Tony Anderson from Atawhai with his 1973 Dodge Challenger at the Nelson Motor Show on Sunday. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Cars and yarns attract big crowd


Nelson car owners got the chance to show off their pride and joy, as well as the restoration story behind it, at the Nelson Motor Show over the weekend.

The annual event runs over three days and is a celebration of motor vehicles in all their various shapes, sizes, sounds and ages.

Organiser Steve Steele says this year’s show was once again a great success with around 5800 people attending the public show over Saturday and Sunday, while close to 400 cars from owners all around the country were registered.

Tony Anderson from Atawhai had both his 1970 Plymouth Road Runner and 1973 Dodge Challenger there on the day as part of the Mag and Turbo display.

Both vehicles were brought over from America. “The Dodge was a bit of a wreck, you couldn’t drive it, whereas the Plymouth could still be driven but there was lots of rust and holes,” says Tony.

Being neither a mechanic nor engineer by trade, Tony took on the restoration process with his own self-taught knowledge.

“I’m handy I suppose, my grandfather was mechanical and had old cars, but I also had lots of friends, a community of Chrysler owners helped. My partner would say that I spend far too much time in the garage. I’d come home after my job and I’d spend three to four hours a day just pottering.”

While the restoration of the Dodge is complete, Tony says he still has a way to go with the Plymouth.

Tony’s tip for anyone looking to take on a vehicle restoration is to choose your project wisely.

“A good friend said to me, ‘make sure you pick the right car when you do a car restoration because if you run out of love for it, you might not finish it’ and I did, I picked the right cars because as soon as I finished one, I started the other and I’d do it again.”