Familiar cars and rare come to annual Kai show and run

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Shine your lights . . . Peter Addis, a member of the Conrodders Rod and Custom Car Club of Dunedin, preps his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air V8 at the ninth annual Kaitangata Car show and run. It was the first time he had shown his car at the show. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

by JOHN COSGROVE and JACK CONROY

An ‘‘amazing turnout’’ of vehicles and people made the 2020 Kaitangata Car Show and Run a success on Saturday morning, organiser Louise McLaren says.
‘‘We couldn’t have asked for anything more.’’
From across the South Island, a record number of exotic and extraordinary cars came motoring along at a gentle pace to join the ninth annual event.
Organising committee member Grant Robson said they started lucky with the weather as organisers had been concerned earlier in the week when rain was forecast.
“Events like this depend on the weather and luckily we have also been really well supported by the approximately 500 who have come here today,” Mr Robson said.
‘‘There are many cars we haven’t seen before.’’
They came driving cars whose names have long since disappeared from common vernacular, such as: Escort, Wolseley, Kingswood, Fairlane, Capri, Cortina, Zephyr, Anglia, and a host of even rarer marques and models such as Edsel, Fiat Bambina, Humber, Bel Air and Continental. Dunedinite Gary Beattie brought along his 1956 Chevy Pickup, with a 1954 lightweight caravan built in Waikato. ‘‘I restored it in 2014. I’m only the third owner.’’ Mr Beattie said many other people he knew were regular attendees of the Kai car event. ‘‘People from Dunedin have a real affinity for it. It’s a great day out.’’ In among the lovingly›restored Australian and American metal on show was a bevy of exotics, from Europe and England. Many were maintained by painstaking owners such as Brett Jenkinson, of Dunedin, who took 10 years to get his 1974 Holden HQ Kingwood back into roadworthy condition, allowing him to finally enter the show for the first time.
“I bought it 20 years ago, for $1400 when I was 19, and I always planned to keep it and fix it up but it’s taken a bit of work over the past 10 years to get it here today,” he said.
“The Kai car show is great because it brings everyone together, to mix and mingle and talk about their cars.”

Gliding on . . .Ann Eustace of Invercargill said her very rare Ford Edsel Citation 2 door was a beautiful car to drive despite its 12 ft (3.6m) length. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
Ann Eustace of Invercargill’s very rare Ford Edsel Citation 2-door is a beautiful car to drive despite its 12 ft (3.6m) length. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

One very rare car on show was Ann Eustace’s Ford Edsel Citation 2›door.
Anne, of Invercargill, said it was a beautiful car to drive despite its 3.6m length.
“It’s a very rare model today.
‘‘When we’re out driving everyone looks and waves. It sails along nicely, gliding over the miles — you don’t easily get tired when driving it,” she said.
At the time of its 1958 launch, the Citation came with several innovative safety and design features, including push›button gear selection and seat belts, Mrs Eustace said.
The event finished with its customary cruise around Clutha before finishing up in Clydevale.