Auto artistry and family fun

by Andy Bryenton

Mr Benz intended to replace the horse and carriage with engineering when he invented the internal combustion engine, but what he launched back in the late 1800s was, in fact, one of the most important art movements of the last thousand years. From airbrushed lowriders to gleaming hot rods, wicked customs to immaculate classics, the automobile has come to represent freedom and personal expression as well as a means of travelling for A to B.

Now a showcase of the greatest cars ever built is coming once again to a grassy field in Rolleston, celebrating our collective obsession with rolling steel and big horsepower for a good cause. More than 1,000 vehicles will gather for the 2018 Selwyn Motorfest to raise money for the Canterbury West Coast Rescue Helicopter Trust, in the process bringing together families for a day of entertainment and fun.

On November 25, opposite Rolleston College, machines from Tokyo to Detroit, Stuttgart to Turin will come together for your viewing pleasure, spanning all the great eras of the automaker’s art.

There will be exotic classics, speed machines, artfully restored hot rods, powerful muscle cars, tuned Japanese imports, chromed big rigs and more. Alongside concourse-quality restorations, you’ll find wickedly modified custom vehicles. Military and rescue vehicles will share the field with British sports cars and one-off creations finished in shimmering candy-flake paint. For those who appreciate the full spectrum of automobilia, it’s heaven on earth.

Adding to the fun will be a full schedule of live entertainment, plenty of stalls to satisfy the hungriest appetite for hot food and cold drinks, and ample fun for the kids, including face painting and bouncy castles. Last year more than 6,000 visitors came through the gates, helping raise in excess of $28,000 for charity — this year the organisers plan to top this figure with an even bigger event.

The cars are registered, the trucks are ready to roll, and the date is set. All that remains is for you to mark the date and time in your diary — 10am on November 25 — and make plans to appreciate more than 100 years of automotive artistry all in one place. If you have a classic in your garage which deserves pride of place among the pack, there’s still time to register. Visit to find out more, and make a day of it!