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Americarna's first event was in February 2007 and limited to 550 vehicles. We wanted the event and every aspect to be about quality not quantity. From those who attended the inaugural event, you told me we had it right.
With the experience gained we lifted the number the second year to 750 which was achieved nearly five months before the actual event.
The name Americarna we credit to Mr Beach Hop, Noddy Watts. Every other aspect of Americarna was a combination of ideas I had about what we wanted in an event.
Having attended hot rod events in the USA prior to Americarna made what I wanted easy. The event had to be for American vehicles only and American themed vehicles such as hot rods and no exceptions.
The event had to be something the whole community could get behind and enjoy especially school children and in 2007 and 2008 they came out in mass which was key to making the events successful. It also had to be an event that the entrants enjoyed (which goes without saying) to ensure they wanted to come back, and they have.
Also, the business community are required to dress their businesses in red, white and blue. Year one not a lot of effort, year two much improved and yes Inglewood was sensational with the decorations.
We also wanted to provide a range of merchandise not seen before in NZ; I think we were successful based on the entrant's comments.
Hard to repeat but year one we bought in four roadsters from the US with the Grand Daddy being Gary Schroeder's Track-T a very famous hot American hot rod.
The second year Karen & Kevin Alstott allowed me to bring their two stunning 35 Ford Roadsters to NZ with one being the 2006 Riddler winning car. To everyone's amazement including mine, Kevin drove the car on a public road with a Police escort in the Saturday parade before taking it to the stadium for the Country Fair and yes it was raining.
Our continued aim is to keep tweaking Americarna Taranaki to ensure it holds it's foot hold as being one of New Zealand's premier American vehicle events if not the best.
As such, always feel free to tell us what we can improve on by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you at an Americarna event some time.
Americarna New Zealand Ltd