Claudelands to be Ford country

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 28/07/2012
Colin Bates
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ

MUSCLE CAR: Colin Bates shows off his 1974 XB GT 351, which will be one of hundreds of cars on show at Claudelands tomorrow.

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Car lovers will be drooling when hundreds of classic cars go on display at Hamilton's Claudelands Showgrounds tomorrow, but don't expect to see a Holden, it's all about Ford.

The Waikato Mustang Owners Club is hosting to the 18th Annual Henry Ford Memorial Day - one of the biggest car shows of it's type in the southern hemisphere - and club member Bob Hastie is expecting a full range of cars to be on display.

"I think we are the biggest single code car show in the southern hemisphere that we know of. Last year there were 700 plus cars turn up," he said.

Mr Hastie said the event is a great opportunity for Ford enthusiasts to get together and raise money for a worthy cause.

"We donate money every year to the ambulance and they are raising money for the new air ambulance so we are quite happy to be involved in that. Last year we gave them $2500."

More than 100 years of Ford cars will be on show from the vintage Model Ts to the latest Ford performance vehicle and a handful of rare gems.

"Probably the rarest car is the Ford Edsel. A couple of those turn up, but there are a host of Model As and Model Ts and some of the early vintage cars from the 1900s," Mr Hastie said.

People can also expect to see muscle cars like Thunderbirds and Falcons to smaller wagons like the Cortina and Anglia, but Mr Hastie said the Mustang will be a crowd favourite.

"I think the Mustang is probably the biggest headturner there. It's a big selling car and probably some of the biggest clubs in New Zealand would be Mustang clubs."

"There are just as many people who love Anglias and Cortinas. They were the cars people had when they were growing up, I guess."

It is a labour of love for classic car owners and will spend hours polishing the chrome and paint and drive from all parts of the North Island to take part in the event.

"We always get a few Mustangs from Taranaki and Manawatu, Bay of Plenty and Auckland," he said. "That is probably the farthest we get people coming from.

"Some of the cars are pretty fantastic. Some of these people pour a fair bit of love into their cars."

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- Waikato Times

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