The high number of quality entrants exhibited at the Kaitangata Car Show and Run presents a difficult choice to preview.
Shane Gibbons, the owner-operator of Tapanui-based Gibbons Contracting, has made the Kai Car Show a priority on his calendar for years and is called on as a judge, especially for his expertise in the motorcycle sections.
‘‘I went along about five years ago with a bike, saw a need and offered to help . .. It’s all about presentation,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve been out to collect cars pretty much since I learned to drive. I used to panel and paint and I do a lot of the mechanical stuff myself .
‘‘My dad was a motor mechanic and one of the founding members of the Hurricane Rodders in Dunedin — that was his passion and I was always there with him.
‘‘He still helps out and my sons are involved too. It’s in the blood.’’
Like many enthusiasts, Shane has a long-term project or two tucked away in the garage, but this year, from a collection of six bikes and 11 cars, he is planning to display his 2017 Harley Davidson Breakout and 2021 Harley Davidson CVO Streetglide.
His 1978 Ford Falcon XC GS V8 ute will also turn heads, as will his 1992 EB Fairmont Ghia SVO V8.
‘‘I really like what they do at the Kai Car Show — it’s very community based, the public really turn out in support and it brings out the essence of what we’re all about.
‘‘All the money they make is all given away to good causes. Not many car shows do that.’’
Another Kai Car Show veteran is specialist car restorer Quintin Smith of South Otago Customs, who has been in the panel and paint trade for more than 30 years.
Quintin and his team finish 10 to 15 cars a year, and as he is so exposed to gleaming chrome, paint and perfectionist finishes, his entry to the show is a point of difference.
‘‘I got my 1984 VK Holden Commodore for $1500 about a year ago with a shot gearbox. Someone put the LD 2.8 straight-six in it, and I got it roadworthy, lowered it and put a stop to the rust. But that’s where I’m leaving it. I like it this way, for now at least.’’
His ’84 tells a different story and provides a counterpoint to the ideal standard that car shows are all about, so spectators and exhibitors can compare and reminisce on the hard work and attention to detail required to restore and customise treasured transport.
‘‘I enjoy being creative and the hands-on work, and the compliments you get for it. I’m around top-level show cars all the time, so it’s good to see how a car looked in its original state. When you start projects of your own there’s no telling how long it’ll take when you’re a perfectionist, which we all tend to be in this business.’’
“I really like what they do at the Kai Car Show — it’s very community based, the public really turn out in support and it brings out the essence of what we’re all about.”