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Americana Muscle & Custom Cars celebrate 4 July

Muscle and custom cars are normally tucked up in owner’s garages or undergoing maintenance work over the winter months, avoiding the potentially wet and miserable weather.
 |  Jack Biddle  | 

Chrissy and Paul Chapman standing in front of  their 1939 Ford Coupe.

Owners love to drive and showcase their pride and joys when the chrome work shines brightest.

But exceptions are always made when it comes time to celebrate special occasions such as the 4th of July, Americas Independence Day.

There may be personal preferences and strong opinions with owners on specific makes and models within car clubs like the American Muscle Street & Custom Club Whitianga, but the one common denominator is the fact their cars originated from the USA, and in a time when size really did  matter.

Such was the case last Saturday, 6 July, when around 30 club members presented their vehicles for a local gathering on Buffalo Beach Reserve followed by an orderly convoy down the main street and a park up and display outside Grace O’Malleys.

To add some spice to the day, the most enthusiastic club members even dressed their vehicles and themselves in the traditional red, white and blue colours of the USA, hoping to take out the prize for the best dressed.

Celebrations continued at Grace O’Malley’s with a dinner and band playing all the hits from an era that matched the occasion. The band was a one-man effort by the name of Phil Hart. He was excellent with such an encyclopaedia of songs all in his memory and a voice and guitar skillsto match this good-time era.

Jim Sharp and Chrissy Chapman were crowned best dressed.

“It was a great opportunity for club members to get together, socialise and display their cars to the general public” said Reg Smith who, along with his wife Julie, is one of the club’s stalwarts and is the co-ordinator of this annual celebration.

On Sunday, the Tairua members of the club ran a Cars & Coffee plus poker run starting out from Smittys Sports Bar & Grill and ending at the Pour House in Hahei.

The weekend’s events were also a very early lead into the club’s annual Whiti Beach Meet which is to be held on 4 January 2025.

“We are always looking for new entries and it would be great to grow the club with new members. If there are locals out there wanting to be part of our club, we welcome them with open arms. It’s free to join as well and we embrace all makes and models including cars, trucks and motorbikes.

“Hopefully, our 4th July weekend celebrations attracted some interest” adds Reg.

For more information about the American Muscle Street & Custom Club Whitianga in general or the upcoming WhitiBeach Meet in January next year, contact Reg Smith at

Winter no barrier to enjoying cars

This was another offering to the wider community in the middle of Winter to participate in an event that takes a little effort but brought a lot of enjoyment and  reward.  Many thanks to Reg and Jules Smith for their co-ordination,  Peter Jones of Grace Malley’s and Phil Hart one-man -band, Paul and Fleur of Smitty’s Bar and Grill,  the management of the Pour House in Cooks Beach and to the Tairua team from the Americana Muscle and Custom Car Club who organised the rally drive.

This is just a taste of what awaits when the Whiti Beach Meet Carnival occurs in January, 2025.  Reg and Jules Smith will keep the wider region in touch with developments.