Classic cars take to roads

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 04/02/2013
Mad about motoring
DOUG FIELD/Fairfax NZ

MAD ABOUT MOTORING: Car enthusiasts, from left, Thelma Wright, of Christchurch, Helen Spain, of Invercargill, and their husbands, Selwyn Wright and Graeme Spain, with Mr Wright’s 1916 Dodge 4.

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There were crank handles, running boards and a whole lot of smoke in Gala St yesterday, as classic cars gathered for the final day of the National Veteran Rally.

Christchurch car owner Selwyn Wright had travelled down with his 1916 Dodge 4 for the annual event, which attracts classic car and motorcycle owners from around New Zealand.

Mr Wright said he had brought his car down to Invercargill on a trailer because the Dodge was notoriously difficult to stop and did not do so well at traffic lights.

With a top speed of about 60kmh and built to handle rough conditions, the car was marketed as a country vehicle, he said.

"They were thought to be rugged. Probably that's why they've survived."

The Dodge had a few distinctive features, such as hexagonal rear windows and a fuel gauge near the exhaust.

Another vintage machine on show from Christchurch was a canary yellow 1913 Unic Coupe, belonging to Brian and Gwen Black.

The octogenarians were proud of their car, which Mr Black had restored over about 10 years.

"He calls it the yellow bird. I used to call it the bumblebee because it was black and yellow," Mrs Black said.

Southland Vintage Car Club chairman Brian Dunick said the event had attracted 44 classic cars and 13 vintage motorcycles this year, with some drivers coming from as far away as Brisbane.

During the three days, the group had gone on a rally to Winton, barbecued together, and taken part in a gymkhana event, which tested their abilities with tasks such as backing the vintage cars into a garage, he said.

It was the first time in about 28 years that the national event had been held in Invercargill and the good weather had been a bonus, Mr Dunick said.

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- The Southland Times

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