Drivers proud to be vintage

John Pauling in Methven with his 1931 Ford Coupe.
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An influx of classic cars have been spotted on Mid Canterbury roads.

This is because they were all attending a week long National Ford Model A Rally in Methven, with a public gala day at Methven Racecourse last Sunday.

John Pauling, a regular in the national Model A Rally, travels from Blenheim every year, making his journey via the Molesworth.

He owns a 1931 Ford Coupe, which he purchased seven years ago and restored himself.

John took the time to make all the necessary repairs from the rebuilding of the engine and gear box to the paint work and upholstery.

There were around five million similar models made from 1928 and 1931 with an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 still in use today.

Constructing the body work is the only tricky part for anyonewanting to build or restore a vintage vehicle, as the parts are still readily available.

Also, when you put into perspective when these cars were frequently about, there were no tar sealed roads and as such the vehicles had to withstand, bumpy and rough terrain, making them certainly built to last.

This is why the likes of John can still use his motor for day to day use if he should so wish and once you know the ins and outs of the car under the bonnet, they are very easy to maintain.

On average you can get 20-25 miles to the gallon, driving at 45-50 miles per hour, making these vehicles less of a burden to the carbon footprint than some might think.

John attends one national rally like this a year but will take part in monthly shows around the Blenheim area.

John said it was good to catch up with old like minded friends at the event, ‘‘it’s also great to see the younger generation getting involved. These vintage cars a so motorable and so easy to get parts. They are not overly expensive.’’

When you lift up the bonnet, they are so easy to work on.

“It’s important to maintain and keep the vehicle as it was originally designed and resist from adding modifications, maintaining its classic status.

‘‘You don’t do high miles on the main highways but there is nothing betterthan taking the car out for a spin for 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon.”

As the world slowly moves towards the electric car era, there is still a fond place in the hearts of many for these classic vehicles. There was certainly a buzz around Methven over the weekend, and wet weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.