The ultimate classic wheels? Ashburton will play host to a massive showcase of vehicles this May, but K-88 might be the most spectacular

A classic experience

by Andy Bryenton

Wheels Week Plus beginning in Ashburton on May 4 is a chance to experience the sights and sounds of horsepower in all its forms, from vintage vehicles through to the American classics of the rock ‘n’ roll era and the ultra-modern electric cars of today.

The festival begins with the American Rod and Custom show; a vintage car swap meet, speedway action and more.

It’s perhaps the oldest vehicle that stands out. It is a railway steam engine from 1877 and was recovered from under the mud of a riverbank, where it was dumped in the 1920s.

Once the pride of the rail stock, K88 Washington was deemed obsolete in 1927 and dumped into the Oreti River; for nearly half a century, this muddy tomb preserved the engine’s structure until rescue by a team of restoration enthusiasts.

From May 4 through to 19, enthusiasts at Ashburton will experience chrome and airbrushed paint, the smell of gasoline and rubber, the sound of V-twins, V-8s, pistons and machinery in motion. Check out for all the events.