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History repeated at Model A Ford rally

A photo from around 1931 of Model A Ford cars and trucks outside Gisborne Motors was re-created over the Easter break.

With so many of the vintage cars in town for the 15th National Model A Ford Rally, Balclutha man Paul McNabb organised the same models of Fords to be parked in front of the same shop 90 years later.

The Model A Ford was the first car for the everyday citizen.

By 1929, 50 percent of all cars sold in the United States were Model A Fords.

Mr McNabb was one of around 250 people (and 135 Model A Ford cars) in the city for the week-long rally.

He took the opportunity to recreate the historical photo as the same models were among the cars at the rally.

Mr McNabb said there had been many a debate around coffee tables about what the increase of electric vehicles meant for internal combustion engines that run on fossil fuels. He believes electric cars taking over are a long way off.

“It will be a long time before the internal combustion engine goes away. Our car is 92 years old now. People will still be able to enjoy them for years.”

Mr McNabb said Model A enthusiasts were lucky in New Zealand because they could just hop in their vintage cars and go for a drive whenever they wanted.

In Australia, he said you could only drive the old cars during certain times and you had to keep a logbook.

Over the few couple of days they had enjoyed drives over backcountry roads in Tairawhiti.

“We climbed some hills and went down some dales. We’ve had a great time. People toot, smile and give us the thumbs up all the time. We can’t brake or accelerate as fast as the modern cars but we’ve had a great time in Gisborne.

“People have been very interested in the cars.”

TURNING BACK TIME: A picture of Ford Cars in the early 1930s was recreated at the same venue with the same models of cars during the 15th National Model A Ford Rally in Gisborne over Easter.
Standing outside now Gisborne Motors in the 2021 shot are (from left) Rod Husband, Jono Hall, Andrew Douglas, Jason Saywell, Trevor Page and Brian Read. Picture by Paul Rickard