Wheels big and small for show

Warbirds and Wheels director Robert Duncan and Wheels at Wanaka event director Colleen Nisbet with a 1974 Plymouth Cuda which is being restored for display at the April 20 and 21 event. Photo: Catherine Pattison
Warbirds and Wheels director Robert Duncan and Wheels at Wanaka event director Colleen Nisbet with a 1974 Plymouth Cuda which is being restored for display at the April 20 and 21 event. Photo: Catherine Pattison
The inaugural Wheels at Wanaka is calling for vehicles to register for display at the Easter show next year and the criteria is all-encompassing.

‘‘Anything with wheels or tracks and it’s on show,’’ event manager Colleen Nisbet said.

With 20ha to fill at Wanaka’s Three Parks, there is space for 1000 cars, tractors, trucks, earth-moving machinery and steam engines. Mrs Nisbet said she already has some rare wheels rolling in and the eclectic registration list includes a 1904 Baker, which is an antique electric vehicle, a 1930 A Deluxe Delivery A Class Ford, a model traction engine, the biggest bulldozer ever made — the Cat 660 — a 1979 Kenworth Canadian W924 truck and a 964 Euclid dump truck.

They will fit in around the other displays, including a vintage farm fair, which celebrates 60 years of the West Otago Vintage Club, vintage tractors and farming heritage. Dunedin’s Allan Dippie, who instigated the event, will add his own collection of more than 100 vintage tractors.

The car, motorcycle and truck show will display vintage, classics and exotics from more than 200 clubs around New Zealand. Warbirds and Wheels in Wanaka is contributing to this section by restoring a 1974 Plymouth Cuda from the United States.

The Cuda has a 440 cubic inch (7.2-litres) V8 engine, ‘‘which is a real big grunter’’ and has had a repaint, plus some panel repairs in preparation for its appearance at the event, Warbirds and Wheels director Robert Duncan, of Wanaka, said.

For the digger lovers there will be an earthmoving extravaganza, including live demonstrations and the chance to get behind the controls, with Invercargill’s Dig This heavy equipment playground coming to Wheels at Wanaka.

Mrs Nisbet said the April 20 and 21 event, which is to be held every two years to fill the gap year between Warbirds Over Wanaka airshows, will be a ‘‘celebration of New Zealand’s transport, construction and farming industries’’.

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

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