Trillo Metals Muscle Car Madness show organiser Craig Stare feared Covid-19 would stall this year’s event when entries were opened.

But the global pandemic seemed a distant concern last weekend as huge crowds packed into Rangiora’s A&P Showgrounds for the two-day annual event.

“We beat Covid this year, but next year who knows,” Craig said. “Saturday was a big day, not a record crowd, and Sunday was a bit down, but overall it was as good as you could expect under the circumstances.”

About 1300 cars of all shapes, sizes and condition were parked around the grounds.

They came from all over New Zealand, including Ruakaka in the Far North to Stewart Island in the Deep South.

Saturday’s popular Retro Rockabilly Pageant attracted a large, enthusiastic crowd, but the hottest place to be for many was the burnout pad. The crowd was 10 deep in places around the pad on Saturday.

The show’s star was Martin and Marion Bennett’s 1923 Ford T Bucket, called Uncertain T, parked in its own marquee. However, a close second was a weathered-looking, pint-sized rat rod, owned by Shane Harpur, a sheet metal fabricator from Invercargill.

Shane built the “mouse rod”, pictured above, which was named “best creation” at the show because he wanted something for children to enjoy. He was not able to be at the show but his brother, Jason, and Jason’s partner, Shelley Clark, brought it north for the show.

Jason said Muscle Car Madness was a family-oriented show with many children attending, but most vehicles were not allowed to be touched.

“Kids love to touch and feel things,” he said. “So Shane decided to build a vehicle they could climb into.”

It proved a hit, with queues of children lined up all day on Saturday to get behind the steering wheel of the cut-down K Bedford truck.

Shane has also built a trailer with a motorcycle on board for the truck and it will be included in next year’s show.

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