Club’s first meeting place returns for 50th

Memories came flooding back for Elaine Scott as she viewed the car in which the first meeting of the Cobra Rod and Custom Car Club was held.

The 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air car owned by her brother Graeme (Buck) Buchanan was parked in Gore’s former centre parks when the idea of a car club was first discussed in 1971.

Now owned by Anne and John Eisenhut, of Tokoroa, the car featured at the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the weekend.

On Saturday the 86 cars registered for the event were on display at Gore’s Trout reserve. A steady trickle of people came to look at the vehicles.

Mrs Scott said it was “absolutely awesome” to see the car again.

She had been a teenager when her brother sold it in 1974, so he could put down a deposit on a house.

“To think this was parked outside our house for years and my older brothers kicked around with their friends with it,” Mrs Scott said.

Gore woman Elaine Scott chats with John Eisenhut, who now co-owns the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air in...
Gore woman Elaine Scott chats with John Eisenhut, who now co-owns the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air in which her brother Graeme Buchanan and his friends held the first meeting of the Cobra Rod and Custom Car Club in 1971. The car was on display as part of the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the Gore Trout reserve on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
She had a photograph of her brother and the car.

“He had orange sheepskin rugs in it and it was a pretty blue and he had an afro hairstyle.”

She seldom travelled in the car, which was her brother’s pride and joy.

“You knew it was really going to be really special if you did get to drive in it.

“It’s a different colour now.”

Once, when she was about 16, she missed the train to Mosgiel and Mr Buchanan offered to drive her to catch up with it.

“We got all the way to Balclutha before we knew the train was going to stop and I could get on it.”

Her brother died about six years ago.

Club founding member Peter Watson said when the friends started the club they held the first few meetings in the car.

He had not expected to see the Chevrolet again and it was “quite neat” it was in such good condition.

When the club started, the naysayers said it would not last.

However, there were plenty of people who enjoyed driving older cars, including younger members who would help keep the club going, he said.

Mr Eisenhut said the couple had owned the car for nine years.

"I’ve just left it as it is and kept paying the bills when I go for a warrant of fitness,” Mr Eisenhut said.

A previous owner had installed power steering and painted the car red.


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