Fords steal stuck dragon's thunder

While the weather led organisers to predict record numbers at the Edendale Vintage Machinery Club's 26th annual Crank Up, it was not ideal for flying kites.

Kite-maker Peter Lynn, of Ashburton, was pleased to get his 45sq m dragon kite airborne above the Edendale Rugby Club's grounds on Saturday, but his mood soon changed to dismay when a sudden gust wrapped it around the top of a lighting tower.

''It's not going to be easy to get down,'' Mr Lynn said.

Mr Lynn holds the world record for flying the biggest kite, which measures 1250m2.

''This is one of the small ones,'' he said.

The breeze was ''quite reasonable'' for kite flying but turbulence from Fonterra's neighbouring factory had given him difficulty, he said.

The large crowd watched as he used a cherry-picker to try to free the kite but he was unable to reach the top. As the kite flapped about in the wind, attention turned to the parade of Ford commercial vehicles, which was one of the drawcards of the weekend.

Craig McClelland, of Geraldine, who bought his 1966 Ford ''jailbar'' ute at the age of 14, drove it south for the weekend.

''It only took about six hours. We had a few stops,'' he said.

He had bought the ''jailbar'', nicknamed after its distinctive grille, to use on his father's farm, and had restored it about 25 years ago.

''I love the old Ford V8s. There's something special about them when you drive them,'' he said.

He also owned a Mustang and ''a couple of Falcons''.

''My Dad was a real Ford fanatic and I couldn't buy anything else,'' he said.

Crank Up convener Neil Irwin said about 100 Ford tractors were on display, but admitted he did not know how many Ford trucks and cars had arrived.

''I haven't had time to count them, but there's a lot,'' Mr Irwin said.

''There's about 30 Model Ts coming later,'' Mr Irwin said.

Numbers through the gate had been excellent and he was predicting a record crowd over the weekend.

''It's going very well.

''We couldn't miss with a nice weekend,'' he said.

Olympic rowing gold medallist Nathan Cohen was the special guest and he had been popular with the crowd, stopping to pose for photographs and showing children his gold medal, he said.

Planning was already under way for next year's Crank Up, when 110 years of tractors in New Zealand would be celebrated, he said.

By Rachael Kelly.