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Capital Rodders on again

20 June, 2017

A shame about the weather for the organisers of the 7th annual Capital Rodders’ Wellington Swap Meet & Horsepower Show at Trentham Racecourse, Upper Hutt, on Sunday May 21. The event presented by GMR (General Metal Recyclers Ltd) was at best weather-effected.

As one of the regular stallholders said, “It’s been a day of passing showers.”


Rain during the week meant that most of the cars had to be displayed in the carpark north of the grandstand. The grassed area south of the stand was too soggy.

A few owners found shelter for their 1960s classics from parts of the grandstand or totalisator building.


The only convertible seen with its top down was a 1962 Chevrolet parked under cover at the rear of the grandstand.


With each shower a few more owners would drive off in their cars while outside stallholders packed up their wares to head for home. A reporter for another publication who arrived mid-morning told me, “There’s a lot of nice cars going the other way.”

By midday many others had joined them, and the carpark now had several gaps from where they had been parked.


As was to be expected, the classics had a strong representation of Mustangs, Thunderbirds, Corvettes and Cadillacs. The small sprinkling of British cars scattered about the concourse included a 1968 Ford Cortina Lotus, a 1966 Hillman Super Minx and a 1962 Morris Minor 1000 four door saloon. Seeing the Morrie – part of my family’s motoring heritage – left me with my favourite memory of the day.


An acquaintance I often meet at car shows in Upper Hutt said he had seen some great 1950s and 60s British classics in a layby at Manor Park, and was disappointed they hadn’t followed him here.


If the number of visitors to the show was down on last year, those attending seemed to enjoy themselves. They included several happy children who went away with a new toy car to play with.

I came home wishing Capital Rodders better luck with the weather next year.

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?