Interest in new motoring event already revving up

If planes are not your thing, perhaps the new Wheels at Wanaka event set to debut next Easter...
If planes are not your thing, perhaps the new Wheels at Wanaka event set to debut next Easter featuring hundreds of cars, trucks and tractors, masterminded by Allan Dippie (pictured), will appeal instead. PHOTO: SEAN NUGENT
A new Easter event is on the way for Wanaka, this time on the ground rather than in the air.

Wheels at Wanaka, as it will be known, will feature hundreds of cars ranging from classics to modern supercars, tractors, trucks and earthmoving machinery over Easter Saturday and Sunday next year.

The mastermind behind the event, Allan Dippie, said the plan was for the event to be held every two years as something to go to in the years between the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshows.

There had been huge interest already, despite exhibitor registrations not due to open until the end of the month.

"Being the first event, it's a little bit unknown but judging by the interest it's going to be really, really popular.

"We're hoping for 10,000 to 15,000 people in the first year and growing the event thereafter. If we can get that number then I think it'll be very successful."

Mr Dippie believed at least 1000 cars and tractors from around the country would join his own 120 vintage tractor collection on display, including some of the oldest and rarest in the country.

He thought it was a unique event nationwide as it brought all the different machinery together into one event.

The idea to create Wheels at Wanaka was primarily as a revival of a former event, Wheels to Wanaka, which used to be held many years ago at Pembroke Park at Labour Weekend.

"I always thought we should revive that at some point, and so it's been in the back of my mind for a couple of years ... but only in the last year has it really come to fruition," Mr Dippie said.

"It will cater for car enthusiasts and machinery enthusiasts, but it will also be family-orientated. I imagine it will be very exciting for some of the younger members of our community."

A charitable trust had been established, as well as an event committee, of which Mr Dippie is part.

The beneficiaries of any profits from the show would be the West Otago Vintage Machinery Club and Coastguard Wanaka.

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