The Blue Oval took over the North Shore on April 12 as around 500 Fords of all persuasions converged on Smales Farm Business Park for the annual All Ford Day. But they weren’t all show cars, with everything from a battered old Escort on learner plates to a line-up of AC Cobras, from a row of working Transit vans to a stable of Mustangs, and pretty much everything in between, all coming and going throughout the morning.
Literally in the case of the Falcon wagon painted in Thunderbird2 colours, the bright-yellow Thunderbird4 atop its roof apparently hovering above the lines of Fords. A participant in the annual Ford-supported Variety Trillian Bash, it was here on the day the new Thunderbirds TV show debuted. Also among those drawing attention were the Mustang engine bay decked out in bright green and blue and so clean you could eat your lunch off it, and the tiny pedal car, parked in a line among the more modern Falcons…
The Zacspeed Escort was arguably the most eye-catching, and winner of the ‘best engine’ award. Despite which it didn’t start up, the only car we saw that was trailered to the event. As its owner – Paul McCarthy – tucked it gently away he wryly said, “My wife and I don’t have kids. Only cars.”
Luckiest man of the event was Wayne Unkovich, well-known in the hot-rod arena, who won American Ford Other draw, Best Body and the Henry Ford draw, leaving laden down with many hundreds of dollars of Kärcher, Mother’s and Kicker products.
Paul Whittle – sales manager at South Auckland Motors – said this year there were thousands of dollars in prizes, many of them given away by draw. “We don’t always want the same cars winning,” he said, “So anyone with a Ford can enter it in a suitable category and might win something.”
This year marks 50 years of Transits, and there was a line-up of the venerable vans, plus a few new ones. Several sported current business logos, but they weren’t all promo vehicles. Winner of the Transit draw, Jackson Foster, uses his MkII every day for his plumbing business and is racking up the kays. It may not have been as eye-catching as some, but there’s pedigree under that bonnet. The Transit’s 1978 facelift introduced the 2.0-litre Pinto engine, the same as that used in Cortinas, Capris and early Sierras.
The All Ford Day is run by five clubs and three dealerships, and takes place annually. For information on next year’s event, check out www.fordday.com.