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Classic cars take over

Paul Butler with his Camaro 1967 RS at last year’s Cruise Martinborough. PHOTO/FILE

JAKE BELESKI

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Hot rods, classics and American muscle cars as far as the eye can see.

It sounds like a petrolhead’s dream, but it will be rumbling reality over the next few days as the fourth annual Cruise Martinborough event hits the road on Thursday, running through until Sunday evening.

Event organiser Damien Pivac says you don’t have to be a car fanatic to enjoy the proceedings.

“Even people who don’t know much about cars love coming to see these cars.

“It’s quite a spectacle too — you can imagine just under 400 cars riding along the highway, it’s 2 or 3km long so it’s quite a sight to see.”

There were already 360 vehicles registered on Wednesday, but Mr Pivac is expecting that number to push closer to 400 over the weekend.

Last year people came from as far south as Bluff and as far north as Northland, and he is expecting the same again this year.

“It’s probably getting near the maximum we would want for Martinborough,” Mr Pivac said.

“People have called me who have arrived early, and they’re at vineyards and wine tastings and whatnot, so it brings a lot of money into the region which is good for everyone.”

On Thursday those involved will travel to Lake Ferry for lunch and live music, and tonight there will be a drive-in movie at Te Kairanga Vineyard.

On screen will be the classic car chase film, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, starring a 1969 Dodge Charger.

Other events include a gathering at Farriers carpark in Masterton on Friday, and vintage markets in Martinborough on Saturday.

Mr Pivac said the event was a good fit for the region.

“There’s lots of classic car owners in our country who wanted to come to the region and check it out.

“We have plenty of restaurants and all the good things Martinborough and the Wairarapa have to offer.”

He is encouraging people to step outside and watch the cars go by, and said there was always something new to enjoy.

“We get a lot of people who come back every year, but as we’re getting bigger we are getting new people every year as well.”

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