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A Sunday morning dose of Caffeine and Classics

1 December, 2014

It hasn’t even been two years yet since the inception of the monthly Caffeine and Classics event, but in that time it has become quite possibly the biggest regular car meet on the calendar. Taking place at Smales Farm business park, just a few minutes north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the event is open to all types of classic and custom vehicles — and they tend to arrive by the hundreds.

Taking place on the last Sunday of every month, the event held on Sunday, November 30 was, in theory, the second to last of the year — although with the next one scheduled to fall between Christmas and New Years it will no doubt have a smaller turnout. With that in mind we decided to check out Sunday’s event and from the moment we laid eyes on the car park we were blown away. Not only was it the sheer volume of cars that was impressive, but the variety also. From classic Japanese imports through to the latest of Detroit’s muscle cars, and everything in-between, there was something to suit every taste.

The event ‘officially’ runs from 10am–1pm, but in reality the car park was packed by 9am and started to empty out around 11.30am, with many spectators taking the chance to witness the mass exodus up close, cameras in hand.

If you’re ever looking for something to do on a Sunday morning, and it happens to fall on the last Sunday of the month, regardless of if you’ve got a classic of your own or not, we recommend you head along to Smales Farm, grab yourself a coffee, and have a look at some of the best machines you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.