|Smits Group Supports AmeriCARna Taranaki 2012
Unfortunately the air show was cancelled on Wednesday due to severe weather forecasted for the area, however, this weather didn’t put off the car fans, they flocked to Waitara in the torrential downpours armed with umbrellas, gumboots and raincoats to admire the 650 American cars parked down McLean St. The cars rolled into the area around midday and were welcomed with a powhiri from Manukorihi School. It was great to see a small town participating in such a big event, with all AmeriCARna goers impressed by the friendly atmosphere, food, entertainment and organization of the event. From Waitara the cruise moved on to Inglewood where once again they showcased what great things small Taranaki communities have on offer, providing fantastic food, shopping, music and of course cars.
Thursday morning the Smits Group and the AmeriCARna Cruise departed for Opunake Beach, where the cars parked up, the drivers were able to grab some food, sit back relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Thursday night at the TSB Stadium saw Glenn Shorrock and his band perform to a crowd of around 500 people.
On Friday the cruise headed out to Stratford in South Taranaki, where the AmeriCARna goers regrouped, and had a look around town, before heading off to Hawera DBD for more festivities, before moving onto the TSB Hub where the first ever AmeriCARna GymCARna was held, the drivers competing in the GymCARna had to navigate their car through a course set out in cones, tyres and barrels, displaying their best driving skills set in a race against time. As Friday came to a close the cars all returned to New Plymouth to cruise to the DBC via Mangorei Road, this followed by the Friday night main street cruise, which encouraged residents out and about waving and cheering as the cars rolled past.
Saturday was Country Fair Day, held at Pukekura Raceway, the Smits Group Team set up the Smits Group Stand and were ready to help out with technical advice and product information. The Country Fair was jam packed full of entertainment, food stalls, craft stalls, trade stands, helicopter rides, cars on display and rides to keep the kids entertained. In conjunction with the Country Fair, a Roller Derby Competition “AmerCARnage” was held at TSB Stadium, hosted by the Taranaki Roller Corps with visiting teams from around the North Island.
Meguiar’s once again had a tough choice to make, which was deciding which of the beautiful American Classic’s deserved to be the “Meguiar’s Pick” of the event. This year’s choice went to Ray Watkins’ 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback – an absolutely stunning car! This car has been through a full restoration with no stone left unturned. Every piece of the car has been rebuilt, with a money is no object attitude, and the craftsmanship and perfectionism truly shows. The body has been painted in bright yet deep yellow and offset with the optional GT black stripes up the bonnet to the cowl, in a gloss rather than matt finish. The exterior is finished off with 17x8 Vintage 45s that have been painted metallic Ford Mineral Gray, with a clear coat over the top. The heart of the Mustang is a new 331 full roller stroker motor making approximately 450HP, and contains a no expense spared list of goodies to go with it. The Interior had a full restoration, with a custom gauge set-up built into the original dashboard, which is in perfect condition. This is a car you need to see to truly appreciate. Congratulations to Ray and his beautiful car.
To conclude the amazing event was an after party for all the attendees to let their hair down, and party the night away.
Ray Watkin's Yellow 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback pictured above.