Bogans, blowers, big blocks, and bourbon are just a few of the things you expect to find at the annual Kumeu Custom and Classic Car Show, and those who headed along to the 2017 event would have found them all in abundance. Sponsored by Jack Daniels, the event started taking over the Kumeu A&P Showgrounds from Friday, January 20, although gates didn't open to the public until the following morning.
Over the last few years, feedback on the swap meet side of the event hasn’t been all that favourable, but this year certainly bucked that trend, with an abundance of swappers trying to pedal their wares … even if some of it didn’t quite fit the classic car theme ...
At least with so many swap sites, there was something for everyone, even the most hard core of hot rodders. Project anyone?
Besides, if you weren’t looking to buy parts, the swap sites are still well worth a look, as you never know what’s lurking amidst the old parts, such as this Ranchero, which caught our attention.
A bit more subtle was this tubbed Commodore. We’re not sure what’s under the hood, but it certainly looks tough.
Also catching our attention was this ’63 Dodge pickup. The short wheelbase and genuine (looking at least) patina making it the focus of many photos from passers-by. Don't get your hopes up though, it wasn’t for sale — but the LS engine on the tray was.
During Saturday’s windy, but not cold, weather, crowds were huge. Despite this, many traders we spoke to said the crowd wasn’t spending as much as previous years, likening them more to ‘the Sunday crowd’, which are more of the mum, dad, and kid casual observers as opposed to the hard-core hot rodders.
Taking their usual spot on the far side of the trade area were the low-riders, made up of Old Skool Rydz, Loyalty 4 Life, and other clubs, there was a great display of different styles.
Joel and Louise Painter’s cars looking great together with the number plates to match. Joel’s is a 1938 Holden-bodied Chevrolet Sports Roadster (one of just 126 made), while Louise’s is a 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe convertible that’s all original down to the 6V wiring system.
At the other end of the performance scale was Nigel Dixon’s Top Doorslammer, doing its part to draw a crowd to Kruzin Kustoms' stand. Being the first time many people have had the chance to take a close look at the car, we had to fight off onlookers to get this clear pic.
Drawing equally as much attention was Adam Brown’s Commodore and its over-the-top intake set-up. Although the car’s been on the road for a decade now, and in this current guise for a couple of years, it’s still a standout.
In theory, the true standouts should be inside the sheds, and those who entered wouldn't have been disappointed. Our pick was the recently completed Chev Cameo pickup.
Under the body lies an Art Morrison chassis, and under the hood is a custom machined billet intake feeding air to a blown small block Chev.
Custom Studebaker builder extraordinaire Trevor Halstead is no stranger to displaying cars at Kumeu, and once again wowed the crowds with a new build. While a lot more subtle than his previous builds, the 1956 Sky Hawk is no less immaculate.
Something new this year was a hall dedicated to motorbikes, and it seemed to be a hit with the crowds, too, thanks in part to the wide range of styles on display.
While most eyes were focused on the large-wheeled custom baggers, our pick was this slightly more understated Yamaha-powered bobber.
Spread over such a large area, it’s not surprising people were finding ways to get around the venue. From lawnmowers, to custom trailers, or modified go-karts, every few minutes something unique seemed to be passing.
Walking was still the best way to ensure you saw everything, though, and generally if a bonnet was open, there was a good reason — Richard ‘I’m the best bullshitter you’ll ever meet’ Tuthill’s VL being a prime example. The car was sporting a new billet intake that had people drooling.
Nearby, Matt Jukic’s take on a late-model Dodge Challenger was having a similar effect, albeit with a bit more of a mixed reaction.
Standout vehicles weren’t limited to the top paddocks, though, with the car park equally as impressive. Amongst the thousands of cars were various previous NZV8 feature cars, such as the Monaro of Russell Camp, and the slammed Ford Pickup of Bevan Manix amongst many others.
Sadly the wind started to get up towards the end of Saturday, turning many tents inside out and doing the best to destroy the previously well-presented trade stands. That wind turned gale force and was joined by rain that night, resulting in a steady stream of vehicles leaving the venue, and ultimately leaving little for the Sunday crowd to check out.
For those who made it there on Saturday, chances are it’ll go down in the books as one of the best Kumeu Custom and Classic Car Shows yet.