The 2024 Mercedes Auckland Club Show and Shine was held in conjunction with the 2024 Grass Gymkhana. Seemingly contradictory events: one static, the other a blur of grass and bent plastic markers; one shiny and clean, the other dirty and damp; one where people speak in hushed voices, the other with the yells of support, peals of laughter and applause for a good or spectacularly bad run. Somehow, along with the amazing venue and incredible hospitality of the Milner’s, it all combined to make one of the best Mercedes events I’ve attended.

The Show and Shine itself was hard fought. The male judges ignored Mike’s brief and wandered around aimlessly, clipboards unused and poorly understood, hoping the best car would jump out and bite them. The only female judge followed the plan and meticulously judged each car’s interior out of 20.

Once Mike read the riot to the male judges they got with the plan, got on with the job, removed the subjectivity and replaced it with objective subjectivity. There were only two classes – pre 1980 and post 1980.

The pre 1980 class was small but the cars were all covetable. There was a clear winner with Colin Carran’s beautifully restored 230SL Pagoda taking the first prize.

The post 1980s class was much larger with modern daily drivers competing with older weekend cars. Some were beautifully presented. New club members Tienie and Monica’s R230 SL500 took my eye and a very nice SLK was also almost perfect in this company. Some, however, hadn’t cleaned the dirt from the last event off their cars and seemed to be there only to plough Rod’s field. Trevor’s A45 AMG took the class honours.

Overall, it was a great appetiser for the Grass Gymkhana and Lunch to follow. Maybe next year to win either, you must enter both!


Richard Foulkes

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