While many people woke early on Anzac day for Dawn Parades, others, like ourselves chose to take it a bit easier and head along to the Coastal Cruiser’s Anzac Day Show and Shine. Held at Beachlands, on Auckland’s South East Coast, the event saw a turnout of around 50 cars, ranging from classic Minis to tubbed muscle cars, and everything in-between.

Coastal Cruisers, who are an unofficial group of like-minded mates from the area, have run the event for a few years now. As it’s grown, the event has moved from a small waterfront carpark to the reserve it currently occupies. Each year, car owners and spectators alike, are invited to bring some gold coins and donate to the Anzacs by voting for their favourite vehicle. The catch with this is that vehicle owners must bring their own buckets, which being our first time to the event, like many others, we were unaware of, and would have felt awkward in doing so. The group did still manage to raise around $250, which is great.

The interesting thing was that, despite the show being just 30 minutes from the centre of Auckland, there were plenty of cars on display that we hadn't seen elsewhere.

Included in that was this awesome ’71 Chevelle, complete with tubbed rear end and 427ci big block up front. The car is local to the area, and is apparently often seen cruising around locally.

Another car we’d not yet seen in the flesh, however did know about, was Chris Baird’s six-cylinder Falcon-powered roadster, which had only just been completed. Chris is a member of the Coastal Cruisers, so it was great for him to debut it on his home turf.

The car seemed to be a hit too, not just with the kids either, but with the crowds that surrounded it all day.

Speaking of being a hit, many local kids found themselves scoring rides around the community in a range of cars, such as Sean Williams’s well-known ’56 Chev.

Cars on display weren’t just limited to modified ones like the above though, with this ’71 Shelby GT350 being rebuilt to a concourse level.

The engine bay was good enough to eat off, and complete with all the factory sticker work.

Parked nearby was something else you don’t see every day, a ’60 Hillman Minx convertible.

At the other end of the horsepower scale was Kelvin Perfect’s 2003 Mustang convertible, as featured in NZV8 way back in Issue No. 60. The supercharged 4.6-litre V8 being good for a reported 395kW at the tyres.

Another previous feature car that produces plenty of power, and was also turning heads, was the VH Valiant of Mark Heath. Check out the full feature of this car here.

Being a product of the ’80s myself, and watching them on TV when they were new, I’ve long been a fan of VL Walkinshaws, so this deep-black one grabbed my attention. I’m not sure what’s under the hood, but the owner certainly nailed the look of it with the Simmons-style wheels.


Also from my 1980s memories; when was the last time anyone saw a mint Honda CB350?

Cars aside, the venue was actually pretty cool, looking out over the harbour to Rangitoto Island. Judging by how many cars were present, we’d say with a bit of planning it’d be big enough for around 100 cars, should the event grow to that level.


But there’s an even more fitting reason for the venue, and that was made obvious when heading to the waterfront edge of the reserve. It was great to see many people taking the time to pay their respects to the fallen at this amazing poppy display.

Our congratulations go to the Coastal Cruisers for putting on the event. As a small local offering, it had everything you’d expect. We’re sure if promoted a bit harder, it could blossom into something huge too if they wanted it to.  

Todd Wylie

Todd Wylie has been involved with NZV8 magazine since before the first issue was printed, and has been the editor for the last eight years. Growing up in the heyday of the Jap-import scene, he's not adverse to Japanese vehicles, having worked for NZ Performance Car previously, as well as owning a few well-known examples. These days he cruises at a slower pace in a 1956 Cadillac Coupe and dreams of building a Model A tudor.