Natural look one owner treasures

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Some owners go to great lengths to restore the bodywork of their classic vehicle, but not Matt Horton, of Riversdale.

Mr Horton entered his 1954 General Motor Company 100 pickup in the GWD Toyota Hokonui Ute Muster in Gore on Sunday.

The pickup had the patina or aged finish which he wanted to keep, Mr Horton said.

“Sun-faded, rusty, bogged, dints, everything that has happened to it over the years is still on it.

“I’m not going to get rid of that look .. I love it.”

He had owned the pickup about two months and was planning to use it as a runabout.

“It’s going to end up with more dints and more scratches and that’s the way that I like it.”

At some point he would apply clear coat paint to the pickup to protect the look.

He had wanted to own an old American truck for as long as he could remember.

“It’s a dream come true.”

The pickup was not all it appeared as it recently had an overhaul by Charlton Autos’ Lee Rivett.

The truck had been a patchwork of colours after previous bodywork repairs but Mr Rivett had painted it green.

It now had a mid-1990s Mitsubishi L200 ute chassis and a new Vortec Chevrolet 350 engine.

The inaugural ute muster was held last year as part of the Tussock Country Music Festival.

The muster travelled down Main St and parked at the Gore A & P Showgrounds.

The festival was cancelled this year because of the uncertainty of holding the event due to Covid-19.

Muster organiser Annabel Roy said she was “really stoked with the turnout”.

Eighty-eight people took part up from 74 last year.

Holding the event under cover at the field days site worked well, Miss Roy said.

“It was really good to be in a bigger venue.”

There were categories including best dog in a ute, best classic ute pre-1980, best mullet and a dogs’ bark-up competition.

A crowd of about 250 people attended the event which was also a fundraiser for Rural Support Southland.