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USA DAY - March 5, 2005

A Day to Enjoy "Yank Tanks" in New Zealand
By Clive "Dusty" Miller

       There were a bunch of us (about 25 cars) who left from Christchurch on Friday (February 25, 2005) to travel down to Dunedin in convoy. We camped in the Tahuna park, right by the main event on Saturday. Had a Bar-B-Q on Saturday night. Cruised home Sunday. ALL USA origin vehicles are welcome.

       We had a great weekend. Drove the '73 Monte Carlo 550 miles at an average 18.8 mpg .. ( wahoooo ) .. there were about 300 cars on the Friday night cruise. Very cool.

       The Saturday show had perfect weather and the show grounds were pretty much filled up. All sorts -- Challengers, Desoto adventurers, heaps of '55-57 and '65 -68 Chevies, etc. There were less trucks than normal, but a 1936 Oldsmobile was really cool truck. Plymouth Superbird ....... WOW ......... a seemingly interminable row of Mustangs ...... all mint. Assorted Chrysler products -- Lincolns, Customlines, Olds 442, very exciting lineup.

       USA Day is a celebration of USA-made machinery. Enthusiasts, many from clubs but also those who just enjoy motoring "yank tanks," gather to show off their finery.

       The Dunedin event (near the bottom of the South Island in New Zealand) has a Night Cruise on Friday and a show on Saturday which is free to the general public. A bunch of us from Christchurch (about 250 miles north of Dunedin) traveled in loose convoy on the Friday morning, enjoying the scenery and the pleasure of all that glittering chrome on the highway.

       When we got to the cruise start, we walked up the street looking at the delightful array. We walked for 15 minutes (going ... "Wow ... look at that .... wow ..... look at that") and than realized that the head of the line was still out of sight. It was time to leave and run back to car!

       We saw a '55 sedan that I restored for my wife back in 1981. It still looked a show winner -- GREAT.

       Some rare and exotic stuff was displayed, (well rare for here -- we only got the very basic models off the dealer floor; all others are private imports). There was a 1960 Desoto Adventurer Coupe and a Plymouth Superbird -- you know, the 200 mph car used at Daytona (I think). We saw some friends from Nelson, which is at the top of the South Island, perhaps 550 miles from Dunedin. So the event attracts people from all over.

       The big blue Oldsmobile is a 1936 model; the blue Chev is a 1958 Apache with a Camaro front clip and differential. The dark green AD is (just a guess) a '49 -- I hope someone more expert will correct me there.

       I 'm looking forward to the next event .



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