The 30th British Car Day
14 February 2016
by Rob Jones
P76's of Ron Butler, Brian and Colleen Francis, Paul Heath and Rob and Sonya Jones with a bit of Hugh Mackenzies Wolseley 6/110 to the right. Note the very tall flagpole, our point of difference
I spoke of the book I’d co-authored celebrating the 30th British Car Day where I said P76 had been represented from day 1 and it has. Included in the Roll of Honour are my/our CC S V8, HOTO D V8, B as B D 6 and the AEB D 6. Long term supporters with many appearances in their P76’s include Ron Butler in 2 P’s, Paul Heath, Brian and Colleen Francis, Merv Cox , likely in more than 1 P, and Rose Bendall and we have had periodic P support from Trevor Day, Lance Wagstaff, Andrew Larsen, Bruce Cooper, the de Adman brothers, an HOTO D V8 from Gisborne and numerous other local members of old whose names escape me right now but Elias, Knight, Pederson, Ward, Howan, Bolt, Willcox and Watt are some of them. So you see P76 has definitely been there. And Ian Sutherland, your AG E was also a regular long ago. It too appears in the book along with my CC S in 1992.
2016 saw BCD develop into a big showing with cars from all over the lower North Island attending, and from Taupo and Maungaturoto, a bit further away. Daryl Needham brought this magnificent 1958 MG ZA all the way down from Maungaturoto on its maiden (long) voyage after an extensive restoration. My mates Brian and Sandra from Taupo came in one of their 4 MG’s, the 65 MGB Roadster behind the ZA. It is as utterly original as the ZA is restored. How nice a comment is that Brian?
The MG turnout was quite phenomenal as expected, the numbers were up on most years and we found our book selling like hot cakes with numerous pre sales to people seen at earlier shows who might not be at BCD, most were anyway even if in differing cars. Some historic vehicles are represented by the following two photos. Trevor and Lesley Ward’s 1949 Humber Pullman ambulance taken from an acute angle. This vehicle has been seen all over New Zealand and indeed had just returned from a big South Island VCC rally. Recently repainted in its original cream Waipawa Hospital Board livery it looked superb. A real crowd pleaser complete with siren and flashing red light, just for shows of course.
HVJEC member and old friend Don Hawkes told me this shot was a rare opportunity as all the cars are in the NZ SS Register and to have four together is almost unheard of. They are Alan Blundell’s 1936 SS, seen more recently at Hampton Downs! Don’s 1948 3.5L Mk 1V, one of the cars at the first BCD and two Mk V Jaguars, one of which is another regular.
Other originals from Day 1 include a 1928 Austin 12/4 and a 1954 Vauxhall Velox, remember this is 30 years on and both are regular attenders. We are still investigating a couple of others and know of others that are still out and about but didn’t make it on the 30th BCD.
As a Past President of the British Car Club and Chairman of past organising committee’s several important duties fell to me and others from similar positions. One of which was the drawing of spot prizes. First up I drew another Past President’s partner, then Brian Francis of the Leyland Club and then Daryl Needham, who had dined at our place along with Brian and Sandra the night before! And it was all above board.
There was an A to Z of British cars represented on the day with some slightly unusual models to be found, rather than the usual exotics, like the Leyland Sherpa van from 1984, still in commercial use. When did you last see one of these?
The Leyland P76 Club was not overly represented but by local standards we did all right with Ron Butler, Paul and Linda, Brian and Colleen Francis and Sonya, Abby and I in our P76’s and along for support on the day we had Hugh and Bronwyn in the Wolseley 6/110, Clive Cottle with his S1 Daimler , Bruce and Anne Cooper, Beth Lawrence in her 2013 MG 6 GT – see it later – and the welcome return to the day of Merv and Rose, and Megan joined us in her blue MG MX5 late in the day!
I managed to get around a lot of the cars but with too many people to talk to it takes a while and I didn’t get to see all of them. There were several cars in Valentine’s Day livery given it was February 14, especially in the Vauxhall Club display and one Armstrong Siddeley. As always there were new cars, both old and middle aged and even the odd brand new model.
As I said, the book was popular and a few weeks later on a special visit to Wellington Free Ambulance a cheque for $4300 was presented as proceeds from the sales so far. $3000 was added to this from the show takings making a healthy donation to a very worthy cause. Those of us who went along enjoyed a scrumptious lunch afterwards at the Chocolate Fish Café at Shelly Bay. A fine finish to a satisfying if somewhat cold day. Further photos below.