home of Mercedes, Stuttgart, is not in Bavaria it did seem a bit odd but our Bavarian counterparts (BMW) didn’t pick up the theme so it was ours to run with. Bunting, flags, steins, trestles and benches, Weissbier, oompah music and a cow bell. Trevor came in full lederhosen so Ken and I thought we better dress up too. Colin had six hats to add to the mix.

When Ken Williams went off overseas, I got the responsibility for coordinating the cars for the display as well as the beer tent. Ken gave me a list of cars and their owners, and info sheets for display but not his car. Rudi drove into the breach. We had cars from the 1960s through to the 2010s, though on reflection the only car that might be a practical family car was Trevor’s G wagon! I was pleased to see the cars rolling in on time, including some extras. Hot tip – arrive at 8am and tell the guys on the gate you are with the Mercedes Club – no need for a ticket or to find a car park!

Once we were set up and ready for the Club Display judges, it was time for a coffee and the chance to check out the competition. Did I say there were 81 car clubs? That’s a lot of cars. One of the better “displays” was watching the Porsche club precision park 37 cars, which was all over by 8.30am! On the other hand, one of the guys from the BMW club was observed to move his car 12 times to get it into position. The Mazda MX5 club won the best Club Display which was spectacular with cherry blossom, samurai and geisha.

The Concours d’Elegance cars were elegantly parked around the stable yard. Although I thought the wheel nuts were beautifully cleaned on our R107s, it wasn’t enough to impress the judges on the day who plumped for the Porsche club, again!

More information on the Ellerslie car show and the full list of results are on their website here.

Thank you to everyone who came along to help set up and tear down, brought their cars and enthusiasm. I hope you all had a good day. Looking forward to next year.

Philippa West

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