About 400 examples of automotive excellence rolled up for the annual Kaitangata Car Show and Run on Saturday.
One of the most comprehensive packages of style and engineering was the bright red pickup truck belonging to Invercargill refrigeration engineer Bruce Smith.
‘‘This one’s taken about three years and weighed in at maybe $50,000 . . . It’s my only actual hot rod.’’
The classic 1948 ex-army truck was spotted near Roxburgh and began its journey to Invercargill where it met some modern technology for a new lease on life.
‘‘The steel and panel work and as much of the original as possible has been built on to the chassis of a Mitsubishi L200 ute. The engine has been replaced with a 4.8 litre Nissan Fuga V8 run through a Terrano transmission.
‘‘Now some purists don’t approve of that sort of mix-up, but a lot of classics in their original state need to be warmed up for half an hour before you can go anywhere.
‘‘The new engine will start instantly after sitting in the shed for weeks and it’s much leaner on fuel.
‘‘We put safety first with power steering and power brakes and so it drives like a modern car and stops on a dime.’’
Plenty of purists packed out the show with high-performance hot rods or mechanical antiques, and while there might have been mixed opinions on Mr Smith’s technological fusion, his ‘‘reason why’’ was bog standard.
‘‘I like to keep busy with practical problem solving and this gave me something to do, especially during the lockdowns.
‘‘I’m a car nut and when I brought home yet another project my mates joked I needed an intervention, but before you know it they’re all pitching in and I couldn’t have done it without them.
‘‘It brings people together and you’re left with a real and valuable legacy of that friendship and co-operation.’’
Event organisers said they were pleased at the success of the 11th show, whose proceeds are always donated to ‘‘local worthy causes’’.