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Whether you are a classic car boffin or your just appreciate the level of craftsmen ship and attention to detail of motoring yesteryear, the Ellerslie Intermarque Concours d’Elegance and Classic Car Show, should be high on the list of you must do events of the year. An annual event open to the public, it sees bringing together for some of the most desirable classic and modern classic cars from around New Zealand on the second Sunday of February each year at the Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland.
The Concours has been running since 1972, and each year has been bigger than the last, with plenty of automotive manufacturers, clubs, specialists, business and classic car trades soaking up the atmosphere of times gone by.
However, despite the calm, for some car owners, there is a serious amount of competition. The best of the best, if one could use that expression, compete for top honours in the Masterclass event, which sees each car undergoing a fanatical examination to be awarded ‘Best in Show’ in other words, the cars need to look like they had just left the factory, with judges inspecting everything, right up to inside the exhaust pipe of competitors for cleanliness. There are also awards for the best “Survivor” which is awarded to the car which still runs in an original unrestored condition.
Also, with the sheer amount of local and national car clubs taking part, there is also a prize for the best club display, and with the sheer amount of car fanatics in club circles, one could say there is a more than adequate amount of enthusiasm to put on the best show possible.
Whoever wins the best club display has the honour of organising the next year’s Concours. Needless to say, the MG Car Club were victorious in 2019, so they had the honour to organise the 2020 Concours d’Elegance. Enthusiasts under the MG Marquee looked on while stunning examples of MG TC, MGA, MGB, MGTD and even a very well-presented MG K1 shone in the Auckland sunshine.
Clubs and representatives from a variety of marques were out in force, including Morgan, Aston Martin, Triumph, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, Holden, Lotus, BMW, Alpine, Austin Healey, Jensen, Renault, Volvo, Nissan/Datsun, the list goes on and on. Even the New Zealand Horseless Carriages were featured, De Dion Bouton’s and all.
Out in the tarmac parking area sat a mouth-watering selection of Corvettes, Cobras, Dodge Chargers, one of which was a replica of the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard, and couple of Ford GT40’s and a very sweet Group 4 De Tomaso Pantera.
Inside sat the Waimak Classic Cars stand, with a stunning Holden HR Ute and Shelby Mustang GT500KR, one of only 151 made. If this writer had to single out few of his favourites, the Zagato bodied Lancias, including the very rare Fulvia Sport Zagato, the Shelby, and the very rare 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 of Paul Halford are definitely up there. As one of Leonardo Fioravanti’s greatest design hits, it look staggeringly beautiful, especially when sitting in front of another Ferrari which also showed his skills with a pencil and paper, the Dino 246 GT.
The New Zealand Mazda MX5 club decided to go with a “Greatest Showman” theme, with stunning examples, including a yellow NB coupe, one of 200 built, sat in a circle underneath a collection of streamers to resemble a circus tent. The owners were also decked out in full circus attire. MX5 club President Allan Boot said it was all about having fun with a fun car.
However, for 2020, thanks to an amazing selection of collectible machinery, the Auckland Mustang Owners Club were voted the winners. Their display consisted of a ‘Mustang Merry Go Round’ of classic Mustang’s built from 1964 to 1968, including a very rare 1968 Mustang California Special Notchback. Therefore, expect the Auckland Mustang Owners Club to be calling the shots with the next running of the Concours in February 2021.
However, don’t think it was just classic cars on display at Ellerslie 2020 for prestige car dealer the Giltrap Group was in attendance with the latest and fastest toys from Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche and McLaren, attracting plenty of green-eyed stares.
All in all, another fantastic year at a fantastic event. There will be further information on the winners of the Master Class so stay tuned.