Geographically Hong Kong is but a tiny spot, but I’m sure anyone who has visited – or actually lived there – will be quick to agree that this small Special Administrative Region of China, with its rich British colony history, has masses to offer in terms of culture, history, entertainment, food and so much more. Yet, being such a small and confined area with huge population density added to the equation, you might well dismiss Hong Kong as a place offering anything at all for the classic car enthusiast. However, do so and you would be wrong.
There is in fact a surprisingly well established community for the classic car owner in Hong Kong. As such, the Classic Car Club of Hong Kong is celebrating its 40thanniversary this year. That’s four full decades of arranging a variety of shows and drives for its approximate 600 enthusiastic members. There are huge drives arranged into mainland China testing the reliability of the participating classics and offering stunning views and experiences, just as there are regular Sunday Morning Drives more often than not leading into the New Territories of north Hong Kong. I’ve written about these SMD’s before here in ViaRETRO, as I found myself Reminiscing about one more SMD in Hong Kong.
What Hong Kong might lack in vast open roads compared to northern Europe, they easily claw back with their warmer climate allowing enthusiasts to enjoy their classics all year round. That is of course especially obvious at this time of year where us northerners are sat within our houses peering out into the cold and dark winter, while dreaming of getting behind the steering wheel of our beloved classic again… That became more apparent than ever as a group of old friends from the Classic Car Club of Hong Kong sent me a whole pile of excellent pictures from their Annual Luncheon last Saturday.
It has become a fixed tradition through many years, for the CCCHK to invite their members to their Annual Luncheon held at the Jockey Club’s excellent venue at Beas River Country Club. The park offers the perfect setting as the many diverse classic cars arrive on the Saturday morning.
Just short of 100 fabulous classic cars were parked up on the well kept lawn, creating a perfectly atmospheric setting as almost 300 CCCHK members enjoyed lunch in the shade of the party canopies set up just behind the cars. Eventually, tyre-kicking and admiring other member’s cars obviously took priority over the vast buffet. There was certainly enough to admire too, ranging from the evergreen Beetle to aristocratic Rolls-Royce, from seventies saloons from the Land of the Rising Sun to exotic Ferrari’s, and from flamboyant American muscle to the restrained style of Aston Martin.
A stunningly beautiful Bugatti Type 35b owned by Darrin Woo impressed everyone – including those not quite old enough to drive one yet. But being a Pur Sang replica, the honours for the oldest car on display went to Lee Ha’s very cool 1937 Ford V8 Coupé sporting a mild hotrod look with whitewalls on mattblack steelies.
But the biggest honours of the day were reserved for two others. Firstly, Anthony Lo who was attending in his Citroën 2CV, and was voted CCCHK Member of the Year for his enthusiasm and unwavering support of the club. Secondly, for the 1969 Maserati Quattroporte 4.7 Series 2 owned by Edwin Chan, when it was voted CCCHK Car of the Year. It’s one of only very few first generation Quattroporte to be delivered right hand drive, being a ’69 it’s also one of the very last before the successor took over, and as if that wasn’t enough, it’s the actual car which was displayed at the 1969 Earls Court Motor Show in London. Having recently been imported to Hong Kong by Edwin Chan, it looked right at home in its new east Asian surroundings.
A personal highlight for me though, was paging through the pictures and recognising classics which I’ve followed on all those SMD’s which I so miss. Mike’s charming and wonderfully patinated TR3a, Ken’s lovely Morgan, Garry’s stunning Dino, Nigel’s little Elan Sprint, Warren’s gorgeous 240Z, and of course Oliver’s fabulous 930 Turbo. Perhaps even more amusing was spotting my good mate Moray’s landyacht of a Jaguar 420G, which I’ve had the immense pleasure of driving on several occasions while it was still residing here in the UK. I hope you enjoy the gallery as much as I did, and don’t forget to look up the friendly CCCHK next time you’re visiting Hong Kong…
All pictures courtesy of Moray Wedderburn