By Shannon Thompson – The News, 5 November 2021

Cromwell revisited the past at the weekend.

The Central Otago branch of the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand hosted the National Veteran Car and Motorcycle Rally in the town.

More than 40 “veterans” vehicles manufactured up to the end of 1918 throughout the South Island attended the rally.

They took part in an average-speed section, hill ascent and an afternoon drive around Tarras, Luggate and Cardrona on Saturday, followed by “field tests” at Highlands and a public display in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct on Sunday.

Ashburton motoring enthusiasts David and Marion Oakley attended the weekend with their 1914 Rover only veteran in their personal collection of vintage cars.

The Rover’s top speed is a leisurely 50kmh to 55kmh so the couple had it shipped to Cromwell for the rally.

“We’re more stately vehicles rather than fast,” Mr Oakley said.

“It’s a reminder of a bygone age and it makes you appreciate what life must have been like back in those days.”

“The roads then were extremely bumpy and with boulders and holes and these cars had to navigate them,” he said.

The history and leisurely pace of the older cars were “good for the soul”, he said.

Colin and Joan Pearce, of Mosgiel, attended the rally with their 1914 Sunbeam newest model of their three veteran cars.

The couple had owned the Sunbeam for about 10 years and it was their “pride and joy”, Mr Pearce said.

Summer was rally season and Mr Pearce said he liked to bring the cars out of hibernation for the rallies.