West Auckland is well known for its car culture, and on Queen’s Birthday weekend (June 4–6), that love of all things car related was showcased more than ever before. Thanks to Renegade Rod and Custom Club, the recently opened NorthWest Shopping Centre was flooded by all sorts of cars for an event aptly called Parked Up Out West.
Mall management was expecting maybe 60-odd cars, so when more than 500 turned up they were clearly blown away, as were the Renegade team of volunteers. Of course, this caused a little bit of havoc with those trying to direct traffic, and keep it from flowing back out onto the Western Motorway, but it sure got everyone hyped for what they were about to see.
With the event being open to all types of classic and custom cars, the variety that showed up was huge, with everything from restored classics through to blown muscle cars and flawlessly finished hot rods on display. Take these two very different ’80s machines for example.
With so many cars, and car lovers, showing up, mall staff were rushed off their feet trying to keep up with all the added food and beverage orders — although we did spot some car owners doing a more intensive shop.
The theory behind the event was to raise money for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand by way of gold-coin donation. However, with so many people arriving en masse, it did end up a little sporadic as to who did or didn’t donate. Regardless, we’re sure a decent amount of cash was donated at the end of the day.
Out of the huge amount of cars on display, there was something to suit every taste — even that of sickos such as myself with a penchant for square-bodied ’80s machines. Yes, that’s two Buick GNXs parked together (top left). The only two in the country if we’re not mistaken?
Like your cars a bit older? Then how about Zoe Radford’s tough Ford Sprint? Blower, cage, tubbed rear and wheelie bars … the car screams pro street!
It wasn’t just American muscle that was stopping people in their tracks. This LS-powered Land Cruiser, for example, had people on tiptoes peering in to see why the bonnet was open. Interestingly, from what we saw, it was far more popular than the H2 Hummer parked beside it.
In fact, if you’re a fan of Japanese cars, you wouldn’t have been disappointed at all. These two Mazda RX-7s seemed to be getting plenty of attention, especially with people being able to see the wide-bodied version next to a more stock body.
Speaking of wide bodies. This late-model Challenger had a crowd around it for the whole event. Clearly plenty of work has gone into the custom look. It’s a look that reminded us of SEMA cars from a decade ago, with its Lambo doors and colour-coded wheels. The difference being the work has all been done locally.
Another nearby step back in time was Mike Dias’s VN Commodore race car, looking just like the real deal that graced the hills of Bathurst back in the late ’80s. We’re not totally sure how the car got there, but we didn’t see any trailers sitting around …
One thing that everyone we spoke to commented on was the fact that there were cars there that they hadn’t seen before — and that also rang true for us. This Chevelle grabbed our attention when it rolled in the gates, thanks to the monster brakes hiding behind those big wheels (excuse the bad photo). Anyone know anything about it?
Of course, no event out west could take place without some of the usual suspects showing up, like Liz and Ryan Gracie and their supercharged small block Chev–powered machines. Yes, the XA Falcon has a Chev in it. Look out for a full feature in an upcoming issue of NZV8.
The more we walked the car park, the more cool stuff we kept on finding that we’d never seen before, and the more we knew that we’d be back again next year, as for a first-time event, it really couldn’t have gone any better. Yes, there were more cars than anyone knew what to do with, and not really enough room for them at times, but that can only be a good thing, right?
We’re sure now that Renegade Rod And Custom Club and NorthWest Shopping Centre management know what a monster they’ve created, they’ll have even more room set aside for the event next time around. By then, the mall itself is sure to be bigger, too, giving people even more of a reason to head out west. We can’t wait.
- Best Chev: 1942 Chev Black and Silver – LOCHEV
- Best Ford: 1932 Ford Roadster Red – 1932
- Best Hot Rod: 1932 Ford Tudor Yellow – CRUSIN
- Best Interior: 1953 Cadillac Coupe Deville White – 53CAD
- Best Bike: 2006 Factory Built Texas Chopper American Ironhorse
- Best Engine: 1969 Chev Camaro Black – BLWN69
- Best Commercial: 1931 Ford Model A Ute Red – POISON
- Best Street Machine: 2013 Dodge Challenger Orange – SIKBRO
- Car of the Show: 1976 Ford International D200 – NOBUL