Kaikōura Hop puts 'work of Art' on parade
Among the star line-up at the Kaikōura Hop this weekend is a World Truck Show winner; a 1953 Ford F100.
Kevin Jellyman purchased the truck last year and it arrived in Christchurch just before the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in November.
His passion for cars began in the Kaikōura Stock Car Club. Now living in Christchurch, Jellyman says he's looking forward to coming back home for the weekend.
Jellyman fell in love with the truck while searching online.
So deep in love, he sold both his 1954 and 1959 trucks, flew to Charlotte, North Carolina, in the United States, to have a look, purchased it and brought it back to New Zealand.
Jellyman's pride and joy has been a popular competitor at shows, and was in the top five trucks at the Whangamata Beach Hop last year.
It also won the 2012 World Truck Show in Pigeon Forge, in Tennessee, he said.
There were 760 trucks in the show and it won the four major prizes; Best in Show, Best Build, Best in Class, and the Pat Ford Truck of the Year. It also took out the Classic Trucks Editor's Choice trophy.
"The name of the guy who built it is Art so a lot of people call it a work of Art, which has been made as a labour of love."
Restoring the vehicle had been a four-year project for Art and Ann Walters from Virginia in the US. Art worked with builder Eric Smith to create the highly modified Ford, which sports a 504ci V8, and custom interior.
They spent $375,000 on fully restoring the vehicle, Jellyman said.
The labour of love came with a line of pedigree as well.
"Every receipt and all the documentation is in a folder, every nut and bolt and any part which had a number is in the manual.
"He was a retired engineer and the paperwork I got was unbelievable."
"The graphics are all air-brushed and hand-painted, none are transfers," Jellyman said.
A few of the Ford F100s were brought into New Zealand during the 1950s by the Power Board, Jellyman said.
"There are still a few around but nothing to the calibre of this one."
The truck, with only 1600 kilometres on the clock, won't be experiencing any of Kaikōura's quake-damaged roads though. It will be put on a trailer and towed up from Christchurch.
The Cobra Jet 460 engine, with a C6 auto transmission and a nine inch Ford diff, puts out about 580HP. But all that horse power won't be used on the track anytime soon.
"It's purely show truck," Jellyman said.
The truck sports a wineberry and sunset gold tan because the previous owners decided on a colour as they watched the sunset over a lake while drinking a glass of wine.
But the 1953 truck could soon have competition. Jellyman said he's already looking at something else.
"It's a passion. It's like a lot of things, it gets in your blood and you can't leave it alone."
- The Marlborough Express