Matt Greenop: Car folk do their bit

By Matt Greenop

Photo / Dean Taylor
Photo / Dean Taylor

Car people are good people. That is not to say all people who have cars are good people, because a drive through any urban traffic system will make it obvious some car owners are idiots.

I'm talking about the people who build their lives around cars - clubs, the motorsport fraternity, even the younger generation with their modified imports and those old buggers with their classic machines and hour-long stories about how they found a matching set of original wheel nuts in a barn.

It's what car people can achieve when their minds are put to getting something done. Whether it's helping someone fix their car, organising an event or getting involved in things in the wider community, when car folk want to get it done, it gets done.

This was screamingly obvious at last weekend's Concours d'Elegance in Auckland, with clubs working like clockwork to make the event a good one. This is repeated almost every weekend, from one end of the country to the other.

At these events I find it particularly interesting seeing how well these hardened veterans of the club scene treat newbies with "silly" questions.

I spent a few of my formative years around the Austin-Healey club's events as a result of my late mother's Sprite habit and thus asked more than my fair share of silly questions, and hardly ever got a condescending response.

Another area where car people excel is in raising money for charity, and there's always a few examples of motorheads selflessly raising cash for underfunded charities without complaint (as long as there's a cold beer afterwards).

The Great British Car Rally kicks off at Auckland Domain tomorrow, marking the return of a great event that has been resurrected by British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell. It will make its way down to Christchurch, raising money for four deserving charities along the way. To check out some amazing British machines and do your bit, see bit.ly/R5jNMZ.

Next Sunday is the New Lynn Lions Club's annual Galaxy of Cars at Western Springs - a massive event with hundreds of vehicles that's raised over $160,000 for charities over 15 years. And then just around the next corner, the Variety Club Bash. Car people are good people, aren't they?

- NZ Herald

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