Established in 1996, we are a group of passionate car enthusiasts who live and breathe American classic cars, and are based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Our mission in life is to provide an environment for other like minded car aficionados to savour and enjoy their American classics, without the rules and restrictions that seem to dog other areas of everyday lives.
If you are an American classic car owner who feels the same as we do, we invite you to take a small journey through our site to see if this sounds like you. If you like what you see, and want to be involved, then send in a membership application.
The only hard and fast condition of membership is that prospective members must own an American classic car that is over 25 years old at the time of joining, which must be of historical interest.
PLEASE NOTE: American Classic Car Club members are unable to provide classic vehicles for events such as weddings, birthdays, family outings etc, as our members are not licenced to do so. Thank you for your understanding.
ACCCA –Club Run – Packard Motor Museum, Maungataupere - 5th-6th September 2020
A total of 18 people and no less than 7 classics turned up for the run to the Packard Motor Museum at the BP Service Centre on Saturday morning, braving some squally and breezy conditions which is not what we were expecting. After the mandatory queuing for coffee, and the current trend of comparing face-mask designs, everyone was underway with Phil and Garry’s Ford Country Squire leading the way and Phil and Cindy’s Ford Escape marshalling the rear of the convoy. Traffic was surprisingly good, albeit we passed through a lot of roadworks through Dome Valley and encountered the inevitable ambling Suzuki Swift that needed to be dispatched on a passing lane. Pleased to report that all our classics had more than enough horses available to achieve that manoeuvre in one go! And kudos to Alan and Francis in their C7 Corvette which could have easily passed us all on that hill; they instead just cruised along with the older models.
A quick stop and a coffee order at the viewing area at the top of the Bryndwerwyns (bracing coastal winds made it a VERY quick stop), where we watched Phil/Cindy and Rob sail past us on the highway…..ooops. A regroup on the Whangarei Flats and we were all underway again. We avoided Whangarei and cruised through SH15 which was a lovely scenic back-route, one which saw us pulling up at the museum in good time. The weather progressively warmed up as we moved north, so it was great to step out into some sunshine before heading into the museum.
And what a museum! People soon wandered off and immersed themselves in their respective areas of interest and there was something for everyone. 5 large buildings containing a bewildering array of cars, motorbikes, trucks, buses, early diggers, stream traction engines and more. It would be fair to say that it really is an overload on the senses, with quirky juxtapositions of a 1974 Leyland P76 parked next to a 1957 Packard, parked next to an NSU Wankel…..and so on. A display of items such as early miniature travelling irons for clothes and a very 60s hairdryer set caught the eye of Cindy! Of course the main theme of the museum is the Packard marque and boy was there was a lot of it, from the early 1920s Packard 8, through to the lesser known “Clipper” sub-marque of the 50s and the last “Studebaker-Packard” models produced. Custom-built hearses and limosines also made an appearance. Surprisingly, a good many of these cars are right hand drive and had been imported by notable NZ figures.
For Rob and a number of others with that British car gene mutation, MG1100s were keeping Rovers and Triumphs company. Yours truly went and bailed up one of the very friendly attendants who allowed some front seat happy time in a 1949 Hudson Commodore 6. We lost Rob on a number of occasions as he immersed himself in the study of graders, diggers and other heavy duty pieces of equipment. The frequent sound of a burbling straight-8 Packard being started up, or the clatter of diesel was heard as various exhibits were brought to life. All in all a fantastic museum and one where it is refreshing to see these cars in largely “original” condition, showing their patina and age, rather than rooms full of trailer queens.
After a quick lunch of counter food from The Office Café which offered something for everyone, a number of the team departed, including Ian and Kevin, who’s lovely 1952 Chevy was more than well behaved on such a long trip. The “overnighters” drove down to the Discovery Settlers Motel in Whangarei which did have great (and discrete parking). It was however sad to see the number of bookings they had generally was so low. After checking in and getting settled, it was time for afternoon drinks in the motel bar. The bar manager was certainly happy to see so many thirsty guests and we all enjoyed sharing observations and highlights of the day before wandering down to The Quay restaurant at the marina which was bustling. A delicious meal and (not a small amount) of wine was enjoyed by all before a brisk walk back to the motel for a night cap and taking in the last of the North- vs South rugby game.
Next morning was a motel breakfast which was surprisingly good before we all checked out and made our respective ways home. A few of the team convoyed through to Waipu and down the coast to Mangawhai and then Matakana. Stops at Bennetts Chocolates and Morris and James Pottery were on the itinerary. By this stage, there was a little bit of car-swapping going on with Rob piloting a certain Country Squire (sorry about the missing cubic inches compared to your Pontiac Rob!), and Garry was seen beaming at the helm of Alex Ross’s Pontiac Catalina! Stopping in at some friends of Phil and Garry’s at Matakana seemed like a great idea however the inevitable traffic “train-smash” heading south had some of us turning up the stereos. But despite that, the classics didn’t protest and we all made it back home at a steady clip once we got beyond Warkworth.
All in all a brilliant weekend away and a huge thanks to all who travelled up; we know you all enjoyed it. Yours truly couldn’t help but smile looking in the rear view mirror and seeing a convoy of USA steel on the move behind him – a tonic for recently trying times. Cheers all! Phil Stickney
Check out Rob's multitude of photos here.....
Willow Glen Café - Ross Bros’ Muscle Car Garage 19th July 2020.
On a slightly overcast morning we arrived early at our departure point only to find Tom and Karen Taylor parked in their so nice 2dr Chrysler, and not long after Bill Tweed arrived in his immaculate convertible De Soto. We were somewhat apprehensive regarding the weather for the day, but we ended up with 13 classics, 1 late model Mustang convertible (Steve and Bow unable to bring their 46 Mercury as it has a braking problem) along with Rob in his daily driver.
After the drivers brief we set off on our tour down to Gordonton on some wonderful back roads, winding down Pinnacle Hill Road, along State Highway 2 onto Kopuku Road, past the very first ¼ mile drag racing venue on the open cast mine, held in the late 1960s (Yah I was there!!)
We then skirted around the eastern side of the wetland area past some of the best sheep and cattle rearing land in the Waikato.
The overcast weather cleared and a sunny warm day presented itself for the rest of our cruise, with very little traffic and wonderful clear driving roads for the hour and forty minute drive to Gordonton. The cruise went without fault for most of us, with only Steve and Alexis (Pontiac) and Alan and Frances (Impala) emitting minor brake aromas on the way down the very steep Pinnacle Hill.
All were fed and watered at Willow Glen Café, and after we all had time to catch up on each others news we were again on the road down to Ross Bros’ Muscle Car Garage in Cambridge.
This is a collection any petrolhead (even if you are not) just has to visit. Their display consists of cars, pick ups, motorcycles, bicycles, even a classic ski boat. There was a land speed record car, a drag car, and Kenny Smiths La Valisse F5000 Lola. Additionally, they have a display of earth moving equipment which includes one of the biggest bulldozers in the country. You are confronted by the sheer size of its blade as you enter the display area and do not realize how big it is until you see it as one enormous machine, which was used by Kaipara Earthmovers in open cast mine stripping. It is now on permanent display as part of C&R Developments earth moving display. The collection visit was hosted by Nelson, who was more than happy to answer any of our enquires on all aspects of the display.
The Ross Bros’ Muscle Car Garage visit was a relaxed way to finish an excellent day out, and enjoyed by all who carried on down to Cambridge. Club member Bill Hohepa and his film crew were videoing a lot of the cruise for one of his upcoming shows, so if any of you get a chance to view his programmmes keep an eye out for us.
We wish all our club members who are recovering from illness a speedy recovery, and finally a big thank you to all those who were able to make it such an enjoyable day out. It is not only the enjoyment for us as owners and drivers of our cars, but the reactions from the public that view our cars who smile, wave and lots of thumbs up’s, that also makes our day too!
Cheers Peter and June.
Some pics of the day can be viewed here.....
Huljich Military Shed raid – 21 June 2020
What a wonderful turn out we had for our first club run post COVID-19 to the Huljich familys’ military collection. The weather was a little dicey looking at times but that didn’t deter the large gathering of members, with around 21 classics and 5 daily drivers meeting at Westgate Starbucks around 9:15 for the 10am departure.
A convoy of classics left Westgate via a scenic route out to Herald Island and then onto Whenuapai bypassing the airbase. It’s mind boggling to see how fast the area has developed over a few years. Green paddocks that stretched for miles have made way for Auckland style “high density” living. Additionally, the usual childcare facility and gas station has popped up too.
We arrived at the Huljich property and spent a good 90 minutes viewing the vehicles and catching up with each other. The military collection consists of a 1941 Field cannon, 1945 GPW Jeep, 1942 Dodge personal carrier, 1942 Studebaker, 1965 RL Bedford, BSA collapsible bicycle and a paratrooper bike. Additionally, there was also 1932 flathead roadster which drew a lot of interest, and a Toyota Echo electric car which is a project that Allan’s brother Kevin put together whilst tinkering around in the shed.
Prior to departure for the Swanson RSA Rob found a suitable platform (soapbox) to take a group photo and to get a rough head count for lunch. A round of applause for the hosts and we left in convoy via Taupaki to meet Greg and Julie Dietch, who are members of the Swanson RSA.
The first club run after being in lockdown for so long went without a hitch. It was great to see so many members take up the $21 per head buffet lunch, which had a great selection of meats, salads and veggies, along with dessert to finish. Our thanks to Greg and Julie for signing us in. A prize draw for 3 free lunches was won by William Cairns, Fred & Diana Vermeulen, and Shane & Adith Stoneman.
Well, to sum up the day it’s fair to say it was a great turnout with members showing interest in upcoming runs. A common thread shared was how it’s great to be back to a sense of normality and the comradeship of being in a car club and getting out and about in our cars.
Until our next run... all the best. Allan and Frances Huljich
Photos from the day can be seen here.....