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MTA100 Car Show

The other week (gosh I have been a bit lazy getting this up) Tastes Like Petrol went to the MTA100 car show here in Wellington.

The Motor Trade Association was formed back in 1917, to represent the motor trade industry. They are an advocate for motoring in NZ, and do everything from entering submissions for law changes, helping with customer disputes at workshops and work to get new mechanics into apprenticeships. They are a valuable resource, and the MTA100 show was to celebrate their 100th year since being formed.

They had a few different areas set up for various “features”. Outside the venue was an electric car stand, showcasing the latest and greatest tech from car manufacturers. There were a few different cars set up for the public to have a poke around, but the best bit, was that they were also offering rides and drives in various electric cars.

This Kia was an awesome color, but I’m really not down with the trend of having the ugliest wheels ever on electric cars.
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The show also had an abundance of BMW i3s. They are cool cars for their tech, but unless they are in a dark color the design is a bit…. off. I love that the carbon bodywork is exposed in places
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There was this weird Hyundai thing there too. I’m really not a fan of the front styling.
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In addition to a lineup of somewhat tame EV cars, there was also a small display of these cool little electric motorbikes. The UBCO Utility Bike. It’s a 2×2 electric drive bike that claims to have a top speed of 45KPH, and a range of 100KM. Not so good for open road cruising, but would be great out on the farm or on the rural back tracks.
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I chose not to drive any of the EVs due to some really dodgy insurance policy wording that you had to sign before driving (basically signing that you, and you alone will pay for any damages in the event of an accident. There is NO insurance cover). I wonder how many people read that clause before driving these cars on the road!

We did get a ride in a Tesla Model S though, and wow, what a car. Even though this was a base model, it was still very lush inside, and really pushed you hard into the seat when the “throttle” is opened wide. Such a great looking car too.
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There wasnt a lot of head room in the back of the Alcantara clad interior, but all the surfaces looked and felt expensive. Closing the door was like closing off the outside world, and just surrounding yourself in technology. Dominating the dash is this massive 17″ touch screen display. I always thought it looked tacky and garish in photos, but in person it fits really well, and suits the whole feel of the car.
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That’s not the only large screen in the dash though. The whole gauge cluster is one big display.
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Another cool feature, was that the Tesla has the biggest reversing camera I have ever seen. Its like watching your car reverse on a big screen tv.
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Such a great car. Utter silence when driving, and that instant on power was incredible. Nothing like I have ever experienced before. It’s like turbo boost from 0rpm.
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We started heading into the venue, but sitting outside the doors was this gorgeous old Studebaker tow truck. Immaculate condition.
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Inside the venue the first display you come to was a fantastic display of iconic and very special Kiwi motoring legends.

The Project 64 Mini was on display. This is the first time I have seen this car in person and its an amazing sight to see. The P64 Mini was built by a small team is New Zealanders to break records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. It was aiming to break two records in 2012, the Speedweek I/BGCC (under 1000cc turbo or supercharged petrol competition coupe) existing record of 211KPH, and the Unofficial World’s Fastest Classic Mini record of 195KPH. The team smashed both of these records, setting an average speed over a couple of runs, of just under 236KPH. Going back in 2016 they hit a top speed of 267KPH with a 15KPH headwind, and left there with a record of 251KPH (once again an overage over a couple of runs). Unfortunately the engine came to a grinding halt on the last day when the oil pressure decided to disappear.
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The body changes were minimal, but under that skin was some incredible engineering. Keep in mind the above speeds were made on a 970cc A-Series Mini engine, with a BMW motorcycle twin cam head and a turbo pushing about 20PSI. That’s a darn good effort.
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Of course there must be something about Kiwis at Bonneville….. because only a matter of meters away, was a replica of the Indian motorcycle that Burt Munro also hand-built to smash records on the salt. It was incredible seeing the design and engineering that went into his bike. Burt did almost 300KPH on his old bucket of bolts!
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There was even a replica outer body there for kids to play in. I say kids, because I suspect it was life-size and im damned if any adult could fit in there these days!
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In the same room, was this awesome McLaren F1 car (you can’t have a show of NZ cars without a classic McLaren). This car was powered by the awesome Cosworth DFV V8 engine.
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Another awesome classic (and one I would love to hear running) was this ex-Chris Amon Maserati 250F. Powered by a beautiful 2.5L DOHC straight 6 engine with triple carbs.
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The fecking mental Hulme F1 car was in attendance. Stunning color, it really popped under the lighting. 990KG, and powered by a Corvette LS7 V8… leaving it with a power to weight ratio of 606HP/TON
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On the other end of the NZ-Built scale, is the Trekka. Built from 1966 and based on a Skoda Octavia, it kinda looked like a small Land Rover, or a Jeep, but had far more limited off road capability. Still cool nonetheless.
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Another iconic, and awe-inspiring motorcycle from an amazing New Zealander was the Britten V1000. Designed and built in the early 90s, only 10 were made, and its design was WAY before its time. John Britten and his small team designed and built almost the whole bike, using only a handful of parts (like the Suzuki gearbox) from other manufacturers. Even the 999cc quad-cam V-Twin, fuel-injected engine was designed and built by Britten.
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Moving along into the main hall, was displays from various car manufacturers with their latest and greatest.

The first lineup was from Ford. They brought three cars. The awesome Focus RS, a Mondeo Hybrid, and the new Mustang.
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A nice looking place to be, and an awesome color.
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The Mustang was a great looking car, but why oh why did they bring a black car to such a dark environment?!
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Subaru had a boring lineup with some ugly hybrid crossover, but did have this cool display
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Tesla Model S with the extra rear seats, and an LOL plate.
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So, when everyone else was bringing their A-Game and showing their new technology and exciting cars…. Holden, bring the new Astra and Trax. Lame.
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Toyota had the opposite. A FULL carbon fibre FT50 race car.
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Center stage was this weird as hell Rinspeed thing. Apparently its some sort of self driving concept car. The paint was amazing, it had so much flake in it, but was really hard to photograph. Front and rear, the light clusters were some sort of display
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And everything else about the car was just weird. I couldn’t get too close as a TV show was filming the car at the time.
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Suzuki brought out their new Swift Turbo. Not sure what to think. Its uglier than the older models, but the turbo engine could be some fun.
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The McLaren 650S was a hit with the public. It was almost impossible to get a clear photo of it.
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Downstairs is where the really cool stuff was though.

The first thing I was these awesome little bikes
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There was a cool looking speedway car
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And this ugly abomination of a thing from Freedom Eagle Land.
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The old classic trucks were out in force
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In comparison to the electric bike up top, this one was converted from a superbike to electric. There wasn’t much info that I noticed, but it looked awesome. Not sure whats worse though, lying on a tank of petrol, or on a bunch of high voltage wires.
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One thing I’ll say, is that America really brought the colors.
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The wife, being a fan of the Brady Bunch, noticed this car straight away as being the same that the dad drives in the show. Hence the plates I guess. It was crazy tidy, very cool.
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Big old wagons were another trend at the show
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There were a couple of Porches in attendance. A new black on that I didn’t photograph because it was boring, these two 911s and the 356A. I love the classic 911, and really want to own one on day.
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You don’t see many of these old Falcons around anymore
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Love these old Mustangs too
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This tow truck was a highlight for me, it was so tidy and the little details were great.
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I was very happy to see the SD1 represented there by Michael’s stunning Vanden Plas, and the P6 by this great condition example
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Tucked in the back corner was this cool Mazda RX3 rally car
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Minis were well represented
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Including this weird little Mini Jem. Its a fibreglass kit car using the classic Mini front and rear subframes, running gear and engine. It was tiny, see the photo with the folding chairs for scale. Bet it’s a hoot and a half to drive (if you can get in it).
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The pair of Chargers were cool. Would love to hoon the white one.
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More sweet RX3s
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It’s not often you see one 240z, let alone a pair of very tidy, well presented ones
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A couple more sweet old cars from the Land of the Rising Sun
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It was cool seeing these race cars up close and personal. The MGM R32 was incredible, so much engineering, and it was all done so cleanly.
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This truck was incredible. The attention to detail, and the paint work was just stunning. Love the color combo.
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And finally, I leave you with this awesome little display, with a stunningly tidy old VW.
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Theres some more photos I didn’t use in this post, on my Flickr

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