Gentlemen, start your engines!

East Auckland MG enthusiasts Tony Barbarich, left, and John Borchard will display their prize possessions at next year’s Brit and Euro Classic Car Show. Times photo Wayne Martin

An east Auckland park is set to become a car enthusiast’s paradise containing a world-class collection of exotic machinery.

The sixth annual Auckland Brit and Euro Classic Car show will be staged in March next year at Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga.

It’s among the largest car shows in the country and is organised by a committee led by Reverend Dr Richard Waugh of East City Wesleyan Church in Burswood.

Among the wide variety of vehicles to be displayed are two stunning MG sports cars owned by Howick local John Borchard and Tony Barbarich, who lives in Half Moon Bay.

Borchard will be showing his 1977 MGB Roadster, while Barbarich will exhibit his 1969 MGC GT.

Barbarich has a background in the motor industry and says he’s held a strong interest in all things automotive for decades.

“In the 1950s and ‘60s when cars were hard to get, I had a hankering for something a bit different, like an MG,” he says.

“So finally when we got our family and houses and all that stuff we finally started buying MGs.”

His MGC GT is powered by a six-cylinder engine and he says it’s able to go up to 200kmh.

“It’s not too bad. It doesn’t have trouble keeping up with modern-day traffic.”

Barbarich says he’s drawn to MGs for a variety of reasons.

“The marque has a lot of history and it’s just something I like and enjoy doing, working on, and keeping going.

“This car has been on two or three national rallies [run by the MG Car Club] to the South Island and a few North Island ones as well, and local runs. We’ve done some long trips.”

And he says it’s a lot of fun to get behind the wheel.

“It feels really great, absolutely marvellous.”

Borchard too has had a passion for the British car company and its products for decades.

“I bought this car [the MGB Roadster] in 2000 and my wife and I joined the MG Car Club, which is very active and we’ve met a lot of friends.

“We’ve developed very close friendships with a lot of people.”

He describes his MGB as a “very affordable classic sports car” that is not high maintenance.

“There’s a lot of work we can do ourselves.”

Borchard has piloted the vehicle in a number of MG Car Club national rallies.

“We’ve done over 50,000 miles in it since we’ve owned it and it’s showing 170,000 miles [on the odometer], which is close to 300,000km.

“It’s never let us down and it’s always got us home.

“I’d jump in it now and drive it to Wellington if I had to. That’s the confidence I have in this car.”

Waugh says next year’s show is set to be the biggest yet.

It will contain several special features including a flyover by New Zealand Warbirds aircraft and a large display of Jaguar E-types to mark the 60th anniversary of the model’s launch, he says.

Waugh says he expects more than 1000 of the finest examples of vehicles made in Britain, Italy, France and Germany, among other countries, will be on display for the public to see.

“The contribution that part of the world made on car culture is so distinctive compared to that of Japan and the United States.”

The Auckland Brit and Euro Classic Car show is staged from 10am-3pm on March 7 next year.

It’s sponsored by Times Newspapers, NZ Classic Driver magazine, Protecta Insurance, and the Howick Local Board. Entry is free.