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Cruising Martinborough: a chrome and gleam immersion

15 February, 2016

I spent the first Saturday in February blowing cobwebs out of my Shelby and straightening the curves of the Rimutakas to head to the main day of Cruise Martinborough. If you have not been to Martinborough before, it is a turn-of-the-century small town, created by a bloke called John Martin who named most of the streets after places that he had visited around the world, such as Dublin, Naples, and Texas. The centre is a large square  that you travel around clockwise only — almost like a roundabout, but square. Looking from space all the streets come off the square at either 45 or 90 degrees, making the town the shape of the Union Jack flag. It was here in the square that the Cruise Martinborough event organizers had done a magnificent job, shutting off vehicular access and allowing only entered vehicles to roam around free like bison on the prairie, or simply park up and enjoy the sun.

I loved strolling around, feasting on all sorts of wholesome and not so wholesome foods while admiring the chrome and gleam of a range of cars. There were lots of Camaros, Tri 5s, Mustangs, and Corvettes, but it was the unusual that caught my eye. I walked amongst a 1960s Chevy Acadian (a Canadian Chevy Nova), 1948 Chevy truck, a ’73 Barracuda, and a 2004 Chevy SSR, plus plenty more. Also on display were lots of old and new (but all retro-looking) caravans in funky slipstream shapes and, in some cases, milkshake colours. They were pulled by classics such as a ’63 T-Bird and a ’57 Chev. The caravans gave the display a Kiwiana theme and in some ways harked back to a simpler life when fuel was cheap, and travelling was more about the journey than the destination.

As great as the day was, it’s just one small part of the larger Cruise Martinborough event, and it left me wishing that I’d taken a few days off work, loaded up the car with the family, and taken in the rest of it.

Look out for more in NZV8 Issue No. 131.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?