Ford Model A lovers set for 5-day ride

Ford Model A cars like these will be spotted on the roads of Western and Northern Southland this...
Ford Model A cars like these will be spotted on the roads of Western and Northern Southland this week, as the 14th National Model A Rally bases itself in Te Anau. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Ford Model A lovers are notching it up a gear for five-day joyride around Southland.

Owners from around the country, and a few international fanatics from Australia, the United Kingdom and United States, will make up a 150-team group for the 14th National Model A Rally, which runs from today to Friday.

Model A group president John Tremaine said the event brought like-minded people together from across the globe.

"It's a chance to get together with owners from the national Model A owners club."

The Ford Model A was built between late 1927 and 1931 and the cars in the rally were worth between $15,000 and $40,000.

During the week, car enthusiasts could take part in two rallies, the Lake to Lake Rally to Walter Peak Station and Homestead tomorrow and the South Arm or Southern Tour Rally through Manapouri, around Western Southland and back to Te Anau on Thursday.

On Wednesday a public open day would be held at Lions Park in Te Anau, with cars to be judged by Sir Richard Hayes.

"The judges will be looking to hand out awards for overall winner, people's choice and the model in the best condition," Mr Tremaine said.

"We have a lot of support from Te Anau, the rugby club is doing our bar and a local catering company has supplied our meals. We want to keep the money in Te Anau."

The first rally was held in 1984 with just 20 Ford Model A cars.

Originally, the rally was hosted every four years and the North and South Islands took turns, but now it is held every second year.

With no plans to cancel the tradition, he hoped more people would get on board for future rallies, Mr Tremaine said.

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