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Main Trophy Winners 2017

Congratulations to all our 2017 winners! 

Hibiscus Rodders Presidents Choice Trophy went to Orewa builder Mike Watkins’ gold 1949 Ford coupe Single Spinner. He bought the car 11 years ago, at the age of 19. His sister, an exchange student in the USA at the time, spotted the car abandoned in a paddock.

“It was rust-free, but paint-free too, and had been left outside in a paddock and was a bit beaten up,” says Mike. But his sister convinced him to buy it, went to the auction and bid successfully on his behalf. It was shipped to NZ and he and his dad Rob rebuilt it.

“It took five years to fix up,” says Mike, but it’s been back on the road since 2011, and he’s even driven to the South Island and back without any problems. “I wanted a car that would do everything — shows, drags, road trips — and it does all of those.”

Mike Watkins’ 1949 Ford coupe Single Spinner won the President’s Choice Trophy.

Mike Watkins

Dairy Flat resident and car enthusiast Ross Tebbs won the Publics Choice Trophy with his 1940 Ford pickup truck, which unlike Mike’s car, came to NZ with beautiful paintwork. The sparkling purple truck was rebuilt in Los Angeles in the early 1990s, winning a major prize in a prestigious Detroit Ford show before being sold to a New York merchant banker, who Ross bought it from about two years ago.

“We did a bit of work tidying it up, but it’s the original paintwork — colour ‘rich plum’ —  from the 1990s job,” says Ross. “Everything is pretty much as it was, but we’ve re-polished everything underneath.”

Public’s Choice Trophy winner, Ross Tebbs’ 1940 Ford.

Ross Tebbs

Other trophy winners included former Hibiscus Rodders club member and now Ruakaka resident, Melissa Nightingale, who won the House of Travel Trophy with her 1957 Chevrolet, which she has owned for about five years. It hasn’t changed much since then, except that her husband Bob has put in a crate motor from the USA.

Melissa Nightingale won the House of Travel Trophy with her ’57 Chevy. 

Melissa Nightingale

New Plymouth couple Gordon and Pauline Bourne took out the Protecta Insurance Trophy with their very rare custom made Chevy combination (’57 front, ’58 mid-section, ’59 back, nick-named 789).

Gordon & Pauline Bourne’s custom made 789 Chevrolet combination won the Protecta Insurance Trophy. 

Melissa Nightingale

East Auckland’s Ian Neary (Panmure) won the Westpac Helicopter Trophy with his 1959 Ford Fairlane Skyliner. The red and white Fairlane had been in the country for three years when he found it in a garage at Glen Eden in 2002. Ian, who owns a fibrous plaster manufacturing business, was doing a plastering job when he saw the car.

 “It wasn’t for sale, but I bought it that night,” he says. Between 2004 and 2007, he rebuilt and customised it, then used the car regularly until 2010, when he had an accident on the way to Whangamata’s Beach Hop with his children. “Fortunately I was only doing 50km/h, and no one was hurt, but it completely destroyed the underneath of the car.”

Over 2011 and 2012 he rebuilt the car “and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.” Ian also owns a 1968 Plymouth GTX, which won the NZ Hot Rod Magazine Trophy at the Beach Festival, and the best muscle car award in NZV8 magazine’s What’s Under Your Hood contest.

Westpac Helicopter Trophy winner Ian Neary’s 1959 Ford Fairlane Skyliner.

Ian Neary

Entry numbers for the V8 Chic contest also doubled from last year. Winner of the V8 Chic Award for female car owners was Kelly Ross of Papakura with her ’66 Plymouth Fury 111. Says Kelly, “That car is my new journey.” She bought the car about a year ago from the previous owner in Whitianga, and, she says, it’s a completely different car to what she was looking for. “But you know it’s the right car for you when you find it. The lady owner was parting with her, and when we met, we both broke down and cried. She knew and I knew that I was the next best person to take the car on a journey. We still keep in touch.”

Originally from Dunedin, the car had been light blue, but the former owner had had it painted a bright magenta nine years ago. “I love that car,” says Kelly. “I enjoy grooming her, and I look after her. I cover her up, and don’t take her on bad roads. She’s my journey … she’s coming with me.”

Second place winner was Marie Forsyth with her Ford roadster. Third place went to Shari Woodward (Orewa), with her 2007 Ford Shelby Mustang, which she’s owned for four years.

V8 Chic winner Kelly Ross with her 1966 Plymouth Fury 111.

Kelly Ross

Air Tahiti Nui and House of Travels popular USA getaway prize draw went to Northland visitor Brian Marsh of the Whangarei Hot Rod Club.

 USA Getaway


Photo Credit: Linden Images