Big jump at Cromwell

27 April, 2023

The Cromwell Classic Car and Hot Rod Festival 2023 made a welcome return on the weekend of 20–23 January
By Quinton Taylor
Photographs: Quinton Taylor

Classics as far as you can see

Kicking off the event, the Alpine Street Machines’ Friday cruise to Bannockburn and back on the Friday was easily the biggest in the event’s history. Some 380 cars created a wondrous spectacle for unsuspecting fellow road users that day, potentially tempting some to take a closer look in Cromwell over the weekend.
Club member Shane Bingham was thrilled to announce the cruise alone raised more than $200 for the Cromwell volunteer fire brigade.
Saturday’s car show, organised by the Southland Ford Falcon Club at the Alpha St reserve, drew perhaps a thousand or more gleaming examples of interesting cars and applied restoration skills. Chrome and flashing paintwork dazzled the eye in the bright Central Otago light everywhere you looked. It really looked as if everyone with a classic or a hot rod from across the island had seen the forecast for great weather and headed for Central Otago.
Secretary Tena McCarthy said “the disbursement of money raised from the event for four Cromwell organisations was yet to be decided. Cromwell is such a great site for the car show and the locals love it.” 

Spectacular Hispano-Suiza, aero engine Delage of Alan Dippie, and Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
George and Tesh Payn’s 1931 Ford pickup

The event had been postponed for a couple of years, which no doubt prompted more families to head to the venue for a real taste of Southern nostalgia, providing a solidly welcome financial boost for the region.
The date for the next show is Saturday 20 January 2024. 

Judge’s choice: Maas Geluk –1950 Cadillac Fleetwood
People’s choice: George & Tesh Payn – 1931 Ford Model A pickup

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.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.