Since its inception and humble beginnings back in 2008, the Te Aroha Cruise In event has grown bigger and better each year, with around 500 vehicles taking part this year. Hundreds of faithful car lovers made the annual pilgrimage, and despite Mount Te Aroha looking more like Mount Doom from The Lord of the Rings, a great day appeared to be had by all.

With entry open to pretty much any type of classic vehicle the organizers tried — although sometimes in vain — to keep the same types of vehicles together. The top of town was the domain of a superb group of vintage fire appliances, and a few military enthusiasts too, with a fine collection of speedway midgets a little further down the main street.

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The retro caravan crowd took over the domain with half a dozen or so vintage caravans and their respective tow vehicles. Debuting their stunning ’56 Belair and matching 1978 Alpha caravan were Bryce and Virginia from Patumahoe, who literally put the finishing touches to the caravan the night before. Amongst the caravans, Ian Ellis of Waihi also had an Alf party going on — sadly no cats to be had — amongst his miniature retro caravan collection that he now builds on commission.

The main street had a huge collection of classics from the 1920s through to the 1980s, with just about every marque you can think of being represented — from American muscle cars to English sports cars there was pretty much something to everybody’s taste. Zephyr fans were in for a real treat with a huge mix of Mk1s through to Mk4s present, in sedan, convertible, and utility versions of the earlier models. Quite a sight to behold. There was also a good sample of previous NZV8 feature cars present. While the weather was not the best, no one seemed to care and a great day was had by all.

Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw loves most forms of motorsport, having had a crack at rally driving, drag racing, and four-wheel driving over the years. Over the years he has owned a diverse mix of vehicles from Range Rovers to T-buckets. While awestruck by the power vehicles in the import scene can make, he still prefers an old V8, and he currently drives a ’56 Bel Air that is an old New Zealand–new survivor, which sometimes tows a 1969 Concord caravan that is currently being restored. Also in the shed is a BB Chev-powered 1926 T roadster pickup, which is a long-term project hiding in the back of the shed. In my professional life I have spent 20 years in IT, 10 years as a self-employed builder, and my day job now is in operations / fleet management looking after 400-plus trucks around New Zealand. I've been a contributor to NZV8 since 2010.