Arty Deco 1989 Citroen 2CV

Cyclists with no cycle lanes! The Citroen 2CV is from 1989, but the model was introduced in 1948.

Arty Dancers

Art Deco Indians

A line-up of Indian motorbikes, which all fired up at the same time!

British American sizes 1937 Austin 10

Comparative British and American car sizes: a 1937 Austin 10 and a 1938 Buick Straight 8 outside the Clive Square.

Art Deco fashion

An Art Deco fashion show.

Sunny Hawke’s Bay is great in summer with mostly fine weather and temperatures in the 26-30ºC range almost every day.

Each year in mid-February the city celebrates its architectural heritage from the 1932-1934 period when, due to the 3 February 1931 earthquake which demolished most of what stood then, the majority of replacement buildings were in the Art Deco style (quite a few were also in the Californian Spanish Mission style).

The result must be the world’s most concentrated collection of Art Deco buildings — the only other contender is Miami South Beach.

Every time we go, more work seems to have been done on smartening up facades and it’s a delightful experience just to walk around the streets.  But when combined with a festival which relives the fashions, music and dance, and of course the cars of the era, it’s superlative!

Hundreds of vintage and classic cars line and roll through the streets, nearly all of them lovingly restored and groomed.  The Art Deco era is considered as having ended in 1947 so cars more recent than that are frowned on, but a few exceptions are made to that restriction.

As  well as the free street and foreshore events, there are dozens of shows in the evenings to attend such as: Bootleggers on the Beach, Great Gatsby Party, Gangsters and Flappers (“Deco dress essential, machine guns optional”) and Indigo Speakeasy Whiskey Club.

Apart from a few buildings on Elizabeth Street, Waikanae Town Centre architecture is mostly from the 1970s and uninteresting,  But there are other possibilities for events out of the ordinary!

1920 RR SG

Luxury driving that’s almost a century old — a 1920 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

Roller Rat

A Rolls with a difference —  the engine is a Cadillac 506 cubic inch Big Block, transmission is a Cadillac turbo 400, suspension is from a Jaguar XJ6, and as a finishing touch there are 50 caliber machine guns each side of the engine which were loaded! — ideal for a KCDC boss. 🙂