Dazzling display of glittering Americana
American car and hot rod fans flocked to the Kumeu Showgrounds north-west of Auckland for last month’s Auto Trader Classic Car and Hot Rod Festival.
The annual event, run over the weekend of January 18 and 19 in dazzling weather, drew an estimated 50,000 people to the small north-west town.
Chromed trim on the American classics of the 1950s and 1960s glittered in the blazing sun as car fans got their fill of gorgeous mid-1950s Chevrolets – including several splendid 1956 models – and the massive 1959 and 1960 Chevys.
Among the 1960 Chevs was a superb white two-door pillarless coupe.
As well as restored and lovingly cared-for original cars, there were spectacular hot rods and several low-riders, hunkered impossibly close to the ground on their hydraulic suspensions.
Among the low-riders was a Buick Riviera, complete with flame paint job – a far cry from the conservative image of the Buick brand which appealed to older buyers.
There were parts-swap stalls, merchandise, rock bands, stunt displays, and some delectable cars for sale – and an enthusiastic crowd that underlined the fact that New Zealand car fans’ love affair with classic American iron is alive and thriving.