Prestigious... The Classic Alpine Tour organisers Paul Halford (left) and Jeff Williams of Queenstown stand in front of a Jaguar E Type one of the 50 pre-1980 European and British cars taking part in the tour which overnighted in Gore on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Millions of dollars worth of sports cars purred their way into Gore on Saturday.

The cars were part of The Classic Alpine Tour organised by former Arthurton man Jeff Williams and Paul Halford, of Auckland.

Mr Williams said there were 50 sports and GT pre-1980 cars which were of European or British origin on the tour.

“When you look at the cars here, some of the biggest brand names in the world are here Ferrari , Jaguar, Lamborghini,” Mr Halford said.

“Very prestigious brands and they’re still manufacturing,” Mr Williams said.

The most valuable car on the tour was a Mercedes Benz 300SL, which was worth about $1.7 million.

A Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 driven by Mr Halford was one of the rarest cars on the tour.

It was the first Lamborghini that ever came to New Zealand,” Mr Halford said.

For the two men, it was the design of the European and British vehicles that made collecting them appealing.

“Not only in the looks department but in the engineering,” Mr Halford said.

“They have heritage of fine design and performance,” Mr Williams said.

People taking part in the tour were from around New Zealand.

“Normally we would have overseas guests too but this year because of the world scene they’re all Kiwis,” Mr Halford said.

Classic car collecting was one of the biggest hobbies in the world, he said.

“It’s huge and it’s great because you can go anywhere in the world and meet a car guy and you’ve got an instant relationship with them.”

His wife was not a “car girl but through the car hobby we’ve met some incredible friends all around the world so it’s a fraternity.”trace affiliate linksneakers