Putting on shows and events takes the dedication and devotion of many volunteers, enthusiasts and good buggers!
Join Malcolm, a passionate DOCNZ'er, uber meticulous Ducati fanatic, and motorcycle judge, as he shares his experiences and excitement for two super cool events based in Auckland.
✍️ & 📸 Malcolm Anderson
NZ Motorcycle Show
Many of you will have been to the NZ Motorcycle Show over the years, which had its origins at the Vodafone Events Centre before growing and moving to the Auckland Showgrounds. By this time, it had morphed from essentially a classic motorcycle show to include major dealer stands and displays.
The NCMC Show is the brainchild of motorcycle-mad Graham Viall and is run by volunteers at the Papakura Rotary club to raise funds for charity. This year’s show made donations to the National Burns Unit and to a youth road safety program.
The last show at Auckland Showgrounds was held in 2018, and this coincided with me finishing a 4-year restoration of my 1977 Ducati 900 SS, and having been restored within the last 18 months, it was eligible for NZ Classic Bike of the Year. I decided to make a special silver base for it with blue LED lights shining out through slots either side. I was blown away when it won all the major prizes, including People’s Choice.
Alas, Covid put the best-laid plans for the next show in tatters until 2022 when a smaller show focused on clubs and the original classic motorcycle concept saw the show move to the Westpac Trusts Arena in Henderson. Part of the car park is fenced off for a stunt display and a band on stage.
Graham Viall asked me to join the judging team, and I was delighted to be able to put something back into the show. I also did that at this year’s show, and it is quite a full-on weekend.
There is online registration of bikes eligible for judging, but final registration and checking in of bikes continues until about 7.00 pm on the Friday night of the show. The judges then assemble with printed sheets of all the bikes in their various categories, and we have out score sheets for criteria such as originality, presentation with signboards, paint, engine condition, and many other factors. We fan out in teams of two or three, having categories such as age period, or type such as best Japanese, European or best race bike or dirt bike etc.
We reconvene at various times during the night, but by early morning, the whole team gets together, and each judging unit then explains their logic for choosing the 1st, 2nd, 3rd for their category. If there is full agreement, then the awards are noted.
The idea is that all rosettes are placed on the bikes by the time the gates are open for the public on Saturday morning.
Both years I have been a judge, we finished at 5.00 am as the sun was coming up, and my intention was to sleep in my van, but I ended up driving home to Botany for a few hours’ sleep before heading back to the show.
Graham Viall is always looking for new judges for specialist categories. Any volunteers?
Brit & Euro Car Show
If other Ducatisti are like me, they also like 4-wheeled classics and exotica, particularly the red and Italian types. Sadly, my budget won’t extend to a Ferrari, but there is a great display of all British and European cars and bikes every year in East Auckland, usually on the first Sunday of March.
I got involved in the Brit and Euro car show some years ago when my friend and aviation historian and Jaguar enthusiast the Rev Richard Waugh formed the Brit and Euro Car Show at Lloyd Elsmore Park as a free community event.
There are any number of car shows catering for Americana, hot rods, muscle cars etc., but the B&E is a bit different and is now the biggest of its type in the Southern hemisphere with up to 1200 cars on the day.
I have helped Richard promote the motorcycle display over the years, which only number about 30, and although there is a free registration, you can essentially just ride in on the day and soak it all up. When you walk through the park, there is a radio station playing retro music, lots of food and drink stalls, trade displays, and cars all set out by marque or club.
A bit of a problem for bike participation is that there are so many events at this time of the year, and it tends to clash with the Mike Pero Motofest at Hampton Downs.
The show is keen to expand, however, and involve bikes and especially clubs with a display. The show is beside the Howick Historical Village, which is open on the day and usually a “live” day with the blacksmith making horseshoes etc., and people dressed in period costumes.
Perhaps a DOCNZ presence in the future, watch this space...